Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (24.08.16)

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.38.52Workplace innovation service from Scottish Enterprise to help boost productivity. 

The service was launched on Monday (22nd August) by Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse. This launch included a master class demonstrating how employers can redesign jobs to deliver a range of business benefits including increased productivity, decreased staff turnover and reduced absence.

Recent research in the UK found that poor leadership and management practices account for productivity losses equivalent to £19bn per annum.

Minister for business, innovation and energy, Paul Wheelhouse said: “Evidence shows that a fairly treated workforce is a more productive workforce and that’s good for individuals, good for business and Scotland’s economy, and at the heart of the Government’s Economic Strategy.”

The Scottish Enterprise workplace innovation service consists of three elements which will be delivered over two years, including a series of master classes, a workplace innovation engagement programme focusing on individual and shared learning and a high performing participating teams approach to support improved performance.

More on this story.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.41.46Progress welcomed on £1.2m Aberdeen hydro power scheme 

Parliamentarians visited the Donside Hydro power scheme to gain insight into how the new £1.2m venture will operate upon its completion this autumn.

The project developed by Aberdeen Community Energy and will harness the power the River Don to generate energy. ACE is a society made up of members of the Donside Community Association to develop enough electricity generated through renewables to power 130 local homes a year.

Construction began earlier this summer and is due to finish in October. Earlier this month ACE announced a bid to raise £500,000 from local investors by offering individuals and business the opportunity to buy shares in the project. So far nearly £160,000 has been raised.

Callum McCaig, MP for Aberdeen South and Energy and Climate Change spokesperson for the SNP in Westminster, said: “The Donside Hydro project is clear evidence that not only does Scotland have enviable potential to generate massive amounts of energy from renewables, but also that our communities are enthusiastic to back investment in them.

“We need long-term sustainable energy to power our country and our governments must do all they can to support the development of technology to support the renewables sector. The Scottish Government’s policy is for 100% of our electricity consumption and 11% of our heat be generated by renewables by 2020.”

More from Scottish Energy News.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.50.40Scottish business confidence at lowest rate since recession

With business confidence at its lowest level since the 2008/09 recession, with a recorded confidence score of -16.4 for Q3.

ICAEW says the downturn in confidence is consistent with weaker activity being reported by Scottish businesses. Turnover growth in Scotland has more than halved over the last year, to 1.7 per cent year-on-year in Q3 of 2016, from 4.2 per cent 12 months ago.

Weaker turnover growth has been accompanied by a fall in prices charged by Scottish businesses, down by 0.8 per cent over the last 12 months. With input prices remaining flat and salaries continuing to grow, at 1.3 per cent, there has consequently been a downward impact on margins. Profit growth has slowed from 3.8 per cent year on year in Q3 of 2015, to 0.9 per cent this quarter, the lowest rate of growth since Q1 in 2013. Employment levels remained broadly flat in the 12 months to Q3 2016. The growth in staff development budgets has been just 1.1 per cent year on year.

Despite this, Scottish businesses still expect growth in the year ahead, ICAEW, says albeit at a slower pace than forecast a year ago. Turnover is expected to rise by 2.9 per cent, which is significantly better than the 1.7 per cent achieved over the last 12 months, with exports predicted to grow a little faster than domestic sales (3.4 per cent and 3 per cent respectively). Export growth will be supported by the depreciation of sterling, although a weaker pound will also place upward pressure on input prices.

With prices charged to customers predicted to grow by just 0.7 per cent, Scottish businesses expect profits to grow by 2.8 per cent, half the assumption of a year ago.

Scottish Friendly says the increase in disposable income has been fuelled by low inflation and the continued positive impact of the National Living Wage. However, with growth expected to slow in the wake of the EU referendum result and the fall in the value of sterling, many still cite concerns about their financial well-being, despite unemployment levels remaining low.

More on this story in The National.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.54.31RWE Innogy’s £12m Cia Aig hydro scheme unveiled by Scottish minister

Official opening follows warnings from MSP Paul Whitehouse that hydro power sector is currently “at a crossroads” due to subsidy cuts.

RWE Innogy’s 3MW Cia Aig hydro power scheme is set to be officially unveiled today by Scottish Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP following two years’ construction work.

The Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, is set to be joined by CEO for renewables at RWE International SE, Hans Bünting, to officially inaugurate the £12m facility after its first turbine became operational in February.

In a statement, Wheelhouse said the scheme – situated on the Abhainn Chia-aig river around 20 miles to the north of Fort William – would “contribute to the growing importance of hydro generation in Scotland”, which he said was the largest source of renewable power north of the border after offshore wind.

According to the British Hydropower Association (BHA), the addition of the Cia Aig facility brings Scotland’s total existing capacity for small-scale hydropower to 177MW, with approximately 1,700 people now working in the sector.

Story from Business Green.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.59.04First Minister warns Brexit could cost Scottish economy billions of pounds

An analysis of possible Brexit consequences published by the First Minister has said that the Scottish economy could lose between £1.7bn and £11.2bn a year by 2030, which could have a severe impact on public spending.

Ms Sturgeon, who also announced a new Scottish government minister on Brexit to lobby UK government, said “This paper shows, in the starkest possible terms, the potentially huge cost to Scotland of being taken out of the European Union and the single market.

“This analysis – based on a wide range of sources – demonstrates that leaving the EU, under any potential alternative arrangement, will have a profound and long-lasting impact on the public finances and the wider economic and societal wellbeing of both Scotland and the UK as a whole.

“That stark picture outlined means that, whatever the model of relationship with the EU which is chosen by the UK government in their negotiations before and after Article 50 is triggered, it will not be as economically beneficial as full EU membership.”

More on this story.

Business for Scotland Glasgow Networking: Wednesday 24th August

Join us and other pro independence business people for Glasgow Connect networking event on Wednesday 24th August, at 29studios (84 Miller Street, Glasgow G1 1DT).

The event will start at 6:30pm and some of our members will be giving a short introduction to their businesses on the night.

Drinks and refreshments will be provided.

Book your place now.

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About the author

Rhona Middler

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

1 Comment

  • FDI buttresses the government’s budgetary bottom line but developing countries invariably being governed by kleptocracies, the majority of the money is likely to vanish in deep
    pockets, greased palms, and Swiss or Cypriot bank accounts.

    The drop-shipping partner would conserve the rest and
    ship the merchandise directly to the address of the client.

    It is very important to make note of that even international
    businesses need to operate “locally” to be successful.

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