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The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

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

 

Scots firms more likely to train staff

Seventy-one per cent of Scottish employers offered training to their staff according to the latest findings, a higher rate than England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The findings come from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) 2015 Employer Skills Survey, which also shows that the Scottish training rate has increased from 70 per cent in the last survey (2013). England’s rate was 66 per cent, Wales 63 per cent and Northern Ireland 62 per cent.

The survey also shows that the number of employers reporting a skills gap has fallen five percentage points to 14 per cent, broadly comparable to both England and Wales.

Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment Annabelle Ewing said:

“Today’s survey shows some positive news for Scottish workers and I am very pleased to see that the vast majority of employers are offering training opportunities to their staff. This approach is consistent with the Scottish Government’s work on Developing the Young Workforce – Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy which puts skills development at the heart of our economic growth.

“However, some gaps do remain which is why we will continue to take action to increase training opportunities. We have an ongoing commitment to at least 25,500 Modern Apprenticeships every year – rising to 30,000 by 2020 – as part of a drive to cut youth unemployment by 40 per cent. In order to meet these ambitions we need more employers to get involved with training and developing staff, something which will have considerable benefits to their organisation.

“In addition, Skills Development Scotland has published skills investment plans for key sectors including engineering, construction and the creative arts. As part of our support for the digital sector, Scotland’s first digital skills academy opened its doors in October, with the first graduates due shortly.

“The overall Scottish youth unemployment level and rate fell to their lowest September-November figures since 2006 in figures released earlier this month so it is very clear that progress is being made in supporting more young women and men into jobs. However, we will continue to do everything in our power to drive forward Scotland’s economic growth.”

Substation reassurance urgently needed for Racks residents

Joan McAlpine has written to the Director of Transmission Programmes at Scottish Power demanding community site visits and urgent reassurance about the siting of an electric substation following a meeting with concerned residents in Racks last week.

The upgrading of the electricity transmission network, “Dumfries and Galloway Strategic Reinforcement”, has recently been going through a phase of public consultation, the results of which are due to be published shortly. 

Speaking after the meeting Ms McAlpine said:

“Residents had been told that there was no preferred site or indeed any definite plan for the siting of an electric substation.  Concerns were raised with me following the publication of a leaflet showing a ‘preferred site’ for the substation in a field directly outside homes in Racks.  This leaflet directly contradicts the information given to residents, which now appears to have been incorrect at best and potentially deliberately misleading.

“Residents have very real concerns and the village is wholly against the siting of the substation in this field.  They are worried about potential health implications as well as amenity and loss of quality of life.  They need reassurances quickly.”

Ms McAlpine has now written to Scottish Power to represent the specific concerns of the residents of Racks.  She has demanded that consideration be given to a site south of Racks which is not in sight of villagers’ homes.  She has also requested site visits from Scottish Power representatives. 100 Free Spins on Starburst Slots pokies (No Deposit Needed!) - Casino Smash and free-slots-no-download (here is the link) are the best to play at. No download and sign up needed - all free spins are no deposit required. 

The move builds on the existing support Ms McAlpine is giving to communities concerned about the pylon plan. Her submission to the early consultation on the project outlined their concerns in depth. She will shortly meet with the energy regulator, Ofgem, to demand they consider communities when determining the cost of infrastructure.

DG DYW: Job Opportunities: Finance Officer

The D&G Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with D&G College and the Local Authority, has won a three year, £590k contract to establish a  Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) D&G Regional Group under the terms of the Scottish Government Commission led by Sir Ian Wood.  

The primary aim of the contract is to “promote and facilitate the formation of long term partnerships between individual schools, colleges and employers, and bring employer’s input to activity such as career advice, enterprise education and job search skills in schools".

The contract is an real opportunity to make a positive difference to the future prospects of young people in Dumfries and Galloway.

As a result of this contract we are seeking new members to join us based at both ChamberHQ and our new Stranraer Office

Three job roles are being advertised:

  • Programme Manager (based in Stranraer) (Full time      - salary up to £32,784) 
  • Programme Manager (based in Dumfries) (Full time -      salary up to £32,784) 
  • Finance Administrator (based in Dumfries (part time one day a      week) (£3500 p.a.)

All contracts are up to the end of September 2018, closing date for applications is 7pm on Friday Feburary 5th 2016.

More information on the Finance Officer post is located below:

If you are interested in the post, you are welcome to contact Brian Richardson, the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 07714662508.

