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Youth employment what’s to be done?


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Edinburgh Chamber – Top UK Chamber for new membership 2011 BC issue 18.indd 1

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A truly Inspiring Capital

Contents 04

New Council leader Andrew Burns outlines his offer to business


Coming back to work in Edinburgh after years away has been a tremendously rewarding experience. Telford College Principal Miles Dibsdall on tackling youth unemployment

I last worked here as an accountant 25 years ago - and like most Scots have great affection for the city and its heritage. What I hadn’t fully prepared for was the way its networks and institutions are working more closely than ever before, supporting the economic growth and quality of life that is essential to our future prosperity.Your Chamber of Commerce is at the heart of these networks - making the connections that bring more opportunity to our members and their companies. The discovery of the Higgs Boson particle, a truly monumental scientific advance, was the result of work undertaken here, in the University of Edinburgh, by Professor Peter Higgs. He is a truly worthy recipient of The Edinburgh Medal, and deserves international recognition in the form of a Nobel Prize. Taking in the scale of this achievement, it occurred to me there is something about this city- its heritage, its culture, its networks and institutions- that incubates talent and makes it a global centre of energy and ideas. These are the drivers of economic growth, prosperity and jobs in a global environment for investment that is increasingly competitive. This month, the city will burst into creative life as its Festivals (worth an estimated £245 million annually to the Scottish economy) take to the stage. Making the transition from Festival tourist to Festival resident will be an easy one for me, because we’ve been making the trip for some years now. It’s a celebration of cultural excellence that is worth of its global status and leveraging its potential still further to attract investment, jobs and prosperity is a high priority for your Chamber and its partners. Have a great Festival!

03 04 05 07 08 12 13 15 16|17

Introduction / contents Council Leader promises new approach to business support Taking a big step forward on the information highway Capital view He’s back! Gordon Dewar returns to take the helm at the Airport. Chamber news Be the best Going international Inspiring connections

19 60 seconds

24|25 The Interview 26|29 Youth Employment feature

37 In the spotlight

38 Chamber Policy

41 Ask the expert / get with IT

44 Getting started

47 New members

49 Partners in enterprise

50 Movers & shakers

Business Comment is an Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce publication. All editorial a n d g en eral en qu iries: Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Tel: 0131 221 2999 email Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, Capital House, 2 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SU President: Robert Carr Chief Executive: Dave Birrell BUSINESS COM M ENT EDITOR Mayan Grace, Tel: 0131 221 2971 Email: P RODUCTION & DESIGN Distinctive Publishing, 8th Floor, Aidan House, Sunderland Road, Gateshead NE8 3HU Tel: 0845 884 2385 ADVERTISING Distinctive Publishing, 8th Floor, Aidan House, Sunderland Road, Gateshead NE8 3HU Tel: 0845 884 2345 FEATURE EDITORS John Dean & Francis Griss

David Birrell


Distinctive Publishing or Business Comment cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and Business Comment.

chief executive

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Chambernews Council Leader promises new approach to business support The new leader of City of Edinburgh Council Andrew Burns has set out his vision for a new partnership with business. Writing for BC Andrew Burns said: “The Council’s new Economic Strategy is built firmly around the theme of ‘sustainable growth through investment in jobs’ and our commitment to a co-operative council means that we recognise that this can only be achieved through partnership and co-operation. I am very aware that Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is a key strategic partner for the Council. The Chamber has helped guide the development of the new Economic Strategy and are an important operational partner helping to deliver strategic programmes. In establishing the 50 or so key pledges to the stakeholders and public in Edinburgh the newly created Capital Coalition fully intends to implement its vision by developing both the city infrastructure and its people to support the conditions for positive economic activity. We fully intend to complete the trams project and work with public organisation to promote Edinburgh to investors, we want to support the development of the city’s gap sites and encourage regeneration, we will set up a forum to promote locally owned retail businesses and look to offer unused Council premises to small businesses. Keeping our communities safe, streets clean and supporting festivals and events all contribute to quality of life here and this high quality environment keeps tourists coming and attracts investors. Our pledges show we will more than play our part. The Economic Strategy sets the Council a number of specific targets. Over the period 2012-15, the Council will: n Help Edinburgh businesses create and safeguard 20,000 jobs in the city n Support £1.3 billion of development in Edinburgh n Support the movement into work or learning of 10,000 people.

Our programme for meeting these targets is structured around four priority areas: n Investing in the city’s development and regeneration n Supporting inward investment n Supporting businesses, and n Helping unemployed people into work and learning No one partner or organisation in the city has sufficient influence to drive development of the economy alone. Pooling knowledge, expertise and resources of partner organisations is the best way to enhance our capacity to support the economy. The recent work undertaken in the Council’s Economic Review highlighted the importance to the city of established sector strengths


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Councillor Andrew Burns

such as Finance, Renewables, Life Sciences, Information Technology and Business Services, Tourism and the Creative Industries. It makes sense to create new opportunities by facilitating strong links between the creative community and the information technology and business services which will deliver benefits for small businesses within the city as well as our major Arts Festivals. Strong and effective leadership from the public and private sectors will be needed to enhance Edinburgh’s competitiveness as a business location and the Capital Coalition has been clear and focussed in its commitment to this. We will report regularly with progress on our pledges and expect to be held to account by both business interests and the electorate. There is nothing like it to spur you on. We must always ensure that people, the residents of Edinburgh, are at the heart of our efforts to create new wealth in the city. I want to create the energy and direction within the Council to support initiatives across the sectors to take on some of our economic challenges and create good quality, sustainable jobs at a time of great turmoil in the world economy. I know I need your support to achieve this. “

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‘Business tailor’ opens doors to colleges and universities

One giant step for Edinburgh as ‘superfast broadband’ comes to town. In the spring we reported that Edinburgh was in position to receive a share of a £100 million capital fund from the UK Government to make the capital a ‘super-connected city’ by 2015. In the March Budget Statement the Chancellor confirmed that Edinburgh’s outline proposal for the ‘Connected Capital’ Programme had been accepted and that Edinburgh would receive funding in the range of £8-11M, subject to the terms of a detailed business case. Working with infrastructure advisors Atkins and Farrpoint, a local technology consultancy SME, the City of Edinburgh Council has been working on the detailed business case, which was submitted to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport at the beginning of August. Formal confirmation of the final level of funding for Edinburgh is due in mid September. Once received, and ratified by


the Council, work will then progress to the procurement phase, with the target for initial roll-out of investment by mid 2013. Edinburgh already benefits from the highest average connection speeds in the UK, according to OFCOM. The programme, whilst focused on improving the city’s digital infrastructure, is seeking a wider set of benefits for the city, where digital participation by citizens, visitors and businesses is enhanced and additional value generated. Sue Bruce, Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council agrees “The fund will support Edinburgh’s continuing competitiveness as an investment location, a tourism destination and as a nurturing environment for small businesses.”


n Free Collection Service n Inserting & Collating n Labelling & Sealing n Mailsort Services n Postage Discount* n Database Management n Mailmerge Services n Response Handling n Next Day Local & National Deliveries * Depending on mailing meeting criteria

A new service has been launched to help bring together businesses, universities and colleges. The Business Tailor, a partnership between nine leading universities and colleges across the east of Scotland, has been designed to provide businesses with straightforward access to expertise, facilities and funding. Through a single point of contact, the Business Tailor helps businesses identify the most suitable partner to meet their needs. The combination of university and college expertise across a range of industry sectors means that bespoke solutions are provided at a level that is right for each individual business. To help businesses to develop and become more competitive, the Business Tailor also provides Scottish Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with access to an Innovation Fund up to £5,000 to collaborate with one or more of its partners. Follow-on funding of up to £10,000 is also available to further develop existing relationships between SMEs and the Business Tailor. To find out how your business could benefit from working with the Business Tailor and for further details on the Innovation Fund, visit: The Business Tailor is managed by Edinburgh Napier University, working in partnership with Queen Margaret University, University of St Andrews, Carnegie College, Edinburgh’s Telford College, Elmwood College, Jewel & Esk College, Oatridge College and Stevenson College Edinburgh. Business Tailor is funded by the Scottish Funding Council and the European Regional Development Fund.

EDINBURGH MAILING SERVICES LTD Tel: 0131 552 4085 Fax: 0131 551 5145 24 New Broompark Edinburgh EH5 1RS For more information or a Free Quotation don’t hesitate to contact us.

Tel: 0131 552 4085 August/September 2012

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Planning & Development Consultants


0141 221 0316


0131 225 7243

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Capitalview What Edinburgh means to me As an Irishman, from Dublin, I definitely don’t feel like a fish out of water. Culturally and socially there are many parallels, though Dublin has a large dollop of Glasgow thrown in for good measure. Having lived in Alloway, on the west coast, for three years while based at Turnberry we migrated east six years ago. We lived in the Hotel for the first three years which was great fun. Of all the cities and all the hotels you could do this in Edinburgh, the Sheraton Grand has got to be the best. It is a city that is full of life and different experiences at any time of day and rich in culture. It is also a very easy city to live in and what it lacks in scale it certainly makes up for in personality along with all the trappings of a capital city. Three years ago we started the extensive refurbishment works at the hotel which necessitated our departure from the hotel as a home. We opted to move to Cramond and have thoroughly enjoyed everything that it has to offer. Given that the boys were getting bigger it was good timing. I have to confess that we like being removed from the

city. I still enjoy the view of the Forth as I come past Lauriston Castle and I still can’t believe that my commute is less than fifteen minutes. But what do I love most about living in Edinburgh? Yes of course there are the restaurants, the schools, the Museums and the parks, but Edinburgh is a city that gives you more of what we all want, time. As an hotelier Edinburgh is a fantastic city to work. It is fair to say that recent years have been tough, for everyone, but it is such a compelling place to visit and has so much to offer the many tourists, business travellers and conference delegates that flock to the city. My time in Edinburgh has been dominated by our project to completely transform the entire hotel and I was truly delighted to officially re-launch it in April. This may have been a contributing factor to the last six years passing in the blink of an eye.

JP Kavanagh,

General Manager, Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh

Think tank calls for dramatic shake up in rates regime Reform Scotland has called for non-domestic rates to be devolved in full to local authorities, paving the way for a variable business rate in different areas of Scotland. The proposal would mean that local authorities keep the revenue they collect from business rates instead of handing it back to the Scottish Government to be redistributed as part of its grant to councils. In order to ensure that no council loses out, Reform Scotland is proposing that in the first year of operation, Scottish Government grants to each council should be based on the grant they received the previous year, less the business rates collected. Therefore, in the first year of the new system no council would be better or worse off. In the succeeding years, councils would have total discretion to vary their rate

and be responsible for the amount they charged. Councils would also have discretion over how the tax operated in their area. Reform Scotland’s Chairman Ben Thomson said: “The best way to encourage responsible fiscal decisions at local authority level is to give them more responsibility. Making councils the guardians of their own risk and reward will give them back the accountability which is missing as a result of too much central control.

As a whole, the proposals would increase the proportion of councils’ income over which they have direct responsibility from under 12% to almost one-third.

“Crucially, this devolution will offer councils an incentive to develop their local economy.” In addition to the proposal on business rates, Reform Scotland calls for councils to be given full power over council tax, including how and to whom it applies, and the ability to levy new or alternative taxes, such as the bed tax proposed by Edinburgh Council.

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Businessnews He’s back! Gordon Dewar returns to take the helm at the Airport. Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) has formally taken ownership of Edinburgh Airport, and immediately moved to appoint its former MD under BAA, Gordon Dewar as the first CEO of the new era. Gordon joins from his role as CEO of Bahrain International Airport and Michael McGhee, the GIP partner who led the acquisition of Edinburgh Airport, said: “Gordon is an outstanding airport executive, with relevant experience of Edinburgh Airport. “We are pleased to have secured his return and look forward to supporting him and his team as they begin the important job of establishing Edinburgh Airport as a more dynamic, competitive player in the global aviation industry. “It is important to acknowledge the important role played by current airport managing director, Jim O’Sullivan, who has steered his team through the sale process with the highest levels of professionalism and focus.

Heading home: Gordon Dewar

He will leave Edinburgh Airport in good shape, and with our best wishes.” Gordon, who was managing director of Edinburgh Airport between 2008 and 2010, said: “Edinburgh is my home city, and I am excited to be returning to one of the most important jobs in the Capital. “The challenge of leading the airport and

the team into a new era of competition and growth is an irresistible one, and very different to the role I once played in BAA. “Edinburgh Airport’s future, its plans and its identity, will all be shaped in Edinburgh, and our decisions will only be influenced by what is good for Edinburgh Airport, and the city and country we serve.”

Airport takes a bow for second year running. Edinburgh Airport was voted the Best European Airport: 5m - 10m Passengers at the 8th Annual ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards in Madrid for the second year in a row. Scotland’s busiest airport was singled out by judges for its focus on its customer base – both passengers and airlines – and its responsiveness to the feedback that these customers provide.


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This is the second consecutive victory for the airport in this category and it sees Edinburgh cement its position as one of the leading airports of its size. Outgoing CEO Jim O’Sullivan said: “This is an outstanding achievement.  To win the prestigious award for the second consecutive year is impressive enough, but to do so whilst having the challenge of being sold is truly amazing. 

“The team at Edinburgh Airport is dedicated, focused and deserving of this accolade.  We will keep working hard to deliver what our passengers want – great service and a diverse range of routes.  That’s what’s at the core of this and last year’s success.” Other airports in Edinburgh’s size group include Cologne, Birmingham, Luton, Nice, Marseille and Milan.

