Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (21.09.16)

newcastlepr-1Aberdein Considine expands into England and Wales.

Aberdein Considine – which already trades across Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Stirling – has acquired Wallers Solicitors to help meet the growing need for lawyers who can act across multiple UK jurisdictions.

The deal gives Aberdein Considine its first foothold in the substantial English and Welsh legal markets and enables the immediate expansion of its corporate conveyancing, litigation and debt & asset recovery services south of the border.

The combined business, which will now trade under the Aberdein Considine brand, employs 380 staff and will have a total turnover of more than £22million.

Rob Aberdein, UK Partner in charge of Lender Services at Aberdein Considine, said the deal allows the firm to offer clients the convenience and security of using one firm across all of mainland Britain.

“We already act for some of the UK’s biggest lenders and this deal brings our customer, compliance and regulatory-focused debt & asset recovery and conveyancing services into the English and Welsh legal markets for the first time,” he said.

“Wallers, which was previously part of Hay & Kilner, has a track record of providing a great service to its loyal clients. The same dedicated staff will continue to offer that same great service under the banner of Aberdein Considine.”

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-11-13-28Scotland gears up for National Coding Week 2016

Running from 19-25th September sees a week-long series of events to encourage adults to try their hand at writing computer code, often for the first time.

Scottish efforts this year are being driven by organisations such as Yard Digital, CoderDojo, Glasgow Libraries and Edinburgh College.

Scotland ambassador, Dr Martin Goodfellow, Coder-in-Residence at Glasgow Life, said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to be the Scottish ambassador for National Coding Week. The event has been great for getting more people interested in coding and has grown enormously over the past three years. It’s fantastic to see so much engagement throughout Scotland and beyond in 2016. Here’s to a brilliant week of coding!”

Here are some of the events held across Scotland:

Meet CodeClan: Info Session for Employers
Thurs Sept 22nd

Teach your Parent/Guardian how to Code
Sat Sept 24th

CoderDojo Inverness
Learn how to code, or if you already can, improve your skills. Build cool stuff, from games to websites to animations to apps.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-11-22-49AV Department Ltd makes living wage a pillar of their salary structure

AV Department Ltd, which supplies high-quality audio visual equipment, became Scottish Living Wage Accredited employers shortly after the scheme was introduced in 2014.

The decision has given the company a positive image and has also boosted the morale of its nine employees, according to managing director Mark Kisby.

“It was a fairly easy decision for us to make, as quite a lot of our staff are technicians so they are quite well paid anyway,” he said. “It only affected a couple of people but what we have done is base our entire salary scale on a multiplier of the living wage.

“It means that on the lower part of the salary scale everyone’s wages went up a little, but it has also made our whole salary policy very clear.

“Also if the living wage increases then everybody’s wage increases because it is the backbone of our whole salary structure.”

“It just seems like the right thing to do,” said Kisby, who founded the company 10 years ago and is now seeing annual growth of 20 per cent. “We are a relatively small company, but by building the living wage in at an early stage it becomes part of our practice and is not a problem. Quite a lot of people think it is something bigger companies do, but if we can do it then anybody else can.”

Kisby said the living wage was all part of the socially responsible ethos of the company, which has just received ecostar accreditation for its environmentally friendly practices.

More in The National.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-11-36-50Apprenticeship programme expanded with DM Design 

DM Design – the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom specialist – is significantly developing its apprentice scheme during 2016.

The home improvement specialist will recruit six new modern apprentices as it aims to deliver a new generation of high-quality fitters.

The apprentices will undertake the SVQ level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery at the College’s East Kilbride campus, whilst also gaining on-the-job experience with DM Design.

DM Design marketing director Ben Taylor said: “We are embarking on an exciting period of growth at DM Design as we increase our showroom footprint and expand our unrivalled product offering.

“To support this growth it is vitally important that we invest in skills and training and bring in new talent that will enable us to maintain our position as one of the Scotland’s leading home improvement specialists.

“The partnership with South Lanarkshire College provides us with a great platform to meet this objective, whilst creating opportunity and career progression for bright and committed people looking to develop a career in a resurgent industry.”

The 3pm crash – why it happens and how to avoid it 

Mark Tiffney from Clydebank’s Dynamic Core Studios offers some perspective on the 3pm crash.

Almost everyone has experienced it personally or in others.

The 3pm Crash!

It may not be precisely 3pm but, sometime after lunch, there is a definitive slump in productivity as anyone without the adrenaline rush of an imminent deadline, struggles to keep their eyes open, never mind remain productive.

There are a number of reasons this happens, but most are linked to your dietary choices.

The top culprit would be the contents of your lunch.

A common choice, especially in the age of the ‘meal deal’, is a sandwich, packet of crisps and fizzy pop. But even those who dare to be different, actually targeting a cooked meal, invariably go for something like pasta or a baked potato.

The problem with all of these is the starchy carb content.

Now I’m not saying for one second carbs are evil or should be avoided. But the ratio and timing is not ideal.

A high ratio of carbs causes a spike in blood sugar. This is potentially dangerous. Therefore, your body reacts by releasing a hormone called insulin. But it generally over floods your system to ensure it clears the danger completely. But, now you are left with low blood sugar and as carbs and fats are easy to overeat, you are left lethargic with the energy you do have working on digesting that food.

This will also generally trigger the desire for sugar, such as a chocolate bar, to boost your energy and the cycle repeats.

If you are not going to be active in the afternoon or have not lowered your glycogen stores by being active in the morning, you don’t need the instant energy these foods generate.

Switching to high quality protein sources, which are harder to overeat, and a variety of fibrous veggies, will not only reduce these slumps, you’ll be nurturing your body to perform optimally. Combine with adequate water intake and an active lifestyle, and suddenly that 3pm period will see a massive spike in productivity.

Now imagine that happened company wide.

Business productivity would be through the roof. Not only that but that feeling of lackluster for work should drastically lower in employees making the workplace a happier and more content place to be.

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About the author

Rhona Middler

Rhona was Business for Scotland's Engagement Executive and Events Manager.

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