To apply please send a covering letter and CV:

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

Or by hard copy to:

DG DYW

DGChamber

Hillhead House

Crichton Campus

Bankend Road

Dumfries

DG1 4UQ

 

******************************************************************************************************************************************

Job Title:      Finance Administrator

Part time one day a week - salary £3500

Three year contract to end of September 2018

Reporting to:  DYW Projects Director (Brian Richardson)

           

Job Description

You will be primarily responsible for monitoring the budgets and as directed by the Projects Director.

 

This is a key support role as part of the Projects Team at D&G Chamber of Commerce Dumfries office. The role requires the ability to act responsively and creatively to multiple requests from a small team.

You will report directly to the Project Director and provide financial reports and analysis for the D&G DYW Board.

Responsibilities:

  •         Producing the monthly management accounts
  •         Monitoring regional budgets
  •         Handling all expense claims
  •         Dealing with enquiries
  •         Compiling information for written reports to the DYW Board
  •         Helping to define and monitor audit trails to Government standards of financial probity
  •         Liaising with key partner organisations as appropriate
  •         Enthusiastic and self-motivated
  •         Excellent interpersonal skills
  •         Experience of data systems and financial budget packages
  •         Strong team worker
  •         Sound organisational skills and ability to work under pressure and deliver to tight deadlines
  •         Good attention to detail
  •         A qualification in a related subject
  •         Previous experience in an office environment
  •         Experience of RUBI and Xero software

Person specification

 

   

Essential     

  •         Enthusiastic and self-motivated
  •         Excellent interpersonal skills
  •         Experience of data systems and financial budget packages
  •         Strong team worker
  •         Sound organisational skills and ability to work under pressure and deliver to tight deadlines
  •         Good attention to detail

 

Desirable

  •         A qualification in a related subject
  •         Previous experience in an office environment

Experience of RUBI and Xero software

DG DYW: Job Opportunities: Project Manager West

The D&G Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with D&G College and the Local Authority, has won a three year, £590k contract to establish a  Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) D&G Regional Group under the terms of the Scottish Government Commission led by Sir Ian Wood.  

The primary aim of the contract is to “promote and facilitate the formation of long term partnerships between individual schools, colleges and employers, and bring employer’s input to activity such as career advice, enterprise education and job search skills in schools".

The contract is an real opportunity to make a positive difference to the future prospects of young people in Dumfries and Galloway.

As a result of this contract we are seeking new members to join us based at our new Stranraer Office

The job role being advertised:

  • Programme Manager (based in Stranraer) (Full time      - salary up to £32,784) 

The contract runs up to the end of September 2018, closing date for applications is 7pm on Friday April 22nd 2016.

More information on the Programme Manager post is located below:

 If you are interested in the post, you are welcome to contact Brian Richardson, the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 07714662508.

To apply please send a covering letter and CV:

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

Or by hard copy to:

DG DYW

DGChamber

Hillhead House

Crichton Campus

Bankend Road

Dumfries

DG1 4UQ

 

 ******************************************************************************************************************************************

Job description for the D&G Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Regional Programme Manager West

Job Title:           DYW Regional Programme Manager

Full time - salary up to £32,784

Three year contract to end of September 2018

Reporting to:  DYW Projects Director (Brian Richardson)

Job Description

The main function of the role will be to support the Project Director in the effective delivery of the D&G DYW employer led programme. You will be actively involved in a regionalised employer led programme of work supported by a small team within the D&G Chamber of Commerce. 

The overall aim of the DYW team is to achieve the Key Performance Indicators set out in the regional DYW plan and agreed with the National DYW Panel. The team roles are demanding, externally facing and highly inclusive. It is an excellent opportunity to deliver innovative and potentially high profile projects activity within the business community and work in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders.

As a regional manager you will be responsible for all aspects of programme development in a specified geographical area of Dumfries and Galloway.  You will be actively involved in strategic planning with schools, colleges and employers and have responsibility for delivery on the ground.  The planned programme of work involves and the establishment of best practice in selected schools and colleges. Once established, the best practice will be rolled out across sixteen schools and two colleges in the D&G region.

