Countdown to skills review

first_img The debate on how UK plc can stay competitive in the global economy has resurfaced with the imminent publication of the long-awaited Leitch Review.Two years in the making, the Treasury-backed report is expected to use evidence from a range of employer groups and other stakeholders to outline the skills profile the UK should aim to achieve by 2020 to support productivity and economic growth. It is expected to be published around the time of Gordon Brown’s Pre-Budget Report at the end of November.Clues as to what can be expected from the full review were found in the interim report, published in December 2005, where the extent of the task was outlined. UK productivity needs to improve, as do the skills of one-third of the UK adult population who do not have basic school-leaving qualifications. More university places need to be found to educate the extra professional and technical workers who will prop up the much-heralded ‘knowledge economy’, while something also needs to done about the dearth of managers.ContentBut in the run-up to publication, the Treasury is staying tight-lipped about the details in the final report, proffering only sweeping statements.“The review will look at the skills situation through an economic lens, taking into consideration the skills stock, as well as its flow, and the likely evolution of the skills base,” said a spokesman.Outside Whitehall, no-one can be sure what to expect, but there are lots of opinions on what the review should include. At the EEF manufacturers’ organisation, senior economist Lee Hopley would like to see recommendations that lead to an education and training system that reflects the needs of business. “We need a system that is demand-led and engaged with business,” said Hopley.David Frost, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, agreed. “We want to see the employer put centre stage,” he said. “Employers are concerned that the system is currently driven by training providers and colleges.”Also vital, according to Frost, is that the current confusion over the role of the various public agencies is brought to an end. “There are too many agencies involved in training – the Learning and Skills Council, the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA), and the Regional Skills Partnerships. The system is impossible to navigate for employers,” he said.A brokering service that sits between employers and the agencies might be a way forward, Frost said.Mark Fisher, chief executive of the SSDA, agreed that Leitch must simplify the system for employers, and that colleges and training providers should be more responsive to local needs. “But in return, we hope that employers will step up to the mark and invest in the skills of their employees,” he said. WishlistsIncreased employer funding in training that leads to formal qualifications and sustainable skills was one of the five demands the TUC put forward to the Leitch Review team during consultation.Another of high priority for the union body is the introduction of new legal rights for low-skilled workers to paid time off to train, according to Iain Murray, the TUC’s senior policy officer for learning and skills. “Adult employees without a level 2 qualification should have a statutory right to request paid time off, to tackle those employers that refuse to allow their staff to access state-subsidised paid time-off arrangements,” he said.At the other end of the educational spectrum, Iain Cameron, head of research at the careers and diversity unit of Research Councils UK, hopes Leitch will include recommendations that work towards closing the gap between the laboratory and the commercial world. “We would like to see the introduction of courses for PhD students that are aimed at bringing a business awareness to the work they are doing and to help them develop an entrepreneurial sense alongside their studies,” he said.It is clear that Leitch will have his work cut out to incorporate all these differing demands. But there is one thing all the parties are agreed on: the importance of this review, and the dire consequences should the UK remain complacent about the development of skills for the future – concerns best summed up by Frost.“Our productivity does not compare well with competing nations and our skills must improve as we move up the value chain. If they don’t,” he warned, “we are doomed to become a second-class nation.”The Leitch ReviewIn 2004, Sandy Leitch, a former chief executive of Zurich Financial Services and chairman of the National Employment Panel, was commissioned by the government to lead an independent review of skills. In particular, the review was asked to examine the UK’s optimum skills mix to maximise economic growth and productivity by 2020, and consider the different trajectories of skill levels the UK might pursue.The Leitch Review has drawn on evidence from a wide variety of sources, including employers and their representatives, unions, and organisations providing education and training.The review team comprises officials from both the Treasury and the Department for Education and Skills, with an advisory member from the Sector Skills Development Agency. The final report to the government is expected in late November. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Countdown to skills reviewBy Ross Bentley on 31 Oct 2006 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