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Government invests in experience as bank takes shape The Edinburgh based UK Green Investment Bank has announced its senior board appointments. New Chair Lord Smith of Kelvin has a strong financial services background, having chaired the group set up by the Financial Reporting Council in 2003 to clarify the role of audit committees. Sir Adrian Montague has been appointed as Deputy Chair and Senior Independent Director. Sir Adrian, who is chair of companies including 3i and Anglian Water Group, has been chairing the GIB Advisory Group and has been closely involved with the development of the bank. Lord Smith said: “It is a pleasure to be asked by the Business Secretary to chair this groundbreaking institution.”

challenges of our age, the decarbonisation of our energy supply. It has found two candidates of outstanding calibre well suited to leading the bank through its important early phase.” Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: “This is a UK institution, headquartered in Edinburgh and supported by a strong team in London, and the news that Lord Smith and Sir Adrian Montague have been appointed is another step towards the bank opening for business. “They bring a wealth of experience to the roles and will bring that to bear as we look to encourage private sector investment in key energy projects.” The board has been recruiting the company’s other directors and senior executive team with a view to having the UK GIB fully operational this autumn. Further information can be found at

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The UK GIB is a major new innovation vital to securing investment in what is one of the great

Biggart Baillie merge with DWF National business law firm DWF and Scottish commercial law firm Biggart Baillie have merged, the third merger that DWF has announced in six months. DWF, which has offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, says the merger with Biggart Baillie will further strengthen its presence across the UK. Both DWF and Biggart Baillie have strong reputations for excellence in their respective specialist sectors, many of which – such as real estate, retail and energy and infrastructure - are aligned across both businesses. Andrew Leaitherland, managing partner at DWF, said: “We have ambitious growth plans and are always looking for ways to enhance our offering for clients and strengthen our UK-wide presence. Similarly, Biggart Baillie was keen to continue to expand and provide increased services for its growing client base outside of Scotland.” Alasdair Peacock, at Biggart Baillie, said: “These are positive times in a rapidly changing legal market. Competition is fierce and this merger will enhance our ability to continue to compete at the top end of the market on quality and sector expertise.“


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Where contact matters…

By joining our growing team your business will benefit from regular opportunities to network with like-minded senior business people from across Edinburgh and the wider business community. Membership starts at £2,500 excl. VAT and includes: t 4 season tickets and two car park passes for all Edinburgh regular season home games t Access to the Edinburgh Rugby Business Club members bar on match days t Table of ten hospitality places at a Heineken Cup match t Two places at all Edinburgh Rugby Business Club Events t Member status and listing on the club’s website t Listing on the Business Club members page in Heineken Cup match programmes t Right to buy two tickets to all of Scotland’s home games


Show your support for Edinburgh Rugby by contacting Angus Crabbie on 0131 346 5260 or

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system and is the most disabling neurological condition in young adults. MS can strike at any time and can devastate lives. It is, as yet incurable. Scotland has amongst the highest prevalence of MS in the world with over 10,500 people affected by the condition. Recently scientists funded by the MS Society made a landmark breakthrough. They discovered that it is possible to reverse or even stop the damage caused by MS. This gives real hope to the thousands of families affected by MS so that one day we will beat MS.

For more information about MS and our work please visit or call us on 0131 335 4050 Multiple Sclerosis Society. Registered charity nos 1139257/SCO41990. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales 07451571.


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0 12 V E M B E R 2Advisor, O N R E B SEPTEM Liu Li, Chief

nder, nfirme d: Dr McColl, Fou m Ji *; e Sp eakers co c n ia ll 5 -Star A ard Life. Werkhart W W David Nish, CEO, Stand ; rs Clyde Blowe cture design group. * China’s lead

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Chambernews New Edinburgh Office for Muir Smith Evans Leading independent Planning and Development Consultants Muir Smith Evans has recently moved its Edinburgh office to 23 Castle Street. This small niche practice continues to punch above its weight and advise on some of the largest and most sensitive commercial development projects across Scotland. The last year has seen continued expansion of their portfolio of work and clients including

work across the UK and growing work in onshore and offshore renewables sectors as well as core business of coordinating major masterplan applications, providing technical input and advice for major retail and commercial proposals and managing Environmental Impact Assessments working closely with other leading practices. Rob Evans, Partner in Edinburgh is upbeat about future prospects “we have seen a growth in contact from London based funds and investors who appear to like the approach of a niche practice – in challenging times for the property industry they have been more discerning in their choice of consultant”. Overall this appears to have put the practice in a strong position and they are looking at opportunities to expand with the potential for one or two other senior appointments.

New Chief Planner introduced John McNairney has just been appointed new Chief Planner, Scottish Government following on from Jim McKinnon and will be working closely with Derek Mackay, Planning Minister to continue to deliver improvements to the delivery of the planning system in Scotland. Planning Reform the Next Steps was published earlier this year and sets out a series of actions to further simplify and streamline the planning system.These cover four themes of promoting the plan led system; driving improved performance; simplifying and streamlining processes; and delivering development.

Napier recycles 95 tonnes of ‘office waste’ Edinburgh Napier University’s relocation of 600 workstations to the newly-refurbished Sighthill Campus led to furniture being donated to a recycling scheme.

Equipment Directive) and further clearance of offices. It brought in Recycle Scotland, the Country’s leading furniture and office equipment recycling enterprise, to help.

The move included the consolidation of the Faculty of Health, which was originally dispersed over seven locations, in addition to all professional services departments.

Andy Knight, of Recycle Scotland, said “In total, the relocation and consolidation to the Sighthill Campus resulted in over 95 tonnes of potential ‘waste’ being produced.

Space Solutions, who managed the relocation, handled the recycling of furniture, environmentally-friendly disposal of equipment under WEEE regulations (Waste Electrical and Electronic

“Recycle Scotland ensured materials were re-used locally where possible and recycled where necessary meaning the University helped the local community and the environment.”

Colin, Holiday Inn Edinburgh, had the pleasure of hosting the Olympic Torch Relay team in June as the Olympic flame travels around the UK.


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BetheBest Write outstanding content for your website Both what you say and how you say it need time and attention when it comes to web content. Whether you are creating a new website or keeping on top of an existing one, the content is critical to attracting traffic and making your site work for your business. Yes, put time and effort into thinking about the structure, design and technical aspects of your site, but remember that it is the content that will convert visitors into customers. As a web copywriter and editor I spend time working with clients to help them write content which connects with their audience, uses the words they would use and responds to their needs and wants. So what are the top tips for writing content that will work online? Most people know that keeping it short is vital, but what else matters? Think about your audience! Know who you are writing for and what they are trying to do.

Be focused and selective in what you include – make sure it works for you and your readers. Write bold headlines and use active language that will draw your readers in to the site. Write in a clear, direct style. Avoid unnecessary words, management speak and business jargon. Include regularly changing content on your site, to keep your audience involved, whether it is news, articles or a blog (and use social media to promote these elements on your site). take material down if it’s out of date. Google’s advice about how to write for search engines makes it clear that the most important thing you can do if you want people to visit your site is to write relevant, compelling copy – an incentive to get our heads down and get writing if ever I heard one! Want help to be the best at writing web content? Join our next Writing for the Web training day, led by Hilary Phillips, on Wed 15 August.

Hilary Phillips

Hilary Phillips runs specialist copywriting and training agency Cygnus Extra

Sir Robert McAlpine is proud to be helping shape a new future for Scotland through projects including the delivery of a new stadium for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Scott House, Mid New Cultins West One Business Park Edinburgh EH11 4DH

Tel: 0131 458 4255 Fax: 0131 458 4254 Email:

Quartermile Development

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Speed of light show on Arthur’s seat

Edinburgh is home to Cultural Olympiad Edinburgh is set to play a starring role in the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the largest artistic celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic movements. As the London 2012 Olympics are now in full swing, awareness has grown of the parallel programme – the Cultural Olympiad – designed to showcase the UK’s rich arts and culture.

remarkable fusion of public art and sporting endeavour. The iconic mountain will be brought to life by 5,000 participants in a mass choreographed act of walking and endurance running.

Since its inception in Paris in 1906 as an Olympic Arts Competition, the Cultural Olympiad programme has expanded in line with the scope of its better-known sporting partner. However, this year’s Cultural Olympiad will be the most ambitious yet, not only in terms of size and number of events but in remit and aims… helped significantly by Edinburgh’s involvement as the home of the world’s largest annual arts programme.

Combined, the Edinburgh Festivals attract around 4 million attendees, involve more than 25,000 artists and 3,000 venues; generating in excess of £261 million for the Scottish economy. Of this, £245 million is injected into the Edinburgh City Region directly.

As the world’s elite and emerging athletes gather in London for the London 2012 Olympics, the world’s elite and top emerging talent will be drawn to Edinburgh for this year’s Edinburgh Summer Festivals Cultural Olympiad highlights Include NVA’s programme. speed of Light: this August, Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat will be the stage for a


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Amy Saunders, Special Projects Lead for Festivals Edinburgh commented: “Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, drew on Australia’s experience during the 2000 Sydney Olympics to propose a joint strategic approach to how Edinburgh’s Festivals could connect more effectively in an Olympic year and enhance relations with stakeholders; locally, nationally, and internationally, while also looking towards the Commonwealth Games in 2014.” By working closely with partners including the Scottish Government, The City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland, VisitScotland, The Chamber of Commerce and British Council, a strategy emerged to extract maximum return from Edinburgh’s recognised festival pedigree. Not only has this joined up approach contributed towards the largest Cultural Olympiad in the history of the modern Olympic movement, it also serves to showcase Scotland, and in particular Edinburgh’s appeal as a business, education and tourism destination. For further information on Festivals Edinburgh please visit This article first appeared in Invest Edinburgh invest

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Goinginternational International offer to Chamber members Edinburgh Chamber member Cormack Consultancy Group (CCG) is expanding quickly. The Peebles-based international business development consultancy has announced the opening of three new offices to supplement their offices in Latvia and Lithuania. In April, the company opened an office in Moscow, and in June the company opened offices in India and Italy.

The company works with UK based companies looking to work internationally, and over the past eleven years have helped well over 300 companies develop and deliver strategies for export, outsourcing, inward investment and supply chain development. The company is offering Chamber members the chance of a free internationalisation report for their business, Charles Cormack, CEO of CCG, said: “Over the past eleven years we have developed a roadmap for companies looking to develop internationally. Part of the process of expanding our services we are offering companies a free consultation,

and report which will identify the areas of their business that would benefit from internationalisation.” If you would like to arrange an initial meeting please contact

Free membership of Malt Whisky Society for Chamber members after work or enjoy tailor-made whisky tastings and events. • Exclusive access to the world’ widest and finest selection of single cask, single malts. Each of the Society’s venues is fully-stocked with unique, one-of-a-kind bottles. • Preferential room rates to host tastings, dinners, receptions, meetings or any other occasion..

We have teamed up with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society to let our members have a taste of what membership of this prestigious Society offers. Choose to partake in a complimentary month’s trial membership and enjoy: • Access to three beautiful venues in Edinburgh and London, which can be used to entertain clients and guests. With bespoke private rooms, there is ample space to have informal meetings - choose to have breakfast, lunch or dinner, have a few drinks

• Unique entertainment - purchase exclusive Society Tasting and Events tickets at members’ rates • A welcome offer of ‘First dram is on us...’ when you first visit any of the Society venues.

• Invitation to a Chamber/Society partnership event hosted at one of the Society’s Edinburgh venues • Four temporary ‘Trial Membership Cards’, each card can sign-in up to three guest at a Society venue To celebrate the launch of our new partnership we’re holding a special evening at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, 28 Queen Street on Wed 22nd August from 6pm, where you’ll be able to find out more about the Society, sign up for this trial offer – and of course sample some of their mouth-watering whisky. For more details and to book e-mail or visit

• Good Company Membership rates (an additional 5% discount) on all event bookings confirmed within the trial period • Preferential membership rates at the end of the trial of No Joining Fee, meaning a reduction from £410 to £260

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02 04 01 03

Visits Stephen Leonard, UK CEO at IBM was our guest speaker at the May dinner At our June dinner we were joined by Mike Putnam, CEO of Skanska



Stephen Leonard from IBM with Robert Carr, President of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce


John Longworth, Director General of British Chambers met with President Robert Carr and Chief Executive, David Birrell, of the Edinburgh Chamber during his visit in May


A Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce trade delegation in May

Summer party and barbeque at the Glasshouse hotel in June 07

Guests playing croquet on the lawn at our summer party Monica Camino Moreno and Lee Williamson from Angela Translations & Language Solutions with Roger Colkett from Brightedge Project Management


Bernadette Nicol, JCDecaux with Brendan Walsh, Hawthorn Business Group and Lindsay Emery from the George Hotel



Mike Putman, CEO of Skanska with Robert Carr, President of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce



Tom Halpin from SACRO with Clare Lacey from Quayle Munro and Bill Fowler from Semple Fraser

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Paul Humphrey and Greig Jamieson from Skanska with Nicola Melrose from the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Martina Hlinkova from the Royal Society of Edinburgh with Stephen Rowntree from Carbon Financial Partners Ltd

Photos by Graham Carnie, Tuskite Photography

Premier Series Dinners

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Photos by Graham Carnie, Tuskite Photography

Photos by Graham Carnie, Tuskite Photography





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Inspiringconnections Upcoming Events Premier Series Lunch - Engaging with Policy Makers

chat informally over a buffet lunch after the Speed Networking. Book now as places are limited. ONLY 1 PERSON PER COMPANY CAN ATTEND THIS EVENT

Tuesday 7 August 2012 | 12.00pm - 2.00pm

Location Ghillie-Dhu, Rutland place, Edinburgh

Description The Premier Series dinners are acknowledged to be the ‘best in class’ in Scotland, combining an enlightening speaker with highlevel networking in a successful format. We’d like to invite you to join us as we transfer the formula to lunch. On August 7th, join us to discuss ‘Policy-Making’. How do you influence policymakers in local and national government? Hear and questions our distinguished speaker Amy Dalrymple Policy Manager at Scottish Chamber of Commerce.

Fee £30.00 (Chamber members and member guests) £60.00 (non-members) For further information or to book your place contact the events team on 0131 221 2972 or e-mail

Location The Bonham, 35 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh

New Members Evening


Thursday 20 September 2012 | 5.30pm - 7.00pm

£38.00 (Chamber members and member guests) £58.00 (non-members)

Description New members are welcomed along to a complimentary evening with Edinburgh Chamber. Come along, meet the team over a cup of tea and network with our newest additions at this low key relaxed evening. We will also hear from current member’s experiences and the value they have found with different aspects of chamber benefits.