Responsibilities:

  •         Establishing employer clusters around schools and ensuring engagement in the employability agenda.
  •         Producing an inclusive best practice solution within your region that allows input from other stakeholders in the field of employability.
  •         Acting as secretariat and supporter of the local employer cluster group.
  •         Supporting the leaders of the regional cluster groups to deliver agreed KPIs.
  •         Representing the regional groups at relevant strategic forums.
  •         Connecting with key stakeholders in the selected region.
  •         Working with the wider team to deliver an excellent programme of work improving youth employment outcomes across the region. An inclusive approach is vital.
  •         Delivering any other relevant duties that may be required.
  •         Educated to degree level or have equivalent work experience
  •         Excellent interpersonal skills
  •         Experience managing programmes of work including managing public sector funding
  •         Evidence of strong stakeholder engagement
  •         Experience of delivering challenging KPIs
  •         Clear evidence of ability to support private sector employers to navigate the public sector system
  •         Self-starter and ability to work with limited supervision in a small team
  •         Ability to identify gaps and opportunities, creating solutions and acting upon these in a proactive and engaging manner
  •         Sound organisational skills and ability to work under pressure and deliver to tight deadlines with minimal resources
  •         A passion for playing a role in making a difference to Dumfries and Galloway by working directly with the business community in partnership with key stakeholders
  •         Experience of at least one of the following - education, youth training, apprenticeships and award frameworks
  •         Experience of working within Community Planning Structure
  •         Knowledge and understanding of Dumfries and Galloway’s economic issues

Person specification                                                                            

Essential                                                                             

  •         Educated to degree level or have equivalent work experience
  •         Excellent interpersonal skills
  •         Experience managing programmes of work including managing public sector funding
  •         Evidence of strong stakeholder engagement
  •         Experience of delivering challenging KPIs
  •         Clear evidence of ability to support private sector employers to navigate the public sector system
  •         Self-starter and ability to work with limited supervision in a small team
  •         Ability to identify gaps and opportunities, creating solutions and acting upon these in a proactive and engaging manner
  •         Sound organisational skills and ability to work under pressure and deliver to tight deadlines with minimal resources

Desirable

  •         Experience of at least one of the following - education, youth training, apprenticeships and award frameworks
  •         Experience of working within Community Planning Structure
  •         Knowledge and understanding of Dumfries and Galloway’s economic issues

Praise in Parliament for Dumfries HGV Training

Dumfries and Galloway companies Nithcree Training and Currie European were praised in the Scottish Parliament this week for their efforts to encourage more people to train as HGV drivers.

Joan McAlpine, MSP for South Scotland, cited the companies’ experience in a debate highlighting the skills shortages in the haulage industry.

Ms McAlpine, who visited Nithcree in advance of her speech,  highlighted the frustrations in accessing funding for training and licenses, and the economic impacts driver shortages cause local businesses.

During the debate Ms McAlpine said:

“The sector is extremely important to my region. I take the opportunity to recognise two Dumfries-based companies—Nithcree Training Services, which has been mentioned, and Currie European Transport—for their efforts in encouraging more people to train as HGV drivers. I spoke to the leaders of both those companies in advance of the debate to get a first-hand view on the challenges and how to overcome them. At Nithcree Training, I spoke to the director, Elizabeth Campbell, to find out more about the shortages. She highlighted the cost of HGV training, which can be prohibitive. In fact, she said that taking someone from scratch to being trained in every kind of HGV and load could cost around £5,000 in certificates and licences.”

Ms McAlpine outlined some of the frustrations faced by industry, including a lack of funding for people to undertake training and the excessive cost of insurance for apprentice training schemes, stating:

“Currie European has an excellent apprenticeship scheme for young people. The company, which has a great relationship with the local schools, takes apprentices from school. Tom Barrie, its owner, said that, although it was and would remain absolutely committed to its apprenticeship scheme, the cost of insurance was prohibitive and the company was looking for any assistance that it could get on that.”

 

She also explained the negative impact of the removal of UK Government overnight tax breaks for drivers and highlighted the economic impact of driver shortages to the wider economy:

“Mr Barrie employs more than 300 people at Currie European but, because of the shortages, he has to turn work away. If he is doing that, it means that the companies that need to get goods to people are not getting them to those people on time.  As other members have said, the shortage of drivers is affecting the economy as a whole.”

The debate was called by Chic Brodie MSP who explained the value of the road haulage sector in Scotland: 

“Its net contribution is more than £5 billion, and it contributes more than 5.5 per cent of the total Scottish gross value added. It is also a vital component in helping to deliver Scotland’s exports which in themselves are a key component of Scotland’s economic strategy: we are on track to double our exports over the period 2012 to 2017. The sector fuels the retail market, secures manufacturing output through the delivery of raw materials and components to industry and also harnesses indigenous industries such as farming and forestry.”

Mr Brodie added that there is a shortage of 11,000 drivers in Scotland and indicated that barriers to recruitment, skills shortages and an understanding of the scale of the issue as well as access to the industry all needed to be addressed.