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Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.

 

DYW DG - PROGRAMME MANAGER - We're hiring!

 

Full time fixed Term (31 March 2021)

Set up and supported by Scottish Government, Developing the Young Workforce Dumfries and Galloway (DYW DG) is one of 21 regional groups who work to address the issues of our future workforce as well as the future challenges of our region.

You will be joining a team, managing a broad portfolio of projects, responsible for developing and managing industry and education links, namely strategic Schools and Business Partnerships. You will help facilitate relationships between employers, education providers, young people and parents to ensure successful outcomes are achieved for all involved. Close working with businesses and schools is at the heart of this role as well as fostering new business relationships with the ultimate aim of engaging them with DYW activities.

You will be responsible for the promotion of the apprenticeship family as well as thematic work to support the region’s economic priorities. Key to the success of the role is stakeholder engagement and relationship management.

DYW DG is a business led project and sits within Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce.  You will be joining a small but productive team with many successes and established services including our work ready, work experience and recruitment projects – in short you will be hitting the ground running working as a team to continue to effectively deliver this employer led programme.

You will be working to meet with businesses to identify their workforce development plans and encouraging their desires to meet with young people and working to show our region’s young people that there are career pathways and training opportunities throughout Dumfries and Galloway.

We are looking for someone who understands what it is to work in and as a team, someone not afraid to hit the ground running, be communicative and confident and also have fun!  This is a brilliant, exciting and vibrant project and we need someone who can reflect that whilst having an understanding of how business works so we can all meet the needs of a new generation coming forward.

This is an excellent opportunity to deliver innovative and potentially high profile projects within the business community and work in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders. You should be a self-motivated individual who can manage a range of diverse projects and deliver a high quality level of project management.

Working for DYW DG is an opportunity to be part of an innovative and creative team striving to make an impact and a measurable difference in the world of skills and youth employability.

You will work closely in a small team alongside another Programme Manager and a Programme Director who will provide guidance and leadership. You will be supported by a wider team within Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce.

Responsibilities:

  •          Manage projects from inception to completion and deliver against internal and external deadlines
  •          Demonstrable ability to work effectively with a broad range of internal colleagues and external partners to deliver projects on brief, on time and on budget
  •          Work to achieve pre-set KPIs and other performance indicators
  •          Work as part of the team to use creative marketing and networking to get business involved with DYW DG programme of work
  •          Work with key partners in education services to ensure a range of DYW activities are delivered across schools in the region
  •          Play a key role in the reduction of youth unemployment by engaging with partners and stakeholders
  •          Deliver impact on key equalities issues by working with partners
  •          Develop, deliver or support events which progress the DYW agenda eg Business Breakfasts, Sector Forums, Digital Events, and Jobs Fairs
  •          Provide timely Management Information and reports
  •          Any other relevant duties which may be required
  •          Strong project and time management skills
  •          Significant experience of employer engagement and stakeholder management while building firm relationships and networks
  •          Clear evidence of ability to liaise and facilitate discussion at senior management level, where appropriate
  •          Collaborative working with various types of stakeholders (internal and external)
  •          Good interpersonal skills including, communication, influencing, negotiating and listening
  •          Experience of partnership working across the education or employability sectors
  •          Strong track record of team working
  •          Effective decision-making skills and ability to use own initiative
  •          Self-starter and ability to work with limited supervision within a small team
  •          Ability to identify gaps and opportunities, creating solutions and acting upon these in a proactive and engaging manner
  •          Highly organised, with ability to self-plan and prioritise workloads
  •          Effective IT skills, particularly Microsoft Office
  •          Evaluating and Analysis skills
  •          Knowledge and understanding of the regional labour market
  •          A passion for playing a key role in making a difference to the region by working directly with the business community in partnership with key stakeholders
  •          Experience of working in the education or employability sector or within an economic development environment
  •          Knowledge and understanding of Dumfries and Galloway’s economic issues
  •          Valid UK driving licence with regular access to a car
  •          Willing to regularly travel within the region and occasionally travel nationally

Person specification

Desirable

Successful applicant will be subject to PVG check.  This is a fixed-term funded position until March 2021 . The role is based within Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce, Eskdale House, The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries DG1 4ZZ

Salary: Circa £30,000

How to apply -

Application to be a CV and a covering letter explaining why you wish the role and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday 25 February 2019 with interviews being held in March

Community Fight Back Against High Street Absentee Landlords To Continue

Dumfries’ Midsteeple Quarter were upbeat despite failing in their attempt to buy two High Street buildings for the community at an auction in London today. The fantastic response to their Crowdfunding campaign and the positive support from the town and further afield has taken everyone by surprise.

Matt Baker, Project Director for Midsteeple Quarter, commented: “It’s been unbelievable – we’ve raised over £21,000 in small donations in less than 2 weeks, from members of the public in Dumfries and beyond.”

“It’s hugely disappointing that we lost out today, but this was always going to be a long haul and we can’t expect to win every game. The essential facts haven’t changed – we need to re-imagine our town centre as a place with a mixed offer of housing, enterprise space, services and leisure. We really feel like this tide is starting to turn and Dumfries is at the leading edge of this change.”