TechnipFMC announces first commercialization of Direct Heating Unit technology in Brazil

first_imgThe DHU technology was jointly developed with support from Total Petrochemicals and Refining and Shell Catalysts and Technologies, and is licensed through Badger Licensing Image: TechnipFMC announces first commercialization of Direct Heating Unit technology in Brazil. Photo: Courtesy of TechnipFMC plc. TechnipFMC announced that Videolar-INNOVA recently started up the first Direct Heating Unit (DHU) in Brazil. This groundbreaking technology for adding heat to high temperature processes employs flameless combustion for the dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene.INNOVA’s 420,000 metric ton styrene plant, located in Triunfo, Brazil, is the first commercialization of TechnipFMC’s DHU technology in the world. Unlike conventional furnace burners, where fuel and air are combined at a single point, in a DHU unit, fuel is added incremxentally to a high velocity air stream over an extended reaction zone. This allows the fuel to react in a controlled manner at significantly lower temperatures than flame combustion. TechnipFMC supplied the Project Development Process field services, and the DHU equipment, as well as the technology license for the unit.Stan Knez, President of TechnipFMC Process Technology, remarked: “We are very pleased with this successful start-up of INNOVA’s DHU. This technology represents one of the most significant styrene process advancements in over 60 years. We look forward to realizing the possibilities for DHU technology.”INNOVA Industrial Director, Sergio de Oliveira Machado, extolled the success of this project, stating: “The DHU technology has surpassed our expectations and we are very pleased with how the project was completed with full cooperation from TechnipFMC’s Badger Technology.”The DHU technology was jointly developed with support from Total Petrochemicals and Refining and Shell Catalysts and Technologies, and is licensed through Badger Licensing LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TechnipFMC.  DHU technology is now routinely incorporated as part of the Total/Badger styrene technology for grassroots and revamp applications.  The second commercial application of DHU is due to start-up later this year. Source: Company Press Releaselast_img read more

USA: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Awards Small Business USD 7.5 Million to Build Facility

first_img June 8, 2011 View post tag: USD View post tag: build View post tag: engineering View post tag: business View post tag: 7.5 View post tag: usa Back to overview,Home naval-today USA: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Awards Small Business USD 7.5 Million to Build Facility View post tag: million Industry news USA: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Awards Small Business USD 7.5 Million to Build Facility View post tag: News by topic Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas awarded a $7.5 million firm-fixed-price task order June 7 to Guam Pacific International LLC, a small business of Barrigada, Guam, for construction of a combat communications operations facility at Andersen Air Force Base (AAFB).The contract is to build a reinforced concrete facility with office spaces, briefing/training rooms, an administration area, mechanical and electrical spaces, and communications and fire suppression/detection systems. The work also includes environmental controls, utilities, pavements, parking, and associated site improvements.“This is another fine example of a small business that has successfully demonstrated its capabilities to meet our enduring military construction requirements,” said Capt. Peter Lynch, commanding officer, NAVFAC Marianas. “Not only will the work support a new facility for the Air Force, but it will also incorporate sustainable design strategies and features that will allow us to meet federal environmental mandates.”This task order was awarded under a previously awarded small business multiple award construction contract (MACC). Six proposals were received, and work is expected to be completed by August 2012.[mappress]Source: navy, June 8, 2011; View post tag: facilities View post tag: Naval View post tag: Navy View post tag: Command View post tag: small View post tag: awards View post tag: facility Share this articlelast_img read more

Nature’s Pride marks return for Interstate

first_imgAiling US wholesale bread and cake distributor Interstate Bakeries is radically revamping its range to focus on ’natural’ products. The firm, alongside eight of its subsidiaries, recently saved 22,000 jobs after successful financial reorganisation, following over four years in bankruptcy. Based in Missouri, Interstate produces popular American brands such as Hostess Twinkies and Wonder Bread.The new national brand of all-natural breads will be called Nature’s Pride. The bread contains no artificial flavours or colours, no high fructose corn syrup, trans fats or artificial preservatives. It is the company’s first complete line of bread products to be introduced in several years. CEO Craig Jung said it “marks a new beginning” for the company.last_img read more