After Hours with La Garrigue Thursday 13 September 2012 | 5.30pm - 7.30pm Description Why not join us for our popular After Hours? There aren’t any demonstrations, speakers or sales promotions just everybody mingling and chatting. Remember it’s not always what you know, but who you know, so with a room full of business people, this is a fantastic opportunity to meet potential new customers and suppliers. So book on and bring lots of business cards and get ready to network over drinks and a 2 course meal.

Location HSBC, Princes Street, Edinburgh Fee This event is free to members

Location La Garrigue, 31 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DH Fee £33.00 (Chamber members and member guests) £63.00 (non-members)

Speed Networking Wednesday 19 September 2012 | 9.00am - 1.00pm Description If you prefer a more facilitated type of networking, then this is the event for you. During a morning you meet a minimum of 20 delegates face to face where you get the chance to talk about your business for a few minutes before moving on and meeting someone else. This is not one for the faint-hearted! There is also a chance to


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60seconds Name: Helen Watson Company Name: Pinpoint Scotland Ltd Website: Q In five words or less, what do you do? A Print, fulfilment, postage, publishing, design.

Q How long have you been a Chamber member?

A 30+ years Q Why did you join? A To meet other local businesses and like minded people.

Q What’s the best business/benefit you have

Q If you were telling another business

won through the Chamber? A I have met new clients through the networking events.

person about the Chamber, what’s the first thing you would say? A They are always helpful and on hand to answer any questions you may have concerning your business.

Q Are there any additional services or information you’d be particularly interested in? A I will be enquiring about the Premier Series and also the services that are available on the Chamber website.

Q Where do you read your copy of Business Comment?

A At my desk or while travelling home.

Q What services do you use? A Events mainly.

High five as accountants win again Scotland’s largest independent firm of Chartered Accountants, Johnston Carmichael, has clinched the Accountancy Firm of the Year award for the fifth consecutive year at the Scottish Accountancy Awards. Johnston Carmichael beat off stiff competition from Anderson Anderson Brown, Campbell Dallas, French Duncan and Grant Thornton to be named the winner of the prestigious award at the fifth annual awards ceremony and dinner in June, at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. Johnston Carmichael was named Firm of the Year in its category at the inaugural awards

in 2008 and retained the title in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Winning the Firm of the Year award was not the only accolade which the firm received on the night as Iain Abernethy of Johnston Carmichael won the Training Manager of the year award. Johnston Carmichael’s chief executive Sandy Manson said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious industry award for five years in a row and it speak volumes about the commitment and dedication of our 450 people in our 11 offices across Scotland. I was also thrilled that Iain Abernethy picked up the training manager of the year award as he has played a key role in the recruitment and development of talent in our firm. However our feet remain firmly on the ground and we will continue the work of building and developing Johnston Carmichael to ensure that our clients receive the advice they need to help them run and grow successful businesses.

“In challenging times like these for the economy, all professional service firms have a key role to play in being proactive in supporting our clients to help them successfully address the wide range of issues businesses face today. We all have a role to play in helping to get the economy growing again.” Johnston Carmichael has offices in Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh, Fraserburgh, Elgin, Glasgow, Forfar, Huntly, Inverurie, Perth and Stirling, and currently employs more than 450 people throughout the country. The firm has specialist expertise across a number of sectors including construction, agriculture and rural property, energy services, engineering, fishing, food and food processing, hospitality, dentistry, pharmacy, medical, healthcare and professional services sector. For further information about Johnston Carmichael and all the services the firm offers, please visit

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Peter Vardy Corporate Centre Your local BMW & MINI dealer in Edinburgh. As your local BMW Corporate Team, we understand the needs of business users and Fleet Managers alike. Whether your needs are small or large – whether you’re looking for one car, or 100 – we have the TLJMMBOEFYQFSUJTFUP‍׊‏OEUIF right solution for you. We have over 25 years combined BMW and corporate experience, and we will make every effort to help you work to your budget and maximise return on your investment. Combine this expertise with BMW &G‍׊‏DJFOU%ZOBNJDTBOEZPVSPSHBOJTBUJPOXJMMCFOF‍׊‏U GSPNGBOUBTUJDWBMVFGPSNPOFZGSPNTUBSUUP‍׊‏OJTI We offer a whole range of services to all our corporate customers like a dedicated business manager who will be there for you day or night. "GVMM‍׊‏OBODJBMSFWJFXBOE‍ת‏FFUDPOTVMUBUJPOTFSWJDF

“It was a pleasure to speak to someone that knew their job. From start to finish the process of buying a car went very smoothly and it just goes to show that there are professionals still out there! We wouldn’t hesitate buying from Peter Vardy again in the future. First class service!� Mick Cotton, Cotton Transport

“Peter Vardy are a new supplier to us in the BMW product range. However what they say on the tin they deliver, on time and at the right price with minimum fuss. We are continually reviewing the fiscal benefits of running an efficient car fleet and Peter Vardy have been excellent in guiding us through that mazeâ€? George P Brewster, FRICS, Senior Partner, J & E Shepherd to ensure you are getting value for money and UK wide delivery on all vehicles. We can also help you with commercial vehicles, maintenance contracts and staff programs. As you would expect, all of these services come as standard at Peter Vardy Edinburgh. MINI Business Partnership has been designed TQFDJ‍׊‏DBMMZGPSZPV5IFGVMMSBOHFPG#.8 and MINI vehicles is available to order, offering compelling contract hire rates as well as DPNQMJNFOUBSZTQFDJ‍׊‏DBUJPOVQHSBEFTPONPTU models.

MEET THE TEAM Corporate Sales Manager Robert Simpson: 0791 289 5777

Choosing any model in the BMW Group range as a Business Partnership customer delivers more; from complimentary electric folding mirrors, to integrated Bluetooth telephone preparation with UFMFNBUJDT BOE%SJWFSGFBUVSFTUIBUNBLFESJWJOH your BMW even more of a pleasure – even when on business. The Business Partnership programme also provides a Local Business Manager to help

The New 2012 3 Series 320 ED achieves 68.9 mpg captioon in here

ZPVUISPVHIBMMBTQFDUTPG‍ת‏FFUNBOBHFNFOU including weighing up the options and choosing the vehicles that make sense for you and your CVTJOFTT8IBUņTNPSF ZPVņMMCFUIF‍׊‏STUUP konw of new model launches and receive exclusive Corporate Sales event invitations at your local dealership.

Corporate Business Development Manager Nikki Wilton: 07841 878 873

Corporate Business Development Manager Brian Ralston: 07912 097 497 MINI Business Development Manager Gurmeet Kalsi: 07809 58 4000

Corporate Administrator Pauline Hunt: 0131 669 0900

The New in 2012 5 Series 520 ED which has ÂŁ0 road tax captioon here

Did you know at Peter Vardy we give 10% of our profits to charity. The Peter Vardy Foundation was launched in September 2009 with an initial £100K investment as a means of distributing 10 per cent of our annual profits to worthwhile causes in the communities where we operate across Scotland. When we opened for business in Scotland three years ago, we were determined that Peter Vardy would be a company that did things differently for the benefit of customers, staff and the wider community. The Peter Vardy Charitable Fund is our mechanism for delivering on this commitment. We are proud to support Edinburgh Sick Kids Foundation, a charity close to the heart of Edinburgh and its people. Sick Kids Friends Foundation provides extra funding in addition to NHS provision in four main areas which will benefit the 100,000 children and their families who go to the hospital every year. This year we have already donated £4000 and run a very successful drawing competition with some of the kids – the best drawing was awarded a £50 Amazon voucher and the chance to meet Olympic Athlete Euan Burton. We look forward to our continued involvement with Edinburgh Sick Kids throughout 2012. For all our charity news please visit:

Steve Brown, Molly Mae Egan and Euan Burton.



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The 2012 BMW 1 Series 116 ED with Bluetooth, Ecopro mode and Comfort pack captioon in here captioon in here Step into the New 2012 BMW 7 Series 730d SE from just ÂŁ469 per month

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Managing Partner Steve Brown waking up on the Royal Mile having raised ÂŁ5,000 for the homeless.

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¡ 16� V-Spoke Alloy Wheels ¡ Bluetooth with USB Interface ¡ Front Foglights w)JHI(MPTT#MBDL5SJN ¡ Front Sliding Armrest wŊ$POUSPM%JTQMBZXJUIJ%SJWF w#.81SPGFTTJPOBM3BEJPXJUI$% w$PNQMJNFOUBSZ%SJWFS Comfort Pack

¡ 16� Streamline Alloy Wheels ¡ Automatic Air Conditioning w1BSL%JTUBODF$POUSPM w3BJO4FOTPSXJUI"VUP)FBEMJHIU"DUJWBUJPO wŊ$POUSPM%JTQMBZXJUIJ%SJWF ¡ Bluetooth ¡ Multi-function Leather Steering Wheel w$PNQMJNFOUBSZ%SJWFS Comfort Pack

13% Benefit in Kind Up to 74.3 mpg (Combined) 99g/km CO2



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¡ 17� V-Spoke Alloy Wheels ¡ Automatic Air Conditioning ¡ Bluetooth Telephone Prep wŊ$POUSPM%JTQMBZXJUIJ%SJWF ¡ Cruise Control with Brake Function w%BLPUB-FBUIFS6QIPMTUFSZ w'SPOUBOE3FBS1BSL %JTUBODF$POUSPM w$PNQMJNFOUBSZ3FWFSTF Assist Camera

¡ Professional Media Package ¡ USB Audio Interface ¡ Bluetooth Telephone Prep w#.8$POOFDUFE%SJWF w&MFDUSJD'SPOU4FBUTXJUI%SJWF.FNPSZ w9FOPO)FBEMJHIUT ¡ Electric Memory Seats

17% Benefit in Kind Up to 62.8mpg (Combined) 119g/km CO2 ÂŁ0 VED in the first and subsequent years

15% Benefit in Kind Up to 68.9mpg (Combined) 109 g/km CO2

23% Benefit in Kind Up to 50.4mpg (Combined) 148 g/km CO2

MAKE THE RIGHT COMMERCIAL CHOICE Choose us for all your business needs, here’s why: 1. SPEED OF RESPONSE




With our team of dedicated Local Business Managers and our administrative support, we pride ourselves on the speed in which we respond and action your requests. With our network of Business Managers we can offer a one to one service tailored to your exact requirements, whenever, where ever you are.


We offer a full Fleet Consultation and Financial review, through our team of Business Managers we will look at all aspects of you fleet.

In additional to your basic car fleet requirements, we can assist in commercial vehicles, maintenance contracts and staff programs. We take pride in bringing you the best offers that are available, we do all the searching to bring you the best package on your fleet requirement.


With our supply contracts, we are ideally positioned to offer nationwide delivery and professional handover to all your drivers, anywhere in the UK.

Scan me with your smartphone for directions.

Peter Vardy Edinburgh

4FB‍׊‏FME3PBE&BTU &EJOCVSHI&)&% 0131 341 0787 OfďŹ cial fuel economy ďŹ gures for the BMW range: Extra Urban: 26.2-78.5mpg (10.8-3.6l/100km). Urban: 14.6-56.5mpg (19.3-5.0l/100km). Combined: 20.3-68.9mpg (13.9-4.1l/100km). CO2 emissions 325-109g/km. OfďŹ cial fuel economy ďŹ gures for the MINI range: Extra Urban 45.6-80.7mpg (6.2-3.5l/100km). Urban 27.4-67.3mpg (10.3-4.2l/100km). Combined 36.7-74.3mpg (7.7-3.8l/100km). CO2 emissions 180-99g/km. This quote is indicative and is available to any business purchaser, eet size upto 50 cars. Prices are held for 30 days unless there is any change in the Manufacturer’s price for the Vehicle or in the Road Fund Licence fee or VAT or as otherwise provided in the Agreement. This quotation is subject to the Vehicle detailed above being available and sourced from our associated ďŹ nance partners. All rentals shown are exclusive of VAT which will be levied at the relevant rate, currently 20%. BMW EfďŹ cientDynamics reduces BMW emissions without compromising performance developments and is standard across the model range. Not available in conjunction with any other offer . All quotes based on BMW select ďŹ nance agreements of 48 months: BMW 116ED ÂŁ1350 Deposit and 47 x ÂŁ225pm, 10,000 miles PA. BMW 320ED ÂŁ1734 Deposit and 47 x ÂŁ289pm, 10,000 miles PA. BMW 520ED ÂŁ1854 Deposit and 47 x ÂŁ309pm, 10,000 miles PA. BMW 730d SE ÂŁ3594 Deposit and 47 x ÂŁ599pm, 10,000 miles PA. Vehicle condition charges may apply at the end of your agreement. Figures are correct at time of publishing and are subject to change without notice. All hiring is subject to status and available to over 18s in the UK only (excluding the Channel Islands). Guarantees and indemnities may be required. Hiring facilities provided by BMW Financial Services, Europe House, Bartley Way, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9UF, BMW EfďŹ cientDynamics reduces BMW emissions without compromising performance developments and is standard across the model range.

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Cost of offshore wind to ‘reduce dramatically’ A report has suggested that the cost of generating electricity from offshore wind will be reduced markedly through increased efficiency. The report by the industry-led Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force, which was welcomed on both sides of the border, showed that the UK is on course to reduce the cost substantially over the next seven years. Some suggestions point to a reduction of as much as 30 per cent. Set up by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in July 2011, the Task Force consists of leading professionals in the wind energy sector, whose report suggested that more efficient ways of working, the development of a more robust domestic supply chain and increased competition could bring about reductions. They have called for industry and Government to work more closely together to tackle problems as they arise and a new Board is to be established to achieve this. The figured of a 30 per cent reduction was suggested in another report, this one from The Crown Estate, which was released at the same time. Its authors say that the cost of delivering 18GW of electricity from offshore wind farms, which is 20% of the UK’s electricity demand, will drop from £140/MWh to £100/MWh by 2020, saving more than £3 billion per year. Charles Hendry, Energy Minister, said: “Offshore wind will be a vital part of a diverse and secure low carbon energy mix in the decades ahead but we are clear that costs must come down. I am encouraged that … substantial cost savings can be achieved if action is taken.” Fergus Ewing, his Scottish Government counterpart, said: “I welcome the reports


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from the Cost Reduction Task Force and The Crown Estate Pathways Development study, which outline a realistic path to achieving a significant reduction in the cost of offshore wind, which is essential for us to maximise our offshore wind potential and reap the associated economic benefits. “Leases have already been granted for 10GW of offshore wind developments in Scotland’s waters, with companies like EDPR and Repsol committed to developing our offshore potential. In addition, international companies such as Samsung, Mitsubishi and Gamesa, based here in Scotland, are developing the next generation of turbines.

believe £100 per megawatt hour for offshore wind is fully achievable.” Jim Smith, Managing Director of Renewables, SSE, said: “It is essential that the UK continues to cut its carbon emissions but this must be done at the best value for money. “As the UK’s leading generator of renewable energy and a major investor in offshore wind, SSE welcomes the findings of these reports and will continue to work closely with all participants to reduce the costs of offshore wind by the end of the decade.”

