Advisory / Counseling Services News
A BRAND new easy-to-access system for small and medium sized food manufacturers to introduce a food safety quality assurance scheme will be launched on Monday (March 19) at the International Food Exhibition in London. It has come about after four food-chain organisations recognised that although smaller food providers are being courted more and more by retailers and food service companies, their ability to meet the demands of a range of different buyers is often blighted by confusion over exactly what quality assurance level they are required to aspire to.
Carbon Fibre Manufacturer Announces £22m Investment Over 3 Years SGL Technic Ltd, a subsidiary of German based SGL Group, today announced a £22m investment to expand its manufacturing facility in Muir of Ord, near Inverness creating up to 64 new jobs over the next 3 years and safeguarding the employment of the company's 85 staff. The Wiesbaden headquartered company is a leader in the research, development and manufacture of products made from carbon, graphite and composite materials.
UNEMPLOYMENT DIGEST SUMMARY The January 2007 unemployment figures were released on 14th February 2007. During the month, December 2006 to January 2007, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Great Britain rose by 4.6%, from 897,758 to 938,625 (40,867 claimants).
The Pulteneytown electoral ward has shown an increase over last month recording 64 males and 22 females registered as unemployed. This compares to the previous month of December when the figures were 57 Males and 22 Females.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Caithness and Sutherland are being urged to grasp a unique opportunity to help boost future company growth, by tapping into a ready-made resource based within UHI Millennium Institute that helps companies crystallise opportunities to move the business forward. This free service - a ground-breaking university-based initiative called HI Links, is a three-year project funded by a SEEKIT grant from the Scottish Executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and UHI.
A new internet-based guide, accessible via the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website for people who trade online is being launched this week. It outlines the rules for people who trade online for a profit, as opposed to others who are just clearing low value items from the attic.
Are you newly Self Employed or thinking of becoming Self Employed? Do you have a Self Employed tax return to complete? Are you a New Employer? Do you have an Employers Annual Return to complete? Do you want to know about the changes to the Construction Industry Scheme? If you can answer "YES" to any of the above questions & would like to learn more, you may be interested in attending one of HM Revenue & Customs free learning events. The following events will take place in Thurso; 13th March 2007 AM/PM Paying Your Employees 14th March 2007 AM Becoming Self Employed PM Self Assessment for the Self Employed 15th March 2007 AM Employer's Annual Returns PM New Construction Industry Scheme To book a place in one of our sessions, please telephone 01355 275 207.
UNEMPLOYMENT DIGEST SUMMARY The December 2006 unemployment figures were released on 17th January 2007. During the month, November 2006 to December 2006, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Great Britain rose by 0.2%, from 895,833 to 897,758 (1,925 claimants).
NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED BY LEC AREA The table below traces changes in the numbers (not rates) of unemployed people claiming benefits in the Highlands & Islands LEC areas between November 2006 and December 2006. A yearly comparison between December 2005 and December 2006 is also provided.
LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT BY LEC AREA For the purpose of this analysis, long-term unemployment (LTU) is defined as 'all those who have been unemployed and claiming benefit for over 6 months'. The table below shows the number of people who are on long term unemployment benefit for December 2006 in each of the LEC areas.
A taskforce drawing on the area's three key public agencies will be charged with delivering an action plan for the regeneration of the Caithness and North Sutherland economy. The Far North has specific economic hurdles ahead with the prospect of decommissioning work at Dounreay's nuclear reactor coming to an end in the early 2030s with the eventual loss of around 2,500 jobs.
The Caithness & Sutherland Chamber of Commerce is urging the lead Agencies in the decommissioning of the Dounreay site and the economic regeneration of Caithness & North Sutherland to make clear without further delay their acceptance or otherwise of the proposal, put forward six months ago at a Meeting of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group, for the appointment of a 'supremo' to oversee and drive the process forward. If the proposal has been rejected by the Agencies what are the objections to it and what plans do the Agencies have to take matters forward? Whilst acknowledging that the lead role is the responsibility of the Agencies concerned the Chamber considers it essential that any proposal/plan has public confidence and support.
There are still two weeks left for the public to respond to a consultation by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) on its draft operating plan and associated environmental report. Under the provisions of Regulation 16 of the Environmental Assessment of Plans & Programmes (Scotland) Regulations 2004, HIE has its first strategic environmental assessment to gauge the potential significant effects its draft operating plan may have on the environment.
The following are funds approved up to the last day of the month. Please note that the sums relate to approvals, not payments.
Highlands and Islands Local Food Network (HILFN) is to set up a food apprenticeship to train a new generation of food growers in the area - the first course of its kind in Scotland. More and more consumers in the Highlands and Islands are choosing to eat healthily and shop locally which is leading to a shortage of locally grown fruit and vegetables in many parts of the north.
The search continues to find the Highlands and Islands' answer to Richard Branson as the ICT Hothouse Youth Challenge 2007 enters its final month for entries. The challenge is looking for young entrepreneurs with bright ideas to submit their ideas for information technology and communications of the future.
CONTRACTORS SUPPLIER EVENT 4 pm 29 NOVEMBER 2006 Pentland Hotel Thurso Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise is hosting a supplier event in the Pentland Hotel Thurso on 29 November at 4pm to provide information to local companies on current business opportunities. Presentations will be made by:- Dan Mistry of UKAEA Culham who will provide information on the prospects and opportunities for locally based businesses arising from the construction and commissioning of ITER at Caderache in France.
A project manager is being recruited to take forward proposals for a Nuclear Skills Academy Scotland. The proposed skills academy is being drawn up in partnership between the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise, North Highland College UHI Millennium Institute and UKAEA Dounreay, which are jointly funding the project manager role.
A PROPOSAL to create a £24million Combined Heat and Power plant at Invergordon has won wholehearted support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) with its board agreeing to a £5.5million contribution to the project. Northern Ireland-based company Balcas Ltd plans to develop its operation on the former Alcan smelter site at the Cromarty Industrial Park.