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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.

 

Scottish Public Sector Employment

Public Sector Employment Statistics for Scotland, released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, show that over the year to Q2 2015, employment in the public sector in Scotland has decreased by 1,400 (down 0.3 per cent) to 545,600.  This decrease is driven by reductions in the reserved public sector, in particular, reductions in the Armed Forces (down 1,000 (9.5 per cent) over the year).

In Q2 2015, public sector employment accounted for 21.0 per cent of total employment in the country and private sector employment accounts for 79.0 per cent of total employment in Scotland.

Employment in the private sector in Scotland has decreased by 0.1 per cent over the past year with 2,048,500 people employed in the private sector.

In Scotland, the devolved public sector decreased by 200 over the year while the reserved public sector decreased by 1,200.

If the major reclassifications were to be excluded from the public sector series, there would be an estimated 531,800 people employed in the public sector in Q2 2015, a decrease of 1,100 (0.2 per cent) from 532,900 in Q2 2014.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

New national events strategy

 

A new ten year collaborative strategy to grow Scotland’s £3.5 billion events industry was unveiled today.

‘Scotland – The Perfect Stage’ sets out how Scotland can enhance its reputation nationally and internationally as the perfect stage for events.

Today’s strategy updates the previous version, which culminated in the unprecedented success of 2014 when Scotland hosted the 20th Commonwealth Games, 2014 Cultural Programme, The Ryder Cup and more than 1,000 events in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme.

Produced with over 100 contributions from the public, private and third sectors, the strategy covers everyone involved in planning, securing, supporting and delivering events in Scotland. This includes major events of international significance and smaller events supporting local communities.

At the centre of the strategy is equal responsibility for delivery on the Scottish Government, the Events and Festivals sector and individual event organisers. This represents a more collaborative approach to ensure that Scotland continues to develop, improve and invest in the events industry.

According to the Scottish Events and Festivals Association (SEFA), the industry is currently worth an estimated £3.5 billion a year to the Scottish economy.

 

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said:

 

“The events and festivals sector is a major contributor to the Scottish economy locally and internationally, creating jobs and making a significant contribution to our standing on the world stage.

“This strategy draws on Scotland’s credentials as the perfect stage for events and the learnings from what was an unprecedented year for us in 2014. It sets out how we will build on our existing experience, expertise and reputation for hosting successful events by working together with a wide range of public, private and third sector organisations to develop an even stronger, more dynamic events industry for Scotland.

“This will ensure Scotland continues to develop, improve and invest in events over the next ten years, with clear economic, social and reputational benefits for Scotland.” 

 

VisitScotland Chairman, Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, said: 

Events are an increasingly crucial part of Scotland’s tourism offering. In 2014, the eyes of the world were on Scotland as we celebrated the Year of Homecoming, The Ryder Cup and XX Commonwealth Games. We continue to build on that momentous year and show that Scotland’s facilities, infrastructure and, most importantly, warm and welcoming people make it the perfect stage to deliver major events to the highest standards.

“The national strategy unveiled today will be a valuable tool in helping to galvanise the event industry, building confidence, harnessing skills and cementing our reputation as a leading destination for international events. This year Scotland has already played host to the IPC Swimming World Championships and FEI European Eventing Championships, while The Turner Prize and World Gymnastics Championships are all due here before the end of 2015. With our new strategy I look forward to welcoming even more world-class events to our shores in the future.”

Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Events and Festivals Champion for the Scottish Tourism Alliance explained, however,thatit is also crucial for the strategy to nurture local events, which deliver very real benefits for communities nationwide. He said:

“The Perfect Stage is not only a description of Scotland’s offer to events and festivals organisers but it is also an aspiration of what we have to work towards. The strategy sets out clearly how we can all play our part in delivering growth. It is crucial we nurture all our events, not just those that make headlines but those with local character and reach - those that contribute so much to communities. 

“Most importantly, the strategy provides a framework for thinking and a guide for further graft. It invites us to work together to upskill our staff, to develop the local, national and international offers, to be innovative in staging existing events and growing new ones, all the while looking to the needs of potential customers and audiences who are looking to be inspired.”

 

 

Council Tax Reduction for over half a million Scots

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released the latest Council Tax Reduction estimates. In June 2015, Scotland’s Council Tax Reduction scheme supported 515,260 households and the total weekly income foregone by local authorities was £6.5 million.

The statistics show a gradual decrease in the number of people in receipt of Council Tax Reduction since the scheme was introduced in Scotland in April 2013. The number of recipients decreased by 6.7 per cent between April 2013 and June 2015.

Youth employment rising

Official statistics released today by the ONS, covering the period May to July 2015, show that youth employment levels in Scotland increased by 25,000 over the year to reach its highest level for this time of year since 2005.

With Scotland’s youth unemployment level also falling to its lowest level for this time of year since 2008, Scotland has a higher youth employment rate and a lower youth unemployment rate than the UK.

While the number of people unemployed in Scotland stayed the same over the quarter, it rose by 10,000 in the UK.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham welcomed the figures at the launch of the Report of the Ministerial Group on Offender Reintegration in Glasgow.

She was speaking alongside Justice Secretary Michael Matheson and highlighted employment as a key means to reducing reoffending. She said:

“I am particularly pleased to see improvements in youth employment figures in the same week that the Scottish Government has given Scotland’s local authorities an additional £5.8 million to deliver a range of activity to support more young people into jobs.

“This is further evidence that the road Scotland has taken, to bring schools, college and employers together, is the right one. I expect to see further progress in the coming months as we push for a 40 per cent reduction in youth unemployment by 2021.

“However, while the overall economic picture remains generally very positive, particularly when compared to where we were at the peak of the recession, there remains work to be done.

“We must maintain momentum and ensure that every power at our disposal is used to grow the economy, increase employment, lower unemployment and remove barriers to the jobs market.

“We are currently consulting on how employability services for disabled people and those at risk of long-term unemployment will look after these powers are devolved to Scotland in 2017. This is a real opportunity to design a service that is tailored to the needs of Scots looking for work and I would urge everyone to have their say.”

Ms Cunningham also welcomed the report on offender reintegration and added:

“This week we have also extended funding for this year’s Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) to include young people with convictions aged 25 to 29 to take up opportunities for up to 12 months. CJS helps vulnerable people, including offenders, overcome barriers to employment and provides real work experience in a more supportive environment, further boosting Scotland’s economic growth.”

Scam ALERT

Our Council's Trading Standards Services have been made aware that a Charity/Emergency Service magazine scam is currently targeting businesses in the area.

This scam works when a business receives a letter or phone call asking them to place an advert in a magazine. Businesses are led to believe that they are being contacted by Trading Standards, the Emergency Services or by a well-known charity. Businesses are then receiving invoices for art work, with aggressive demands for payment

Please beware the phone number that may contact you may appear to be a local phone number.

New businesses may be targeted as they may be unaware of this practice and be more likely to be harmed by this scam. If you think you have been targeted recently, in particular if the claimed to come from Trusted Trader , Dumfries and Galloway Council or Trading Standards, please let us know by sending the details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.