“This is important, innovative work that will ensure offshore wind is a competitive and reliable source of renewable energy for decades to come.” Andrew Jamieson, Chair of the Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force, ScottishPower Renewables Policy and Innovation Director and Chairman of RenewableUK, said: “To ensure that the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector expands rapidly over this decade and fulfils its massive potential within the UK’s energy mix, it is vital that costs are reduced. “In doing this, not only will we reduce risk and drive investment into the sector, we will further protect consumers from increasing energy costs, reduce the industry’s requirement for financial support and deliver jobs and energy security for decades to come.” Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive, RenewableUK, said: “By committing to slash the costs of developing offshore wind, the UK has once again demonstrated why it is the world leader in this industry. RenewableUK is ready to play its part to encourage the industry to follow the recommendations in the report.” Other industry figures welcomed the reports as well. Andy Kinsella, Director and Chief Executive Officer - Offshore, Mainstream Renewable Power, said: “Mainstream Renewable Power is entirely committed to driving down the cost of energy and we

Book now for Carbon conference The Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference is on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th of October. This conference will assemble international leaders from all elements of renewable energy – developers, utilities, government and industry; and the international investment community to share and explore ideas on policy, technology innovation and finance as we transition to low carbon economies. Energy is one of our most vital commodities, clean, secure and affordable energy is critical to all of us. Join us at the EICC to be part of the new energy era. For further information and to book visit

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is Scotland’s leading environmentally friendly Executive Travel Company. We specifically operate to allow environmentally aware companies and individuals the opportunity to make necessary journeys without causing unnecessary harm to our environment.

ow? Did yorbounkn footprint

The ca th us of a journey wiwill be is and always


T: 0131 6109810 M: 07775 504793 E: W:

Make your transport budget go miles further Are you a business in Scotland and looking to lower your costs? If so, your local Energy Saving Scotland advice centre can help. Businesses across Scotland have already saved ÂŁ1,000s and accessed interest-free loans. Call us on 0800 51 2012 for free advice

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SPeCiAl FeAture enabling them to learn from each other’s experience. A cross-section of organisations recently completed the programme, including Nairn’s Oatcakes Ltd and Landmark Press, both with bases in Edinburgh. Both companies enrolled on the programme with a clear commitment to reducing their carbon emissions, and by working in partnership with the Carbon Trust were given the platform they needed to improve their energy efficiency and to work in a more sustainable way.

Landmark Press Ltd

Edinburgh businesses encouraged to benefit from Carbon Trust Scotland’s Carbon Management Programme SMEs from across Edinburgh looking to cut their energy emissions and make financial savings are being encouraged to join the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Management Programme and develop their own carbon management plan. Operated by Carbon Trust Scotland, the Carbon Management Programme has been running since 2003, with over 150 public sector organisations developing an energy and money saving plan. Since the programme began graduates have benefited from significant energy and cost savings and in 2011/12 public sector bodies in Scotland implemented projects which reduced their carbon emissions to the atmosphere by over 132,000 tCO2, with associated annual energy bill reductions of £53 million. With savings like these set to continue the benefits to both the environment and the economy are ongoing. Given the success of the programme in the public sector, it was rolled out to the private sector in 2011 and in June of this year the first 20 Scottish businesses ‘graduated’ from the programme at an official ceremony in Edinburgh, identifying estimated cost savings of £1.2 million.


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Finance Secretary John Swinney, who presented the graduates with their certificates, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to driving down our energy use across our buildings, and to helping other public sector organisations do the same. Increasing energy efficiency not only drives down bills but also cuts damaging emissions. “It’s encouraging to see so many organisations making good use of the service the Carbon Trust provides and I welcome the inclusion of private sector businesses in the Carbon Management programme.” The Carbon Management Programme is designed to help organisations develop a targeted framework to deliver energy saving and carbon reduction practices by establishing their current baseline CO2 emissions, assessing the risks and opportunities posed by climate change, and developing a robust strategy to reduce carbon footprints and save money on their energy bills over a five- to ten-year period. The programme aims to improve the management of buildings energy use, vehicle fleets, street lighting and recycling of waste. Supported by a bespoke toolkit, the programme also facilitates the sharing of best practice between participant businesses,

Mark Laing, managing director of Nairn’s Oatcakes, said: “I would recommend the carbon management programme to any organisation wanting to evaluate and improve their environmental credentials. Not just because it provides a new route to find energy efficiencies but it’s also an opportunity to validate the measure we are already undertaking, which is invaluable.” Sheila Adam, manager of Landmark Press, said: “Landmark Press is the leading supplier of information for visitors to Scotland. We have been recycling, and cutting energy use for some time. Taking part in the Carbon Trust programme gave us the tools and assistance to quantify our progress. We take pride that our commitment to continually improve has resulted in a 40% reduction in our carbon footprint.” Paul Wedgwood, general manager, Carbon Trust Scotland, added: “We’re really pleased to see so many private sector organisations coming on board, recognising the need to take energy efficiency action and implement measures which reduce their carbon emissions and, in turn, improve their economic output. “We would encourage anyone looking to emulate this success and make a marked difference to their environmental and total energy costs, to contact us.” Private sector businesses interested in finding out more about developing a Carbon Management plan should visit

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A Sustainable Transport Future for South East Scotland SEStran (South East of Scotland Transport Partnership) is a Regional Transport Partnership (RTP), compromised of eight local authorities; Borders, East Lothian, West Lothian and Midlothian, Edinburgh, Fife, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire, covering the South East of Scotland.

■ Promoting Safety and Health – to promote a healthier and more active SEStran area population.

What we do : Start the day with a pick-me-up

Through implementation of our Regional Transport Strategy (RTS) SEStran aims to develop a sustainable transportation system for South East Scotland that will enable business to function effectively and provide everyone living in the region with improved access to healthcare, education, public services and employment opportunities,. SEStran aims to establish improved public transport as the mode of choice for most journeys, encourage more sensible use of cars and promote active modes of transport; like cycling and walking for shorter journeys. The key objectives of SEStran’s RTS are: ■ Supporting the Economy – to ensure transport facilities encourage economic growth, regional prosperity and vitality in a sustainable manner. ■ Improving Accessibility –for those with limited transport choice or no access to a car, particularly those who live in rural areas. ■ Protecting the Environment – to ensure that development is achieved in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Working in partnership with local authorities, SEStran is supporting a wide range of initiatives to improve connectivity, widen labour markets and tackle congestion.

Car sharing is a simple, practical and cost effective option that can make a real difference to congestion and pollution, while benefiting travellers by saving them time and money. That is why SEStran launched; a web-based car sharing scheme that links drivers or passengers who are making similar journeys and wish to share. Convenience is a free, reliable and simple way of reducing costs and congestion, and is especially useful for commuting journeys. offers savings to participants on car parking, taxi fares and other vehicle costs. It can also save businesses money, through, for example, sharing the costs of taxis or reducing parking requirements. Safety & Choice All personal details’ on are held in strict confidence. Members can also specify, for example, whether they prefer to share with non-smokers or women only

Protecting the environment can also contribute towards cutting traffic congestion and reducing the carbon footprint. Sharing a regular car journey just once a week, could take up to 20% of cars off the region’s roads. Saving money members can save up to £800 a year through reduced outgoings on fuel, maintenance and parking fees – as well as less wear and tear on the driver. Good for business can save businesses money, through, for example reducing the need for parking. As consumers become ever more environment conscious, car sharing can also help boost your profile as an environmentally responsible employer. Many organisations including; health boards, local authorities and private sector companies have already discovered the benefits that car sharing offers to them and to their staff. Over 7000 individuals in the South East of Scotland are already enjoying the benefits of car sharing through TripshareSEStran. com. Why not join them and help us build a sustainable future for transport? For further information, visit

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Theinterview Improving the employment readiness of Scotland’s students Dedicated to improving the employment opportunities of Scottish students Miles Dibsdall, OBE, Principal of Edinburgh’s Telford College, talks about his approach to further education. As the head of Edinburgh’s largest college, and taking into consideration the range of proactive measures the college under his leadership has instigated, to improve employment opportunities for young people, Miles Dibsdall is well placed to provide highly informed insight on the topic of youth unemployment. And the subject is topical indeed as current statistics show a worrying increase in the number of 16-24 year olds out of work; the figure up 13% on the same quarter in 2011. This, alongside the 7.5% increase in the number of 18-24 year olds claiming job seekers allowance, means this subject area could not be more relevant.

College launches in October, I hope that the projects we have instigated at Edinburgh’s Telford College will link in strongly with those excellent schemes from Stevenson and Jewel and Esk Colleges to provide a solid base for further progress in tackling the issue on a larger scale. “It is important that we work together to provide consistent and effective strategies for improving the job opportunities available to our young people. To do this we need to be clear in our objectives and clear about the role we play within the larger arena of Higher and Further Education within the country as a whole.”

“We, as a nation, are currently struggling out of a recession, and the job prospects for young people aged between 16 and 24 are reflecting this – with job opportunities at an all time low. I see it as the college’s responsibility, as a provider of further education, to help identify where our students are most likely to find jobs and tailor the services we offer accordingly.

“I have been at Edinburgh’s Telford College for two years now and during that time the college has taken huge steps to tackle youth unemployment. When the Edinburgh


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Edinburgh’s Telford College’s strategies for tackling youth unemployment reflect the approach of the current Scottish government towards youth employment. Key measures taken by the government include a pledge to offer all 16-19 year olds who are not in an apprenticeship, training, full time education or a job, a training place. They have also promised to deliver 25,000 modern apprenticeships each year over the lifetime of the parliament. “Here at Edinburgh’s Telford College we have long appreciated the need for alternative routes into employment. It is no longer sufficient for our young people to go one of two ways; into university or into a job. This is partly because the jobs are not there but it is also because these young people are not properly equipped or trained to fill the employment gaps that do exist, and this is often the case even after university.

“Not only do we have a responsibility to students while they are under our tutorage but we have a continued responsibility as they make their way in the ‘real world’ – the world of work and self sufficiency. Achieving the qualifications, or an entry level job, is not enough. We need to furnish students with a range of contemporary, transferable skills which will help them throughout their working life lives.” Having recently announced its merger with two of the capital’s other colleges, Jewel & Esk and Stevenson Colleges, the combined efforts to drive forward employment opportunities under the banner of the new Edinburgh College are moving at pace.

With a unceasing energy to introducing one new initiative after another, there is no doubting Miles’s passion for his job or his dedication to the plight of 16-24 year olds country wide - and the fact he was awarded an OBE for Service to Higher and Further Education in 2010 shows this has not gone unnoticed.

“Our Junior College is one of the ways we feel we are making a commitment to improving the employment possibilities for young people in a way which reflects the current economic and employment issues in this country. Miles Dibsdall OBE, the Principal of Edinburgh Telford College

Educated in Devon and an alumni of the University of Leicester, Miles has 15 years of senior management experience behind him and as well his teaching qualifications. He also completed an NVQ in Strategic Leadership and achieved his Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management in 2010.

“Students are presented with a range of courses which support the Scottish Government’s pledge of a guaranteed place in education and training for all 16-19 year olds, and help young people on their chosen route to further education or employment. It does this by providing students with a wide range of vocational courses of varying levels - from SVQs, Skills for Work, National Progression Awards and National Certificates.

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Setting the standards in further education - Edinburgh Telford College

“You could say there is a conventional ‘route’ into and through education however, this does not apply to everyone or even in many cases the majority. There are a huge number of young people who could excel in certain areas of employment if only a) they were made aware of them and b) they were given access and the opportunity to pursue them. We hope the Junior College will do just that; illuminate young people to the options available and open doors to related paths of employment.” The College works in close partnership with the Children and Families and Economic Development teams at Edinburgh City Council to ensure that course planning is linked to priority areas for the development of the senior phase in secondary schools and employment opportunities within the City. “It is vital that the work we do and the opportunities we champion are reflected in the by the jobs on offer by local employers. Although we furnish students with the qualifications and skills to work anywhere, it is important to us that we give them the best chance of walking straight into a job once they have finished their course of study.

“By understanding the areas of work which are in need of employees, and reflecting this need in the qualifications we provide, we have a good chance of making this a reality.” Created in partnership with Business Gateway, Edinburgh’s Telford College’s Micro Business Centre is a service which provides support for businesses of less than 10 people and is another forward thinking measure aimed at improving employability introduced under Miles’s leadership. The service is twofold and offers advisors on topics such as marketing strategy, web design and branding as well as access to the internet, computers and other office apparatus. “There is a wave of people who have been forced or encouraged by the recession into setting up their own ventures. This new breed of entrepreneur needs to be encouraged but they so often lack the support and encouragement to move their idea forward. “The Micro Business Centre is our commitment to our community to provide people with every chance possible to change their lives. The centre will also give employers access to the large pool of student talent present within the college, providing an easier

route to employment and training schemes for our learners. Graham Birse, Managing Director of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce commented “FE colleges, provide vocational training and qualifications which match the demands of employers, which enable them to walk straight into a job interview for vacancies matching their profile. In this respect, Telford College in Edinburgh is a market leader, recently opening up the Edinburgh Centre for Micro Business, to improve its interface with employers, and developing courses like its NVQ in Railways Engineering to fill a market demand for track laying and maintenance skills.” Miles is hopeful for the future “When people ask how long it will take for employment opportunities to improve, my honest answer is I don’t know. There are so many variables that I feel it important to focus on what we can do, rather than worrying about whether or not our attempts are eradicating rather than just improving our current situation. That being said it is important to stay positive and appreciate our ability to exert positive influence and change the employment situation for the better.”

