Zero Waste Scotland has launched an £18m fund for SMEs in Scotland in collaboration with Scottish Enterprise at a special session of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) forum in St Andrews.
The funding will be spread over three years and be focused on key sectors such as the bio-economy, the built environment and energy infrastructure. There will also be funding available for key activities such as reuse, remanufacturing, repair and reprocessing.
The fund aims to accelerate the development of business innovation, including support for developing new technologies and the infrastructure needed for a more circular economy which could mean sharing, leasing or takeback models, encouraging repair or new recycling ideas.
Interested SMEs should go to the Zero Waste Scotland website for more information and to apply.
Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive comments.
SELECT, the electrical sector’s campaigning trade body, remains “cautiously optimistic” as it reports the healthiest number of apprentices since the depths of the recession in 2009-10.
A total of 670 people are now undertaking apprenticeship schemes and adult training scheme places run by the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT). This is up from 650 in the latter part of last year and up from 580 the previous year.
Apprenticeship numbers, because of the long-term nature of some of the training, tend to be reflective of the electrical industry’s view of the prospects for improvement and sustainable work-flows within the construction sector.
Anne Galbraith, chief executive of SECTT, said: “SELECT’s member companies are taking on more and more of the skilled tradesmen of the future, and we are confident that this year’s numbers will continue to increase.
“The new Procurement Bill, with its provisions for the use of locally sourced labour, will be an important spur for employment opportunities, especially in some of the large public sector projects which are coming on stream.”
A new industry-led strategy was launched by Scottish Enterprise on Monday (21 March) setting out the key goals and actions required to achieve real-term growth for the aerospace, defence, marine and security (ADMS) sector of between 6% and 10% by 2020.
The most recent figures show that Scotland’s ADMS sector contributes revenues of more than £5.5bn per annum, employing over 38,000 highly skilled people, and adding £1.7bn in Gross Value Added (GVA).
Achieving sector growth on this scale could deliver significant economic benefits, including up to £500m in additional revenue per year, up to 3,000 new or replacement jobs and substantial CO2 reductions from disruptive new technologies.
The plan also aims to support Scottish Enterprise’s goal of increasing Scotland’s manufacturing output and works alongside the economic strategy for increased internationalisation, innovation, investment and inclusive growth.
Crerar Hotels Trust has donated £10,000 to Venture Scotland, a charity who run intensive personal development programmes.
The donation will go towards funding 10 highly vulnerable and disadvantaged young people from Glasgow to participate in the proven 12-month ‘journey’ programme. Venture Scotland’s support is targeted at some of Scotland’s most marginalised young people who need a long-term approach to overcome the challenges they face.
Crerar Hotels Trust Chairman and Hotel Group CEO Paddy Crerar said:
“Venture Scotland are doing great work for young people in the local community and we are proud to offer our support to further this incredible work that they do.”
The growth in Scotland’s digital sector has been reflected by a 50% jump in the entries to the annual Digital Technology Awards as the record number of firms vie for recognition at the award ceremony at Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket on Wednesday, 20 April.
The top award, Large Digital Tech Business of the Year, will be a straight head-to-head between Skyscanner, the flights, hotels and car hire comparison website, and Iomart, the Glasgow-based information technology and cloud computing company.
ScotlandIS chief executive Polly Purvis said:
“The Scottish digital technology sector is not just buoyant, it is thriving. It continues to grow year on year.
“I am delighted to see this reflected in the number of entries for the competition, up by more than half this year. The diversity, scale and sheer innovation of the companies on the shortlist is impressive and demonstrates the opportunities available for those interested in a career in the sector.”
Scotland’s development agency for start-up social enterprises, FirstPort has invested £20,000 in eight Scottish start-ups. The businesses must aim to become financially sustainable and generate profits to re-invest in the cause they support.
The funding will allow the entrepreneurs to test their social enterprise ideas around Scotland, the sector being worth £451m last year.
Karen McGregor, chief executive of Firstport, said:
“I am very proud that Firstport supports individuals who want to make a different in their community and across Scotland.
“This latest round of awards shows how dynamic the social enterprise model is and the inspiring commitment of social entrepreneurs: tackling unemployment, providing new skills, regenerating local places and overall enriching local communities with valued products and services.
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