The group asked fellow citizens to respond to their emergency request to come together, as a town, and bid take 113-119 High Street back into community ownership and challenge the cycle of property speculation. The properties were placed in an auction sale by Pension Fund Columbia Threadneedle, they form part of the group of High Street buildings within the community-led Midsteeple Quarter regeneration project for the town centre.

Local Community Benefit Society, Midsteeple Quarter was recently granted money from the Scottish Land Fund to prepare plans and negotiate with the London-based pension fund for a community buy-out of 113-119 High Street. Without any warning, a high-level decision within the pension fund was taken to dump a number of their derelict Scottish commercial buildings at the auction taking place in London – their buildings in Dumfries.

The bidding took place in London on Tuesday 5th February. The auction for 113-119 High Street escalated very quickly and was in excess of £100,000 in less than 3 minutes. An unknown phone bidder is now the new owner of these buildings, which sold for £142,000.

Matt Baker further commented: “The fight is not over. We have a dream and nothing has changed in that – culture shift does not happen overnight. We’re in it for the long haul. We’d love to talk to the new owner – maybe they share our Dumfries dream and we can work together.”

You can find more about the Midsteeple Quarter project here: http://www.midsteeplequarter.org/

Dumfries Day Centre for Older People are hiring!

DUMFRIES DAY CENTRE FOR OLDER PEOPLE

 

 

 

Part Time Office Assistant required.

10 hours per month (following initial training period).

To assist with financial and administration duties

under the direction of the Service & Development Manager.

This post is subject to PVG check.

Previous experience essential.

For job description and application form please contact

Helen Divitt on 01387 266 401 or

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Closing date for applications is 22 February, 2019.

Interviews will be held on Friday, 8 March, 2019.

 

CVs will not be considered.

MP slams drive-to-work parking tax bombshell

A tax on workers who drive to work and park has been slammed as 'totally ill-thought-out' by Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack.

 

 

The Westminster representative said that he felt compelled to speak out on the move by the SNP Scottish Government because of deep concerns expressed to him by constituents since the plan was revealed.

Details emerged during the Holyrood Budget process when SNP Ministers last week agreed to take forward the parking tax concept to secure Green Party support to vote their financial plans through.

Some estimates put the potential annual cost per vehicle space at more than £400 per year.

Mr Jack said: "Whatever way this is presented, a parking tax on workers using their car to go to their place of employment would be outrageous in a rural area like Dumfries and Galloway.

"This totally ill-thought-out plan would be economically damaging and disruptive, particularly to small businesses, whether the bill falls on the employer or employee. 

"The money ultimately comes from the customers and if prices go up, sales are likely to fall, and that could mean fewer jobs."

Mr Jack also pointed out that public sector vacancies in the region could also become harder to fill as the charges would also apply to vital roles like school teachers.

He said: "It appears the parking levy option would be applied by local authorities as an income stream for themselves.

"That means money generated through their own employees' parking would end up being moved between departments for no gain but creating extra administrative costs."

The former member of the UK Treasury Select Committee pointed out that while the plan was being presented as a green measure to cut car use there was little alternative in the south of Scotland.

He said: "We only have limited public transport and in many towns on-street and public parking are already under intense strain and the situation could become worse under these measures.

"I fear the end result could be even less public parking spaces available as workers use spaces elsewhere and if employers reduce the number of workplace spaces they offer."

Mr Jack added that while local authorities would make the final decision on imposing such a charge, tight council budgets meant the threat would continue to hang over firms adding uncertainty.

The Scottish Conservatives group at Holyrood plan to resist moves to have the tax introduced through the upcoming Transport (Scotland) Bill.

MP urges council caution with tax increase power

A rise in the council tax increase cap from an above inflation three to 4.79 per cent has been condemned by Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack.

The measure was in SNP Scottish Government's Budget which passed a vital vote at Holyrood last week with the support of Green MSPs.

As a result of the agreement, local authorities will have the option of hitting households with a larger than anticipated council tax rise in the 2019/20 financial year which begins in April.

Mr Jack, a former member of the UK Treasury Select Committee, warned that should the full rise be imposed in Dumfries and Galloway, one of Scotland's lowest wage economies, it would add to hardship facing many households.

He said: "I would urge council members to avoid the temptation of imposing the maximum increase available when they decide on the council tax level for this region later in the month.

"Scotland already has higher taxes than other parts of the UK which is damaging competitiveness and the economy."

He pointed out that the UK Government was increasing Scottish Government's block grant by £521 million in real terms in 2019/20, providing an opportunity to SNP Ministers to offer greater support to local authorities.

Mr Jack also opposed a commitment in SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay's Budget to explore introducing legislation allowing councils the power to impose a 'tourist tax.'

 

 

He said that such a levy could prove particularly damaging in Dumfries and Galloway where tourism is an increasingly important industry and employer.

Mr Jack added: "We are right next to Cumbria and the Lake District, which is currently free of such a tax, so to impose a levy on accommodation here could drive potential visitors south of the border."