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Breaking the cycle of unemployment despair At almost double the adult level, youth unemployment is a growing problem in Edinburgh. Meeting the challenge is the highest priority for the City is new political coalition working in partnership with business.

Among organisations trying to tackle the problem is City of Edinburgh Council.

business and change the landscape for the better forever.”

When Chief Executive Sue Bruce took the top job in 2011, one statistic struck her more than any other.

The challenge is significant for those with degrees and good exam results but for anyone without those qualifications that challenge can appear insurmountable.

She said: “Of the thirty two local authorities in Scotland, Edinburgh was sitting at 32nd for providing positive destinations for its school leavers from publicly funded schools. It meant that Scotland’s Capital city was its least successful at getting its young people into a job, a training course or higher education. That was something that had to be tackled, it was a trend that had to be arrested and reversed.

The result was the Edinburgh Guarantee, created to drive a vision that every school leaver will have the chance of a positive destination. The Guarantee scheme is a major addition to the city’s existing Youth Employment Partnership programme and complements the efforts of Skills Development Scotland , JobcentrePlus with its Youth Contract, the JET Programme in schools and a wide range of expert third sector provision helping young people make the transition from school to work.

The numbers tell a bleak story: * In the year ending September 2011, there were 6,000 residents of Edinburgh aged 16 to 24 who were unemployed, 36% of the total population of unemployed in the city * In May 2012, there were 2,845 Jobseekers Allowance claimants aged under 24 in Edinburgh - 24% of all claimants * Of the 3,423 pupils, who left publiclyfunded schools in 2011, 423 were unemployed nine months later.


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“It was clear that the problem would not be solved either quickly or by the council working alone. To create an environment where school leavers would have an opportunity to realise and fulfil their potential, every sector of the city would need to come together with one purpose, to galvanise

The Guarantee initiative is council-led but involves many of these agencies and businesses and Sue said: “We are all working together to advance the issue of youth unemployment, and create opportunities. “It’s about driving a cultural change that recognises the creativity and energy that young people can bring to business and

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dispels the unwarranted negative perceptions that exist.”

developed with Caleylock. Career Academies have been established in Edinburgh; piloted in three city schools they raise the aspirations of S5 pupils. The programme includes a four-week paid internship, one-to-one mentoring, workplace visits and ‘Guru Lectures’ by business leaders and has since been rolled out to another six High Schools.

The common effort has been effective. At the low point of two years ago Edinburgh’s positive destination rate was a full 4.5% below the national average. It is now within 1% of that average and aims to improve further again this year as the full effects of the guarantee and other initiatives take effect. Since its inception in June 2011, The Edinburgh Guarantee has worked with more than 100 businesses and organisations, including JP Morgan, Standard Life, Lothian Buses, NHS Lothian, Bright Purple, Robert McAlpine, John Lewis, Primark, O2, Springboard, Lloyds Banking Group and The Princes Trust. In that time, more than 400 additional opportunities have been generated. When added to the impact of national programmes, that goes up to more than 700 opportunities. The council has played its own direct part by establishing 50 new apprenticeship posts in its own departments. Opportunities created have taken many forms. Standard Life, for example, created ten internships, providing young people with a taste of work. Two gained permanent jobs within the company. Standard Life have now offered a second round of six-month internships and have been followed by others, notably Lothian Buses and NHS Lothian.

Sue Bruce Chief Executive of Edinburgh Council

Bright Purple started six young people on its in-house ‘Bright Futures’ programme, a sixmonth opportunity to develop their skills. Modern Apprenticeships have also been popular with employers, offering a recognised qualification and practical experience in the workplace. Within the council, there are 70 people on Modern Apprenticeships, some following traditional trades, others starting in creative industries, social care and sports development. Modern Apprenticeships have also started at The Scottish Government, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh University, and Vaughan Engineering and a bespoke training and apprenticeship programme has been

Turning young lives around One programme that is showing what can be achieved is Access to Industry, which exists to move excluded people into education and onto employment across the South East of Scotland. The programmes are delivered through partnerships with education and training providers and with employers who provide work experience placements. Through the Passport and Transition projects, support is provided to disadvantaged young people and among those to benefit is Andrew, 21. Once homeless with substance misuse issues, he was helped to progress onto an Access Design course at Telford College and gained part-time employment in July 2011 as a cleaning assistant. He secured a place on the Road Maintenance course at Telford College in November 2011 and, subsequently, a twoyear apprenticeship in construction. He said: “I’m so pleased I was given the

The Prince’s Trust worked with Marks & Spencer to deliver ‘Get into Retail’, providing twelve young people with five weeks of work-preparation training. Six were offered employment with Marks & Spencer and the others have been provided with mentors. The council’s ‘Inspiring Young People’ programme helps unemployed young people with confidence and team building for twelve weeks followed by a six-month placement with business where they work their way to recognised qualifications. During the scheme they are paid at national minimum wage with the cost met by the council. It aims to help 80 young people with 20 places going to those from a looked-after or accommodated background. All partners are working to help SMEs to take on school leavers by developing a comprehensive ‘Business Gateway Plus’ service available to companies.


opportunities I had at Passport. I think that without their support and advice I wouldn’t be where I am today. They’ve helped me so much over the past two years.“ Also benefiting was seventeen-year-old Alex, who came to Passport while unemployed and hoping to start a career in caring for elderly people. On the programme, she completed seven SQA qualifications and work placements at John Lewis and the Sick Children’s Hospital. In February this year, when the apprenticeships to work in a care home for the elderly came up with Edinburgh Council, Alex was taken on. She said; “Passport helped me find my dream job. I really am exactly where I want to be right now. If it wasn’t for the Passport programme I wouldn’t have had the

confidence to apply for the apprenticeship with the council. “I love my job. Providing good care for elderly people is very rewarding. I’m starting the SVQ in October which I am really excited about and I have been told there’s a permanent job waiting for me.”

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Enabling our young people to get down to business By graham Birse In the year ended September, 2011, 6,000 young people (16-24) were seeking employment, 36% of the total number out of work. Finding meaningful opportunities for those young folk is challenging politicians, policy-makers and businesses alike.

Graham Birse, Managing Director of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce

The news that job vacancies in Edinburgh have reached a three-year high is a welcome milestone in the city’s recovery. Two years ago Oxford Economics predicted that of all the UK cities outside London, Edinburgh is best placed to recover from recession. And so it is proving, with inward investment, development and business confidence gathering pace. Our celebration should be muted, however. The immediate economic outlook, described at an Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce breakfast recently by the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, as ‘distinctly choppy’, has prevented many businesses from investing and recruiting. Then there are the unemployment numbers. While the number of vacancies has risen, the number of job losses continued to grow. Edinburgh’s new Economic Strategy, which will be published in September, estimates that by 2018, there could be 37,000 more people looking for work in the city than there are available jobs. Of particular concern is youth unemployment, currently double the adult rate and carrying with it the potential to blight the prospects of an entire generation of school leavers and graduates alike. We simply cannot allow that to happen.


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We need to be absolutely clear about one thing. Manufacturing job creation schemes and growing the size of the public sector is not an option. At a time of public sector austerity, the only way to generate jobs is to generate growth. And that growth has to come from the private sector, especially the SMEs who represent 90% of private sector employment and the majority of members of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce. When I talk to businesses about the factors inhibiting their growth, they talk about lack of finance, taxation, regulation and red tape as serious constraints. At UK, European and Scottish Government level, we need to see evidence of the State in retreat. It has been a long time coming. Happily, there is consensus in Edinburgh about confronting the problem. The City of Edinburgh Council has introduced The Edinburgh Guarantee, a fantastic programme which has galvanised public and private sector organisations to find education, training, placements, temporary or full-time employment for hundreds of young people across the city. The Edinburgh Employability Forum has been looking at the problem in the round, starting with analysis of what employer’s are looking for in young people, their skills and ‘job ready’ capability. A recent academic study of SMEs in the United States indicated that ‘employer’s recruit in direct proportion to the number of employable recruits they are presented with’. What that means is that private sector employers may not have vacancies in their organisations, but they will find work for people with the right skills who meet an obvious demand. Organisation like Capital City Partnerships have developed some real capability in this

arena and are currently working to simplify the city’s offer to employers and make it easier for them to access the support and the skills they need. A new service to employers is likely to be launched in the Autumn. Our schools, further and higher education establishments have a major role to play too. In schools, by renewing their efforts to instil in their leavers, levels of communication, grammar, punctuation, numeracy and interpersonal skills that are a pre-requisite to taking your place in the world of work. In FE colleges, by providing vocational training and qualifications which match the demands of employers and enable them to walk straight into a job interview for vacancies matching their profile. In this respect, Telford College in Edinburgh is a market leader, recently opening up the Edinburgh Centre for Micro Business, to improve its interface with employers, and developing courses like its NVQ in Railways Engineering to fill a market demand for track laying and maintenance skills. In our universities, by engaging with the private sector in a language which businesses understand and providing graduates with the qualifications, the life skills and the confidence to pursue their chosen career. And while we’re at it, why don’t we spend more time encouraging young people to consider self-employment? The Business School at Edinburgh Napier University does just that within its Moffat Business Incubator. Together with its range of business-friendly policies and programmes, it’s a good example of the way forward in business education. And, surprise surprise, 93.6% of its graduates find a position within six months of leaving Napier University, one of the highest in Scotland. Initiatives like these have to become universal if we are to break the cycle of despond that threatens the current generation of school leavers and graduates. We owe it to them to deliver. Graham Birse is Managing Director of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

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SATURDAY 6 OCTOBER 2012 George Watson’s College provides an unrivalled choice of subjects and extra-curricular activities Financial help available for P7 and S1 entry, including free places School buses run from East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian and Haymarket Station



Contact the Admissions Secretary: 0131 446 6007 Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH10 5EG







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Principal’s Address 9.30am

George Watson’s College is administered by the Edinburgh Merchant Company Education Board, a charity registered in Scotland SC009747

In just over a month Barnardo’s Works Edinburgh (BWE) starts its fourth year of delivering employment programmes across the city. Over 135 of Edinburgh’s unemployed 16 to 24 year olds have gone through the programme so far, with 40 percent now in independent employment across a range of sectors. Employers have recruited participants within hospitality, road repairs, warehousing, customer services, care, construction, admin, IT, retail, property maintenance, and estate management. Each participant on the programme goes through a tailored induction to develop their employability skills before moving on to a placement with an employer whilst on benefit. Placements are typically 30 hours a week for 8 weeks. This placement gives the young person the opportunity to prove themselves to the employer, ideally with the employer offering waged employment direct from the placement.

Further benefits to the employer: • Cost effective recruitment • Try before you employ • Loyal and motivated workforce • Dedicated training budget for each young person • BWE staff support in person and by phone for each employer throughout the placement period and into the waged period • Regular development reviews for both employer and young person • Assistance processing employer recruitment incentives where applicable We are looking for employers to work with us into our fourth year who have placement and employment opportunities for Edinburgh’s young people. Please contact Helen Brown, Employer Liaison Officer on 0131 559 3940 or

Cost effective recruitment! Assess a potential employee before you recruit!

Barnardo’s Works Edinburgh supports 16-24 year olds preparing them to find secure and sustained employment by developing the key skills employers are looking for. • Up to 8 weeks work placement at no cost to you • Training and qualifications for employee to suit your needs • Support from Barnardo’s team before, during placement and beyond

Demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to the community and corporate social responsibility! Contact Helen Brown Tel: 0131 559 3940 or 07879 893 078

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SPeCiAl FeAture

Making skills work for Scotland

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is the national accreditation and awarding body in Scotland. It is an executive nondepartmental public body (NDPB) sponsored by the Scottish Government Learning Directorate. SQA works in partnership with schools, colleges, universities and industry to provide high quality, flexible and relevant qualifications and assessments, embedding industry standards. In addition, SQA ensures that qualifications are inclusive, accessible to all, provide clear progression pathways, facilitate lifelong learning and that candidate achievement is recognised. SQA is ambitious for Scotland, determined to play a full and committed part in ensuring that the Scottish people and economy benefit from a qualifications system that is all-embracing and delivering and meeting Scotland’s needs. The skills challenge is an increasingly important focus for countries across the world - but Scotland has recognised that success is not merely about a highly educated workforce. Achieving sustainable economic growth will only be possible by making those academic and vocational skills relevant and ensuring that these skills are applied in the workplace - whatever the nature of that workplace might be. These skills include those that are job specific and associated with a given industry sector, updated and honed as demands change. There are also personal and learning skills that enable individuals to become effective lifelong learners by adapting to a changing environment. There are the fundamental skills of literacy and numeracy and increasingly IT capability, essential for an individual to participate in and contribute to modern society. Today’s work and learning environment requires high levels of communication skills and the ability to solve problems and to work effectively in teams. Qualifications are essential tools in validating learning for individuals and employers and support the standards of achievement required by the economy, business and society. They also provide a record of progression for individuals as they develop through life, allowing them to build on their prior learning. Qualifications must reflect the appropriate level of learning, capturing all aspects of the required skills, yet flexible enough to support different learning styles and employer needs. They must be relevant and allow


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for progression through lifelong learning as the needs of individuals, businesses and society change and they must be of a quality and standard that ensures that their value is maintained over time.

They are a gateway into work on a particular career path, or help learners progress to the next stage of study at college or university.

SQA is responsible for developing, in conjunction with Scotland’s diverse business community and Colleges from across the country, work-based qualifications that are specifically designed to improve the skills-base of employees. In turn, this helps make our economy more competitive, while also expanding and developing the career opportunities for many thousands of people.

Whether you are recruiting new employees or developing staff, HNCs and HNDs are credible, flexible qualifications, which are designed to deliver the skills and knowledge to meet the needs of today’s businesses.