International Agribusiness Conference and Expo

first_imgDeal, along with Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, director of Business Development for the Georgia Ports Authority John Petrino and others will speak throughout the two-day event hosted by Georgia Southern University and the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. WHERE: Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, One International Drive, Savannah, Ga. Gov. Nathan Deal will address the importance of international trade to the economic well-being of the state at the inaugural International Agribusiness Conference and Expo on Wednesday, Sept. 25-26, at 3:30 p.m. WHO: Gov. Nathan Deal WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 3:30 p.m. About the International Agribusiness Conference and ExpoThe conference will provide participants with information on which markets are open to their products, how to export their goods and what exporting can do for their bottom lines. Participants can attend educational forums and workshops to learn from experts in agricultural importing and exporting. Attendees will learn about the latest practices in processing value-added agricultural products and meet with international trade representatives and public officials who advocate for international trade in Georgia. For more information about the conference’s schedule and registration, visit To learn about the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, go to Visit for more information about Georgia Southern University’s Division of Continuing Education.last_img read more

Vermont senior housing gets $4.9 million from HUD

first_imgMore very low-income senior citizens in Vermont will have access to affordable supportive housing thanks to $4,885,200 in housing assistance announced today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This grant will help Cathedral Square Corp., a non-profit organization produce accessible housing, offer rental assistance, and facilitate supportive services for the elderly.   VERMONT GRANTSection 202 – Supportive Housing for the Elderly Project Location                      :  Burlington, VTNon-Profit Sponsor                 :  Cathedral Square Corp.Capital Advance                     :  $4,543,800Three-year rental subsidy        :  $341,400Number of units                      :  28Project Description                 : Cathedral Square Corporation has had great success combining HUD Section 202 funding with other federal, state, and local funding sources to create affordable housing for the elderly.  This 28-unit project, which will be located in Burlington, Vermont, will be no exception.  CSC’s relationship with service providers throughout the state will enrich the tenants’ lives and help encourage aging in place.  Units over and above the 28 HUD funded units may be added to the project with outside funding sources.      The grant funding awarded under HUD’s Sections 202 and 811 Supportive Housing programs will kick start construction or major rehabilitation for more than 170 housing developments in 42 different states and Puerto Rico.  In Vermont, more than 28 elderly households will be affordably housed with access to needed services.  A detailed summary of the Vermont grant can be found below.‘The Obama Administration is committed to helping our senior citizens find a decent, affordable place to live that is close to needed healthcare services and transportation,’ said Michael McNamara, HUD Vermont Field Office Director.  ‘Recent bipartisan changes to these two supportive housing programs will allow us to better serve some of our more vulnerable populations who would otherwise be struggling to find a safe and decent home of their own.’Enacted early this year with strong bipartisan support, the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act and the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Act provided needed enhancements and reforms to both programs.  Nonprofit grant recipients will now receive federal assistance that is better leveraged and better connected to state and local health care investments, allowing greater numbers of vulnerable elderly and disabled individuals to access the housing they need even more quickly.  Section 202 Capital Advances will provide $545 million nationwide to 97 projects in 42 States and Puerto.  In addition to funding the construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of multifamily developments, HUD’s Section 202 program will also provide $54 million in rental assistance so that residents only pay 30 percent of their adjusted incomes.  Section 202 provides very low-income elderly persons 62 years of age or older with the opportunity to live independently in an environment that provides support services to frail elderly resident. HUD provides these funds to non-profit organizations in two forms:           ·         Capital Advances.  This is funding that covers the cost of developing, acquiring, or rehabilitating the development.  Repayment is not required as long as the housing remains available for occupancy by very low-income elderly persons for at least 40 years for (under Section 202) or very low-income persons with disabilities (under Section 811). ·         Project Rental Assistance Contracts.  This is funding that goes to each development to cover the difference between the residents’ contributions toward rent and the cost of operating the project. Residents must be ‘very low income’ with household incomes less than 50 percent of their median for that area.  However, most households that receive Section 811 or Section 202 assistance earn less than 30 percent of the median for their area.  Generally, this means that a one-person household will have an annual income of about $13,500. HUD 11.15.2011last_img read more