There are SQA qualifications for everyone – school and college students, trainees, apprentices, and adults – people who already have qualifications and those who don’t, people who are in employment and those who are outside the job market. SQA aims to continue improving our links with business and industry.We are totally committed to the ongoing process of developing new qualifications to meet the ever changing needs of the people of Scotland and the needs of the Scottish economy. Skills for Work Courses These qualifications encourage young people to become familiar with the world of work. They involve a strong element of learning through involvement in practical and vocational activities and develop knowledge, skills and experience that are related to employment. They are available at a number of levels and are frequently delivered in partnership between schools and colleges. Wider Achievement qualifi cations Wider achievement qualifications provide young people with the opportunity to have learning and skills not necessarily developed in the classroom formally recognised. Available at a number of levels in subjects including Employability, Leadership and Enterprise, these qualifications help schools deliver skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work. national Certifi cates and national Progression Awards (nPAs) The qualifications are designed to provide specific skill as well as underpinning the employability skills that employers are looking for.

achieving a Customised Award receives a certificate awarded by SQA. SCqF Credit rating

HnCs and Hnds

Developed in partnership with further education colleges, universities, and industry and commerce, they are vocational qualifications and focus on practical skills and their application in the workplace.

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework helps employers, learners, and the public in general to understand the full range of Scottish qualifications, how they relate to each other, and how different types of qualifications can contribute to improving the skills of the workforce. Your organisation can now apply to SQAs Credit Rating Service to have your own qualifications and learning programmes credit rated for the SCQF.

Scottish Vocational qualifi cations (SVqs)

endorsement Service

Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) can provide a framework for focused, on-thejob training and development. They are an excellent way of making sure that your staff development programme and your business strategy go hand-in-hand.

SQA provides a service which can endorse your qualifications or resources. Endorsement shows your customers that your qualification or resource is well designed and meets high quality assurance standards.

SVQs are based on national standards of performance developed by representatives from industry and commerce. There are several ways that your business can implement SVQs. By becoming an SQA approved centre, your organisation can apply to deliver SVQs in-house. For some companies, particularly SMEs, it may be more effective in terms of costs and resources to establish a partnership with a college or training provider or even a consortium of other employers. Professional development Awards The need for sharp, flexible, focused education, skills and training at a high level is strongly recognised. Professional Development Awards (PDAs) are designed to develop and deliver these skills. They are quick and cost effective to deliver, so are ideal for developing the skills of young people, graduates, and other adult learners. They are ideal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) so employers can enhance the skills of their employees. Customised Awards Customised Awards are vocational qualifications which have been tailored to meet your company’s needs for skills and expertise. Our staff works with your own specialists to develop a qualification that matches your requirements and meets out quality assurance criteria. Employee’s

SQA offers two types of endorsement – of non SQA qualifications and of training resources which support the delivery of SQA qualifications and awards. new national qualifi cations and Curriculum for excellence SQA has developed new National Qualifications that will be available in schools from August 2013. These new qualifications will help young people reach their full potential as they progress from their broad general education through to college, university, other learning and employment. The new National 1, National 2, National 3, National 4 and National 5 will replace current Standard Grade, Intermediate and Access qualifications at all levels. New Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications will be available from August 2014 and August 2015 respectively. Find out more To find out more about SQA qualifications and services visit our website at or contact our Business Development Team on 0303 333 0330 or email

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Scottish Business Coach Helping you and your business to grow

I’m a business coach who specialises in management accounting and personal growth. I understand the financials behind your business and know how important it is that you are getting the right information to run and grow your business. I care about your profits, but I also care about you and all those supporting you. Drowning in information but still not sure you are on the right track? Unable to read your accounts? I can help you identify the right information you need to grow your business. I will help you pull out the essential information that tells you how you are performing so you can do what you do best. Know where you want to go but feeling a little challenged? I will work with you to overcome your challenges and help you grow your business. FREE 1 hour consultation This is your opportunity to get to know me and find out if you can talk easily to me about your ambitions and your business. It is important that you trust me and that you are comfortable talking with me. Visit for more information or email

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We can provide our full range of coaches and fully trained professional certified drivers for a great value package for one- off events or daily, weekly or monthly contracts. As a fellow Edinburgh Chambers of Commerce member we would love to build a relationship with fellow members big or small in organising their group travel - please see our 10% discount code as an introductory offer. We pride ourself in our quick, simple yet accurate booking system via our online booking page but please do not hesitate to pick up the phone to have a chat if you have any questions or queries as no two hires are ever the same. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Turn this.


Whether you want to improve your employability, follow your passion or fast track your career, Edinburgh Napier has a postgraduate course to suit. One of Scotland’s top universities for graduate employability - 93.3% of our postgraduate students are in work or further study within six months of graduating*. Over 140 industry-relevant postgraduate courses to help you focus on your future, your career and your prospects. Choose from opportunities in: ›K_\9lj`e\jjJZ_ffc ›<e^`e\\i`e^#:fdglk`e^:i\Xk`m\@e[ljki`\j ›?\Xck_#C`]\JfZ`XcJZ`\eZ\j For more information visit: !=`^li\jkXb\e]ifd;\jk`eXk`fef]C\Xm\ijf]?`^_\i<[lZXk`fe)''0&('#?<J8

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Real Time Information The biggest change to PAYE since its inception over 60 years ago.




18 September


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17 August 21 September 16 November

Manchester Reading

9 October 23 October

Member’s fee: £378.25 + VAT Non member’s fee: £445 + VAT

Are you ready? Real Time Information will affect virtually all employers. It will not change the way that PAYE and NIC is calculated but it will fundamentally change payroll practices. Preparing for the scheme in advance is essential.







Payroll Alliance is running a series of one day workshops to prepare you for the change and enable you to successfully roll out the scheme within your organisation. Not only will this exclusive course prepare you for the upcoming changes but you will also be accredited for six hours of CPD.

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BC August/September 2012

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Inthespotlight Company name: o2 uK Who? Andy Bremner, Head of regional development Website:

1. What were you doing between 10 and 12 this morning? Meeting with a group of key influencers from the private and public sectors in Edinburgh to identify and understand the challenges and drivers behind local businesses in order to help them become more competitive and successful.

2. What do you see as your job’s biggest challenge? Part of my role is to help change the perception of O2 as a mobile communications provider and to position our Joined Up business strategy of IT, fixed line and mobile services.

3. What do you consider your biggest business triumph? Building our Scotland B2B sales team up within a relatively short period of time to become the most successful within our business and indeed the UK as recognised by being awarded the Field Sales Team of the Year in the National Sales Awards 2011.

4. do you have and money-saving business tips? Consolidating suppliers is one of the most economical ways of ensuring your business operates as efficiently as possible.

5. What do you believe are the 3 key stages on your career ladder? University was a great opportunity to find my feet and learn more about myself and my ambitions, my first job in the construction sector gave me a great grounding and showed me that I thrived in the sales environment, while my current

role has given me the opportunity to be involved at a strategic level with key influencers across the region.

6. Where do you stand on work/life balance? As a home worker it is a challenge that I am constantly faced with and the advent of Flexible Working has raised this topic of discussion a lot recently, however no matter how rewarding and enjoyable your job is it is important to recognise what is important to you and to strike the right balance.

7. What do you like to do on your spare time? For my sins I am an avid follower of Aberdeen FC and spend far too much time travelling to and watching games!

8. What qualities do you need to see in your employees? Communication and relationship building skills, a strong work ethic and desire to succeed and a willingness to step up and take risks.

9. in business, is it more important to be liked or successful? I don’t believe they are necessarily mutually exclusive – both are important therefore as with everything it’s about striking a balance between the two.

10. What is the one piece of advice you would give to others trying to reach the top? Never underestimate the power of relationships, both internally and externally.

Building and maintaining a strong network facilitates knowledge transfer and learning thus building trust and encouraging fresh thinking.

11. Who is your hero? Anyone who puts others before themselves and has the courage to stand up for their convictions.

12. Any business (or other) projects you would like to plug? You may not be aware that unlike most discount sites O2 Priority Moments is a great app that our customers can download onto their smartphone for free, giving them instant savings from big high street brands and restaurants.

13. other than your current position, what would be your dream job? Professional football coach.

14. Who (living or dead) would you invite to a fantasy dinner party? Orson Welles, Kurt Cobain, Andy Warhol, Steve Jobs and Barack Obama.

15. outside of business, what is the most important thing in your life? My wife Kate who is due to give birth to our first child in October which puts everything else into perspective

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SPeCiAl FeAture

Educational Change – Preparation for Life By gareth edwards, Principal, George Watson’s College

As the SQA examination structure is revisited, educational change is concentrating the minds of those involved.

Watsonians have taken to the hills and Projects remains a much-loved institution. Inspired by Sir Roger Young, the Headmaster of the then Boys’ College, the personal challenges and personal development inherent in the programme helps our pupils to stand on their own feet – as valid now as it was in the 1960s.

But there is nothing new in educational change. Change is a fact of life, and we are preparing our pupils for a lifetime of change. At Watson’s we embrace change, yet we have much that is gratifyingly constant. We have our valued traditions.

Tradition is important; yet we must adapt to keep up in this ever-changing world. Watson’s now offers a choice of final years’ curriculum – our extensive choice of Highers and Advanced Highers courses or the recently introduced International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The IB is exciting teachers and pupils alike as an excellent means of developing the skills and aptitudes of the intellectually curious and independent-minded learner, complementing our SQA courses, helping us to provide the best-suited curriculum for each of our pupils.

Education must provide strong roots whilst encouraging our young people to develop their wings so they fly high. Exam results are only part of the picture. Equally important is the provision of opportunities for young people to develop themselves in a supportive and positive environment, whilst encouraging them to work and to think intelligently and independently. One of Watson’s traditions fulfils this aim. S3 Projects, an outdoor education programme was 50 years old in 2012. Generations of

Schools cannot predict in detail what the world will be like for the generations to come. Our duty and our joy, however, is to provide the roots and wings so that our pupils flourish in their future.

The Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh has established an excellent reputation for its language classes, cultural programme and business consultancy services. Set up in partnership with Shanghai’s Fudan University, under a global initiative sponsored by Hanban, the Institute offers a regular evening programme of Chinese language classes, private and workplace tuition, and an extensive outreach programme. Timetabled language classes delivered by Fudan University trained teachers are offered at six levels. Beginners’ classes focus on the development of speaking and listening skills. Also popular is a bespoke culture and language insights programme which, in a few sessions can greatly help business understanding and engagement with Chinese contacts or visitors. Classes and the Institute’s autumn business lectures will begin in September 2012. Speakers confirmed for autumn 2012 include Peter Budd, Chairman, Arup Scotland; Jim McColl, Clyde Blowers; David Nish, CEO, Standard Life and Dr Liu Li, Managing Partner of one of China’s leading architectural design companies. For full details of the autumn programme of language classes and to reserve seats for any of the business lecture series please visit our website Confucius Institute for Scotland, Abden House, 1 Marchhall Crescent, Edinburgh, EH16 5HP T: 0131 662 2180 E:

Disappointment at ‘watered down’ railway plans Scottish Chambers of Commerce have welcomed progress towards the electrification of central Scotland’s rail network as a good start, but have warned that more needs to be done if the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Project (EGIP) is to live up to its ‘jewel in the crown’ potential. Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “The Scottish Government’s decision to implement only a part of its original plans for the EdinburghGlasgow Improvement Project at this time is disappointing. Whilst improvements in journey time, station facilities and the rapid acceleration of wi-fi capabilities in the ScotRail fleet are extremely welcome, EGIP


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was a project which had the potential to be transformational in terms of its impact on connectivity across central Scotland and, sadly, it looks as though this potential may fail to be realised. “The new plans that have been announced fail to achieve the improvements in journey times that have been promised, fail to guarantee the pledged electrification of the network to Stirling and Dunblane and fail to deliver the six trains per hour between Glasgow and Edinburgh that business travellers have been demanding.

to services as infrastructure improvements are undertaken and more information is required on how this will be managed. “Running a railway cannot be done on the cheap. EGIP was an ambitious project that could have delivered much in terms of economic benefits by bringing two of Scotland’s great cities together. The Scottish Government’s announcement is a start but we are looking for a cast iron guarantee that the rest of this project will be delivered to a defined timetable.”

“The investment that has been announced is also likely to result in significant disruption

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THE ROYAL HIGHLAND CENTRE DELIVERS THE FOOTFALL AND THE VENUE! The Royal Highland Centre (RHC) is gearing up for what will be a busy summer for the large-scale venue on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Here’s a few highlights..

due to the flexibility of the Lowland Hall as a venue. With great access, plentiful parking and excellent transport links – the RHC ticks all the right boxes for the organisers. EDINBURGH PIPE BAND CHAMPIONSHIPS


An industry worth over £14m, pets are big business and making a welcome return to RHC for a second year is Pets at Home. Featuring the very latest accessories, health care and advice; this popular event is expected to attract record numbers of visitors. ENERGY HOW EXPO

With energy on top of the political agenda, energy is very much a hot topic. The RHC is hosting a major two-day conference in September bringing together landowners from all over Scotland to debate the country’s energy future. Exhibitors will also be attending to highlight the renewable opportunities available to the rural and agricultural community.

Plans are well underway for the second Edinburgh Pipe Band Championship which takes place on August 19th. A great day out for all the family, the event will be a showcase for Scottish piping excellence.

Summing up, Archie Glendinning, Director of Royal Highland Centre, said: “Despite tough economic conditions, The Royal Highland Centre continues to create great events. With a focus on excellence in customer service and strong event expertise, we offer a service that’s hard to match.” www.


Archie Glendinning, Director of Royal Highland Centre,

A regular visitor to the RHC, this hugely popular event always brings in the crowds and this is in no small part

To find out more about the Royal Highland Centre please visit or call us on 0131 335 6200


Glittering events in a unique location Elegant Georgian suites and the stately Great Hall provides an ideal backdrop for entertaining clients and staff from 3–300 Period details including impressive Greek statutes, portraits and wood panelling provides an impressive and atmospheric setting Full AV support, recommended caterers and florists will help you to create a very special event

Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 9 Queen Street Edinburgh UK EH2 1JQ

+44 (0)131 225 7324 @RCPEVenue

Scottish charity no. SC009465

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Norton Park 57 Albion Road Edinburgh EH7 5QY

Introducing Visualise Visualise was formed as an ACTION GROUP in the Autumn of 1987 by a group of parents, carers and teachers of multi disabled visually impaired children from all over Scotland who attended Canaan Lodge, the multiply handicapped unit of the Royal Blind School, Edinburgh.

Our Objective To assist multi disabled visually impaired children and adults to fulfil their maximum physical, intellectual, emotional and social potential.

t: 0131 475 2337 e: BC issue 18.indd 42

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Asktheexpert Bid Management Process Irrespective of whether you are quoting for the provision of accountancy services to a sole trader, or tendering for the construction of a new harbour on Islay, you should have an effective bid process. When used properly, a good bid management process will reduce the stress of writing proposals. It will increase your win rates. It will also help you sell at higher prices. And how does it do this? The process gives you a structure which allows you to concentrate on relevant areas. It challenges your thinking and ensures you stay customer focused. And what does it look like? To answer that, I prefer to say what it is not: n it is not a tick-box, irrelevant, paperwork exercise n it is not a cumbersome and time consuming procedure n it is not a document that gets buried in the filing system

And how do you get one? The best way is to think logically about what is important to you. Ask yourself questions like “Do I need to mange the inputs of other people to my tenders?”, “Are there decision points about bidding and risk?” and “What do my customers expect?”. Once you have done this, I suggest you draw a simple flow chart to capture the key stages. From here you can produce whatever spreadsheets, tables, forms and filing systems you think are necessary. There Are No Prizes for Second Place Do not overcomplicate it. The best processes are streamlined and useable. On the other hand, do not think you are too small or do not tender enough to need a process. All bids, proposals and tenders are stronger if they are produced within the boundaries of an effective bid management process.

Anne Farr

several bidding tools which she shares freely with people who are interested. Anne Farr, Rothera Group Ltd, T: 01506 203325, E: Join our next Tendering for Success training day on 28 August.

Anne delivers our highly popular Tendering for Success course. She is always happy to chat about the challenges of tendering and has

GetwithIT By Bill Magee

Scottish Business Technology Writer of the Year

Holyrood Connect is required browsing as the online portal/publication that significantly influences and monitors Scotland’s progress towards becoming a truly Digital Public Sector force by harnessing the country’s key information and communication technologies.

of enhanced broadband services to support communities through a policy of sustainable digital inclusion, in line with the (John) McClelland report, who also spoke at the conference.

The Holyrood Magazine stablemate held its inaugural conference entitled ‘the future of public service delivery’, when keynote speaker Alex Neil, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet secretary for infrastructure and capital investment, spelled out the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Other participants at the Holyrood Connect event included senior executives from Virgin Media Business, brightsolid, Autonomy, BT, Intercall, O2, Sopra Group, Sungard, Updata, IS Improvement Service and Public Sector Nomads. Also Scotland IS whose executive director Polly Purves stressed the enabling economic strengths of the ICT sector.

High on the minister’s agenda is significant improvements by 2015 to the country’s tech infrastructure especially the delivery

I had the pleasure of chairing a brace of the breakout workshops. One involved InterCall’s Chris Glass, head of unified communications

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for Europe, Middle East and Africa, who discussed how to create sustainable efficiencies through collaboration, web conferencing and unified communications. The second featured BT’s global services marketing expert James Moore, backed up his colleague Martin Mulholland, client director (Scottish Government). The duo covered intelligent networks: an adaptable infrastructure for flexible public service delivery. Holyrood Connect plans a follow-up conference at Our Dynamic Earth in September covering the Cloud in the Public Sector.

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EDINBURGH RUGBY v GLASGOW WARRIORS WeeKend oF 28/29/30 deCeMBer 2012 (tBC) MurrAYField StAdiuM, edinBurgH

Getting ready for the season of goodwill It’s that time of year when the nights are drawing in and people are thinking about booking that all-important Christmas Party. A good Christmas Party can do wonders for staff morale and in Edinburgh the chance of finding the best venue for your needs is very high indeed. The city and surrounding area is blessed with excellent restaurants, hotels and other venues that can stage the best parties possible, taxi companies that can get you home or hotels and guest houses should you decide to spend the night. This year’s works parties will be, for many people, a celebration as they mark the end of a tough twelve months economically and shrewd bosses realise that there is much to be gained by spreading a little goodwill around the workforce. When organising company Christmas parties, there are a few things to bear in mind. Just as people remember a great party, they also remember a bad one and that can reflect poorly on an employer. So how do you know how to select the best venue? Well, it’s all down to first impressions - do you like the décor, does it look like it can generate a good atmosphere, are the staff friendly? Themed parties can work really well so consider what will generate the most


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goodwill and what kind of event will appeal to most people. It is crucial to continue that mindset when selecting venues that make everyone feel welcome. Older staff members might not appreciate a busy pub, younger ones might not want a restaurant whose clientele are normally on the older side. It’s worth putting a bit of thought into making a choice that strikes the right balance. Choosing the right menu is important as well. People like choice so even though most guests will go for the traditional Christmas meal, it’s a good idea to make sure there is an alternative - and definitely a vegetarian option. Also, people like to be appreciated. Maybe your staff and suppliers have gone over and beyond what was expected of them to help the business survive. A good boss knows to acknowledge that at the Christmas party. Maybe a tribute in a short speech or a thank you note on place settings would be a good idea.

Friendships forged on the international stage are cast aside at Christmas and New Year in the annual, two-legged, 1872 Cup clashes between Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors. The inter-city showdown between the nation’s two professional clubs is one of the oldest fixtures in world rugby and will celebrate its 140th anniversary this season. Local bragging rights and RaboDirect PRO12 league points are at stake in the cup clash won by the aggregate score from the home and away encounters at opposite ends of the M8. With so much at stake it’s understandable why the double-header derby fixtures are popular with fans, with last season’s 23-all draw at Murrayfield taken in by over 13,000 fans Edinburgh Rugby and Scotland centre, Nick De Luca, said: “The 1872 Cup derbies with Glasgow are always fantastic occasions, both on and off the pitch, they really get the juices flowing. Both teams have set ambitious targets for their performances this season so I expect the games will be even more fiercely fought than usual.The crowds at Murrayfield and Scotstoun are in for a real treat.” For Tickets for this hotly contested double-header, please call the ticket hotline 0131 346 5180 or check the website for further details

And, yes times, have been tough, yes, budgets have been tight, but a cheap party looks cheap so if you are a boss who is determined to hold one, loosen the purse-strings a little err on the side of generous and your staff will appreciate the gesture. Next year will bring its own challenges and a little bit of goodwill will repay itself many times over.

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180X110_POINT_XMAS12_Advert.indd 1

19/07/2012 11:16

The Point Hotel The Point Hotel has a lot to celebrate this Christmas. Our fabulous Christmas Party Packages are firmly establishing themselves at the top of everyones Christmas list as ‘the’ place to kick off the festivities in style.   We have all the elements you would expect for a memorable party with stunning food and great entertainment but it is our service that sets us apart.  Whether its an exclusive festive event in our stunning rooftop Penthouse or one of our lively Christmas Parties, our staff enjoy being there as much as you do and know that your Christmas party is a great way to end a years worth of hard work.  Celebrate this Christmas at The Point Hotel. Too busy to Party in December?  We have a great range of packages available for January, kick start the year in style! For more information or to book call 0131 221 5414 or email


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SPeCiAl FeAture

Celebrate Christmas in style at Edinburgh Castle Christmas is a really exciting time of year, and where best to spend some time than in the atmospheric, historic setting of Edinburgh Castle. There are lots of festive treats to enjoy, from exclusive Christmas lunches to Christmas carols in the Great Hall and fun-filled family events where children and grown-ups can find out about the origins of Christmas traditions.

Special Christmas Wine and dine events

Saturday december 15th - Christmas Carols

These exclusive lunches are being held on Sunday 2nd and Sunday 9th December 2012 and will give you the opportunity to sample the best of Scottish cuisine. Our chef will be

Come along and get into the festive spirit with a performance of traditional carols in the historic surroundings of the Great Hall.

This is a great way to keep the family entertained as the excitement builds for Christmas day. Find out the origins of Christmas traditions such as why we send Christmas Cards, and who decided Christmas Trees were a great idea!.

If you need to walk off an excess of Christmas pudding and are keen to get the children out of the house and away from their X boxes, come along on 27th December onwards and spend time with Mary Queen of Scots and her Lady-in Waiting, as they celebrate the ‘Daft Days’ – a time of merriment, with interactive fun for all the family.

thursday december 27th - Wednesday 3rd January - the daft days

describing the content and production of each course alongside the sommelier’s description of the specially selected wine to complement each dish. There are three fabulous festive lunch offers to help you start your Christmas celebrations in style. All include free entry to Edinburgh Castle Crown Christmas lunch Make your office Christmas lunch extra special by celebrating the festive season in the historic setting of Edinburgh Castle, voted the UK’s top Heritage Attraction at the prestigious British Travel Awards in 2011. The special luxury Christmas Crown Lunch package for parties of 10 or more, is exclusively available on Thursday 13th December, Friday 14th December and Thursday 20th December 2012, and includes a glass of wine on arrival, two canapés, Christmas crackers, a cash bar, table service and free entry to Edinburgh Castle. Set in the heart of the castle, feast like kings and queens in the majestic Queen Anne Room.

Saturday december 22nd - Monday december 24th - Christmas traditions

The lunches will be held in the Queen Anne Room at 1:00 pm. £52:00 per person

Join Mary Queen of Scots at Edinburgh Castle this Christmas and enjoy the Daft Days - a time of giddiness, mirth and merriment. Meet the Queen and her Lady in Waiting to learn about the fashions of the day, watch as the Royal Guard give a weaponry demonstration, be entertained by the court jester and then join in with period games in the Royal Palace. Fun-packed and interactive fun for all the family! 12.00 - 16.00 All events are included in the Admission Price. Please visit as more details will be confirmed later.

Christmas lunches in the Jacobite room Christmas lunches are also been held in the festive setting of the Jacobite Room from 12:30 with bookings from 12:30 from Thursday 6th – Monday 24th December 2012 This is the perfect way to celebrate the festive season with your colleagues, friends or family. £35:00 per person For more details and information on how to book, please see There are also various festive events taking place at Edinburgh Castle to bring Christmas cheer.

£47.00 per person.


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YdcĂ&#x2030;i\ZibVY###\Zi A NAME YOU CAN TRUST FOR BUSINESS IT SUPPORT Web Server Management

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Many companies rely on their web presence as their primary method of communication with new and existing customers. This can vary from brochure style websites through to full e-commerce websites or busy web forums with millions of visitors per month.

Modern businesses rely heavily on the processing power and communications functions of computers, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s critically important to keep your IT systems operating reliably and efficiently at all times.

Issues with websites can interfere with getting your message across to the customer.

Based in Glasgow, DSIS is a computing and IT company specialising in ensuring the smooth and effective operation of all your computer equipment, programs and networks.

DSIS specialise in fully managed Linux based web development and hosting, providing complete service from the ground up.

We have decades of knowledge, from hardware replacement and data recovery through to hosting websites and dealing with email viruses.

We actively manage servers, ensuring security and software is kept up to date, and monitor services and websites 24/7 allowing issues to be resolved quickly.

As a result, you can simply focus on your day-to-day business, leaving us to handle computing matters without stress or interruption. 0141 438 2030 B3/1/4 | 15 Edison Street | Glasgow | G52 4JW

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Gettingstarted Name: Charles Cormack Business name: Cormack Consultancy Group Start up date: 2001 Website: q1: tell us a bit about your business? We are an international business development company, helping companies who want to work internationally. We help them understand how to improve their profitability by expanding into new markets using their resources better and globalising their brand name. We do this by introductions to new outsourcing opportunities, new distribution chains, investigating R&D opportunities, innovation teams, new offices, availing of the cheaper local skilled workers and taking advantage of access to local grants. We have offices in Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and India, with plans for more office openings this year.

q2: What gives your business ‘the x-factor’? We use local experts who really understand what companies need to do to perform internationally and we have excellent staff in each of our markets. They appreciate what needs to be done to assist companies deliver against their internationalisation strategies and sales or cost saving targets. We don’t work through partners; we only offer our market entry support in markets where we have an office with full time staff.

q3: What motivated you to set up in business for yourself? To begin with, I guess it was a realisation that my lack of academic achievement at school meant I was never going to fly high in a traditional career. When I left school, I worked for about ten years in the hotel sector, finishing my career as a hotel manager and group marketing director in Croatia.

I left that job to start my own .com business, and when that failed because of the foot and mouth crisis, I did not want to go back in to the hotel sector, so had to look at the type of business I could develop. I started a consultancy helping technology businesses sell their products, and it was a natural step to move from helping companies sell their products in the UK to international markets. I believe that working internationally is vital to many UK businesses, but they seem unsure of how to do it. The Government offer some support, but it is focused only on export and there is so much more to working internationally than that.

q4: What do you like most about working for yourself? Seeing opportunities and going for them, this allows me to be in a position to make decisions and implement them, and building a great team of people who I like working with. Doing the things I like doing and meeting the people I like meeting, each day is completely different and each meeting brings amazing and diverse opportunities, there is so much business out there.

q5: What has been your greatest business success to date?

offering and employ more people.

q6: What has been your lowest moment? When I sold my previous business and the new owners forced us to close down our office in Estonia. When this happened I left and restarted operations, from which I suppose I learnt because now I have a much more successful business.

q7: in terms of business achievements, where do you want to be within the next 5 years? I want us to have 14 offices spread across the globe and continue to be a major player in the internationalisation and trade facilitation space but on a bigger scale.

q8: What would be your top tip to someone thinking of starting up their own business? Before you start, understand that it is going to be very very hard work.

Surviving the Baltic financial crisis (Latvian and Lithuanian markets dropped by up to 22%) and growing the business through it not only to survive but to continue to open offices. This has allowed us to expand our

On the right road for Tracker Re-engineered fleet telematics offering TRACKER Fleet scooped the Technology Award at the prestigious Van Fleet World 2012 Honours, held at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall. TRACKER faced stiff industry competition to win the Technology Award, which marks the company’s


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innovation and ability to meet the needs of today’s fleet operators.