Proposed $100M ‘small entity’ threshold out for comment

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The NCUA Board, voting 3-0, issued a proposal Thursday that would revise the “small entity” designation under the Regulatory Flexibility Act to cover credit unions with less than $100 million in assets, but Board Member J. Mark McWatters said the threshold should be higher.McWatters advocated for setting that threshold at $250 million in assets – if not $550 million, the threshold set by FDIC and other federal banking regulators – since a federal credit union of that size would still be considered small “relative to the universe of financial institutions within which a federal credit union competes.”The proposed rule, issued along with proposed Interpretive Ruling and Policy Statement 15-1, does not confer specific regulatory relief. Rather, it would cause NCUA to “give special consideration to the economic impact” of proposed and final rules on 745 additional credit unions, or a total of 4,869 institutions (77 percent of all).Staff said 77 percent of all insured credit unions have less than $100 million in assets and hold 10 percent of total industry assets. All those with less than $550 million represent 93 percent of insured credit unions and 33 percent of industry assets. continue reading »last_img read more

Boy, 11, Brought Gun to Mastic Beach Elementary School, Cops Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An 11-year-old boy was charged with juvenile delinquency for allegedly bringing an unloaded handgun to the Tangier Smith Elementary School in Mastic Beach on Wednesday, Suffolk County police and school officials said.A fellow student who discovered the non-functional firearm at dismissal told a teacher and police were then called to the scene, authorities and school officials said. The student, whose identity was not released because of his age, brought the gun to school in his backpack, police said.“At no point were students and staff in danger,” the William Floyd School District officials said in a statement on the district’s website.The boy was released to the custody of his parents. He will also face disciplinary actions, but school officials noted that federal law prohibits them from releasing exactly what those actions will be.The boy’s father—whose name was also not released to protect the child’s identity—was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child.Both ware scheduled to appear at Suffolk County court at a later date.Seventh Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.last_img read more

They may have been brown, but they have become the blue cow of our tourism

first_img“In the world of marketing, the thing is simple: you have to be special, different, special. You have to have what others don’t have. You have to know how to inspire, and you will only be able to do that if you inspire yourself. Something that especially deserves to be talked about, to be noticed. That is something extraordinary. New. Interesting. It’s a blue cow. Boring is invisible. Boring is a brown cow”Wrote Seth Godin, marketing guru and author of the world bestseller Blue Cow.One of the blue cows in our tourism is certainly located in Šibenik-Knin County. Admittedly, they had all the prerequisites to be just a boring brown cow, butsolely because of the people who lead and develop this great tourism story, they chose the harder but right path, and by their example became a real case study or a positive example globally as revitalizing dead capital and turning it into top tourism content.And they could have been a classic institution at the expense of the budget.They could stick to the status quo.They could “wait” for money. They could do without EU funds and wait for the State to revitalize them who knows when, if ever.They could only be a “dead” exhibit.They could follow trends, not create them.They could only sell the view alone, not the whole story.They could sell Montana sandwiches and Chinese plastic souvenirs.They could do without augmented reality and new technologies.They could do without concerts, conferences, promotions…They can work until 16.00pm and not work on weekends.They could do it, not work.They could have been brown cows.They could, but they didn’t.Just the opposite of the above. Šibenik fortresses are self-sustainable, generate added value, use groceries and souvenirs from local producers, have their own club of friends of Šibenik fortresses with over 4000 members, and this year alone they have organized about 50 different entertainment and cultural events. They also became the stage for various European promotions. They think globally and act locally, develop a cultural community and are a place of meeting, education, culture, interaction, crying and laughing, strong emotions and experiences… but their story has not stopped, on the contrary, they continue to grow boldly and visionarily and push forward as cultural hopes. tourism.After the revitalization of the fortress of Sv. Mihovil and Barone, it will be the turn of the remaining two fortresses as a unique cultural and historical story and a complete tourist product. In the first ten months of Šibenik Fortress was visited by about 180.000 visitors, and the fact that is news for the headlines is that Sibenik fortresses financially self-sustaining.And that is why the Šibenik fortresses are where they are. All thanks to proactivity, the destruction of the status quo, the need to add value and to become a real tourist attraction. Another proof of how it is possible and how it is up to the people. Not only have the Šibenik fortresses become an integral part of the tourist offer of the city of Šibenik, but they are the leaders in the development of tourism.And how everything looked like in this tourist season, see the attachment.PS They could have done it without the “cost” of making this video, but they are very well aware that this video will be just another piece of the puzzle for attracting new sponsors for next year.In the meantime, there is no need to worry about it. ”Source: Photo / Video: PUBLIC INSTITUTION IN CULTURE FORTRESS OF CULTURE ŠIBENIKlast_img read more