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SPeCiAl FeAture

LOOKING TO GROW? YOUR GATEWAY TO BUSINESS EXPERTISE! Every year Business Gateway helps hundreds of established businesses across Edinburgh and Lothian to grow and prosper. The organisation’s specialist advisory teams work across every business sector supporting growth clients on a range of relevant topics from marketing and exporting to sourcing finance and employment issues. “Whether it is a practical workshop, a one to one session or a website business tool, it’s important to remember that all support and advice from Business Gateway is completely impartial and comes free of charge,” explains Susan Harkins from Business Gateway. Adviser Support A recent example of an Edinburgh business that has benefited from Business Gateway support is that of Safetray Ltd ( www. ) a young company producing a non-topple drinks tray which has secured deals to supply two of America’s largest food services companies and a renowned hotel with its innovative product. Sodexo USA, Compass Group USA and the Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas, were among the first to purchase Safetray, a non-topple drinks tray invented by Alison Grieve. who came up with the idea for the product after a tray of champagne worth hundreds of pounds toppled over at an event she had organised. Speaking about the major order, she said: “Securing orders with such leading names in the hospitality industry highlights how innovative the product is. The orders have also sparked interest in the product from across the globe. It’s amazing to think that a product made by a small Scottish company will now be used in places such as Alaska, San Francisco and New York.” John Hughes, Business Adviser, Business Gateway Edinburgh said: “When Alison

first came to us we immediately knew that her product had the potential to take the hospitality market by storm. We’ve supported the business through one-to-one advice, via our workshop programme and introduced Alison to other specialist agencies all of which has helped turn her idea into a marketable product in a short period of time.” Speaking about the support offered, Alison says “Business Gateway has supported me every step of the way – from ensuring my business plan was robust to helping me with the latest investment round. My adviser put me in touch with Scottish Enterprise whose market research highlighted that the US was going to be the product’s biggest market, with 60% of their top 100 bars providing VIP table service areas, which focused my attention on cracking North America first.” She added: “We are a classic Business Gateway story, in that we needed to develop intellectual property and it helped us secure a grant to do that, we needed to expand and export and so it put us in touch with the SDI and now, with only one in 20 companies successful in an investment round, its support has helped us secure finance. In terms of economic development, Business Gateway has done its job, as we are also about to take on two new members of staff with a further two later in 2012, and we’re grateful for its help.”

Business gateway Websites and Business Gateway has recently launched an additional secondary website aimed at illustrating the variety of support and specific advice we can offer to new and growing Businesses. Check out http://yourbusinessgateway. events Business Gateway runs a wide ranging programme of free workshops and events at convenient locations all over the country with dates to suit you. The workshops cover a range of topics including Online Trading, Tax, Marketing, Business Planning and Employment and Skills, amongst other subjects. To find out more about how Business Gateway can help you set up and develop your own business visit or call the local Business Gateway office directly on 0131 347 2820.

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SPeCiAl FeAture

Scottish Business benefi t from ScotRail Business Direct service ScotRail Business Direct is a completely free service, with no set up cost, providing fee-free transactions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so no hidden booking fees, postal charges*, or Ticket on Departure costs. Clients can choose which service method they prefer, with an emphasis on account management and support.â&#x20AC;&#x153;The online self-book tool is exactly what the majority of our clients wantâ&#x20AC;? explains Sue Perez, ScotRailâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sales Development Manager, â&#x20AC;&#x153;offering an intuitive, easy to use tool. The online self-book tool is further complimented by our specialist Scotland based telephone and email support team, ensuring continuity and reliability. The dedicated Business Direct team can assist with journey planning, including berth reservations and ticketing for the ScotRail Caledonian Sleeper, which can also be purchased as a 10 journey option, valid for a full calendar year.They can also help drive compliance with your travel policy, and will allow only designated bookers to purchase tickets.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Johnston Carmichael has ten offices across Scotland, so our partners and staff are often travelling. We have found ScotRailâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Business Direct Service convenient and easy for our people to use and it allows for greater flexibility with our train bookings.â&#x20AC;? Julia Timmins, JCCA, Aberdeen. Pivotal to both elements of the service is the new, flexible 3rd party ticket on departure functionality. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Previously, the payment card which was used to purchase a ticket also had to be presented at our Fast Ticket Machines in order to collect it,â&#x20AC;? says Sue Perez.â&#x20AC;&#x153;This created a barrier to rail usage for business purposes in the past, as the traveller was not always necessarily the booker.We are delighted that Business Direct removes this requirement, allowing businesses to get the best value on their tickets.â&#x20AC;? Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Commercial Director, Richard Muir, said:â&#x20AC;&#x153;ScotRailâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Business Direct service will make it much easier for us to manage our travel budget and ensure we get the best value tickets available. And the ticket-ondeparture option is really flexible.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The team in Fort William pride themselves on offering excellence in customer serviceâ&#x20AC;? comments Sue,â&#x20AC;&#x153;taking calls from 8am until 6pm Monday to â&#x20AC;&#x153;To make the journey as easy as possible for the Friday they really are there to make life easier for  

  traveller, bookers can opt to have the booking the client.â&#x20AC;?

reference sent directly to the passenger, via email or SMS, again, a benefit that lets people get on with what they do best, removing the need for paper print outs and scribbled post it notes,â&#x20AC;? added Sue. But the benefits of Business Direct donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop there. We can also assist with group bookings, so if the business is planning an â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;away dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or simply has to get a group of people from A to B, then they can enjoy preferential group rates, with discounts ranging from 20% to 50%**, and that even includes our Caledonian Sleeper. ScotRail operates 95% of services within Scotland, including the Caledonian Sleeper Service, an overnight service conveniently linking over 40 Scottish towns and cities with London Euston, in the heart of the city.

To find out more, call 08450 700 908, or visit *Standard postage only. Next Day Delivery incurs a ÂŁ6 fee. **Subject to date/time of travel and availability.

A fresh approach to Business Travel from ScotRail

Let us manage your business travel, while you get on with managing your business.

Arranging business travel for your organisation can be a headache so let ScotRailâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free Business Direct service do all the hard work. With benefits like these, why not take advantage of this personalised service:

â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘

Fee-free account-managed resource â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Collect at stationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; provision Aides implementation and compliance with travel policy Dedicated specialist Scotland-based support teams Online- and telephone-based ticket fulfilment options More value for your travelling needs

It could save you time, money and a lot of effort.

Visit or call 0845 070 09 08 to find out more


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Grant scheme helps get sustainable wheels moving The South East Scotland Transport Partnership operates a Sustainable and Active Travel Grant Scheme for organisations investing in sustainable travel. Schemes funded could include: n Secure cycle parking and shower/changing facilities; n Improving pedestrian access to a place of work; n A travel to work survey to develop a Travel Plan; n Employee training in travel planning, or; Any business or organisation in the South East of Scotland may apply for funding. Applications may be made on behalf of: n Any business or organisation, including charities, not for profit and public sector agencies, based in or operating in the SEStran Region; n A specific workplace or section within such a business or other organisation or Commercial or public service premises (not a private residence) Grants range from £500 to £25,000 and will normally be up to a maximum of 50% of any proposal, although in exceptional circumstances higher awards may be made. The applicant will be responsible for securing the remaining 50%. Bids are accepted year-round but work must be completed before March 31, 2013. If you have any questions or would like to discuss an application please contact the office at: SEStran Claremont House 130 East Claremont Street Edinburgh EH7 4LB or visit

of events including: pop-up shops, hair ups, treatment areas, demonstrations and cocktail bars. Edinburgh is an extremely fashion and image conscious city and this will be the first time women in the east will have their very own vibrant and stylish event. Held over three days, bringing together brands including GHD, Debenhams Arbonne,YO! Sushi and the 5 Star Scotsman Hotel Spa, Pout Edinburgh promised be a fun day out!. Promising to be this autumn’s best place to shop, test products and buy treatments, Pout Edinburgh at the Corn Exchange, 14- 16 of September will have an exciting programme

Tickets priced £15.00pp and includes a gift bag.

The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce welcomes its latest member companies: AGA Shop Edinburgh, The Aquila Insight Limited Autoenrolment (UK) Limited Bindery Machinery Services Ltd Bupa Health & Wellbeing CFMS CityJet Connoisseur Select Chauffeurs Limited Corporate Finesse Limited David Marshall Associates Driven 2 Deliver DtL Creative Edinburgh Life Magazine EFC Group Emperor Design Consultants Limited First Scotland East Limited Forth Sector Gallagher Employee Benefits Glen Golf Club GMG Radio Scotland Graphic Enterprise Scotland Grosvenor Developments Limited Innovi Business Growth Limited IT Professional Training Limited JCDecaux UK Limited Airports Division Kaelus Khukuri, The Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre Mash Marketing Millers Specialist Floor Covering MLM Solutions Newton Investment Management Limited Nick Callaghan Photography Origin Events (Scotland) Limited PC Support Services Pro Vision Fire And Safety Limited Professional Equity Solutions Really Wild Challenges Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh Royal Over-Seas League S. Maryam Hussain Salescraft Saltire Hospitality Stewart Geddes - Consultants The Scotsman Hotel Tycom Limited

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BSL & Lip-Reading Training Campus at Donaldson’s will be running a full programme of training courses from August 2012 at Donaldson’s School, Linlithgow: Introduction to British Sign Language (BSL) (10 wk course) Tue 28 Aug to 30 Oct, 6.30pm – 8.30pm Thu 30 Aug to 1 Nov, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Course fee: £150 Signature British Sign Language Level 1 Course (26 wk course) Tue 20 Nov to 11 Jun, 6.30pm – 9.00pm Thu 22 Nov to 13 Jun, 6.30pm – 9.00pm

Course fee: £370 Introduction to Lip-Reading (10 wk course) Mon 27 Aug to 12 Nov, 4.00pm – 6.00pm Thu 17 Jan to 21 Mar, 6.00pm – 8.00pm

Course fee: £50 We can also offer bespoke Deaf Awareness training to businesses to help you become DDA compliant. Please contact us or visit our website for more info: Telephone:      01506 841900 Textphone:      01506 841902 Email:     Web:       You may be entitled to up to £200 funding towards the costs of learning or training with an Individual Learning Account from Skills Development Scotland. Please contact ILA Scotland for more information: visit or call 0808 100 1090 Any profits made by Campus at Donaldson’s will be reinvested into Donaldson’s School and the education, therapy and care of our pupils who are deaf or have communication difficulties. (Scottish Charity No: SC017417)

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31/7/12 14:50:54

PartnersinEnterprise Success adds up to promotion for trio

Big contract win for law firm

Scottish accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael has announced a number of new promotions across the business.

Anderson Strathern has been appointed by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) as sole provider of legal services under a three-year framework agreement.

Adam Hardie, the firm’s Edinburgh-based director of Business Development, has been made a partner in recognition of his contribution to the development of the business across Scotland. Adam also serves as the firm’s head of food and drink sector. His colleague Peter Young, a director of tax in Johnston Carmichael’s Edinburgh office, has also been promoted to partner in recognition of his key role in growing the tax practice and capability of the firm. Peter, who has been with Johnston Carmichael since 2008, will continue to focus on growing and developing the business through innovation and promoting the firm’s expertise in key sectors such as food and drink and renewable energy. Aberdeen-based Laura Anderson, who handles day to day management of the audit, tax and related services, is promoted to the role of Director.

The SPS is an executive agency of the Scottish Government Justice Department and operates sites across Scotland, including prisons, a college, a central store and an administrative headquarters building. Adam Hardie (left) with Peter Young

Johnston Carmichael CEO Sandy Manson said: “These promotions underline the fact that the firm continues to grow and develop but we can only do this because of our great people and the commitment they continue to show to helping and supporting our clients through these challenging times.

Rationalising its panel of legal advisers from multiple firms to one single provider, the SPS appointed Anderson Strathern following a competitive tendering process. Anderson Strathern Chairman Robert Carr said: “This is a very significant appointment for the firm. We have a strong team of highly experienced lawyers who are well positioned to assist the SPS in achieving its aims and objectives.”

Robert Carr, Chairman of Anderson Strathern

August/September 2012

BC issue 18.indd 53


53 31/7/12 14:51:05

QTR 669

Moversandshakers chamber resurgence gathers momentum The resurgence of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is gathering pace, with the appointment of four key members to its team. The new appointments in the Membership organisation are Helen Robertson, Partnership and External Relations Manager, Sandra Watt, Retentions Executive and Nicola Melrose, Events Executive. They all bring with them a range of qualities and experience to support an already strong and capable team, led by Managing Director, Graham Birse. He said “We are delighted to welcome Helen, Sandra and Nicola on board to support and develop further the service we offer to our members and the business community. Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is committed to delivering the highest standards of service to all our members and partners and plays an essential role in the business life locally and nationally” The Executive team led by David Birrell, Chief Executive, also has a new appointment. Lynn Banks joins the team as Financial Controller responsible for Finance and Business Support across the Chamber organisation and has a key role in delivering the new long term strategic plan.

left to right, Helen Robertson, Lynn Banks, Sandra Watt and Nicola Melrose

Heehaw Digital taps into creativity as it expands its team Heehaw Digital has announced several appointments, including three members of staff to the video production team. New Producer Steven Ferguson worked freelance for STV Creative and previously at 55 Degrees. New Editor Drew Gibson has several’ years experience editing video content for big brands and his most recent post was at Ten Alps. Iona Spence joins the team


Steven Brown

Steven Ferguson

on a short contract as Assistant Editor. The company has also hired Steven Brown, a rising star from this year’s crop of new designers

Drew Gibson

at Telford College, who joins on a permanent basis as junior designer. Steven recently picked up a Star Creative Student Award at the Marketing Society Star

Awards 2012 and a D&AD student nomination in the Installation Design category.

BC June/July 2012

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QTR 6699 June ECC Ad 270x210_Layout 1 17/07/2012 10:55 Page 1


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0845 000 2525 · BC issue 18.indd 55

1/8/12 10:13:17

Skills mean more with SQA.

SQA offers a range of qualifications and services to develop the skills people need to work more effectively and more productively. Meaning happier employers, happier staff, happier results.

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Business Comment 18  

Business Comment 18

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