Oct 132017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, PR and Marketing Manager at Think PR.

Two young professionals based in the North East have launched an entirely new approach to people and asset resourcing, which they believe has the potential to provide massive cost savings to the oil and gas industry.

Having recently won the backing of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Leximo is the brainchild of Alex Crossland and Simon Patterson, both of whom are passionate about facilitating a cultural shift in employment patterns, how company assets are maximised and how innovators collaborate.

Leximo comprises three online platforms.

LexiResource is helping businesses and individuals improve their workforce and career flexibility; LexiEdge adopts the key characteristics of the Circular Economy, enabling companies across a wide range of sectors to communicate asset requirements and availability, including equipment, tools and facilities; and Lexi-X will provide clear visibility of company and industry innovation challenges, providing the opportunity for companies and academia to collaborate in order to focus resource and expertise to deliver commercially viable solutions.

Leximo co-founder Alex Crossland describes the impetus behind Leximo:

“Simon and I have spent several years realising that there are flaws in restrictive traditional resourcing models whether the requirement is skills, assets or ideas. A fundamental lack of communication is hindering some obvious cost efficiencies. With that in mind, we are in talks with a number of oil and gas industry bodies, all of whom are keen to adopt and promote the Leximo approach.

“We’re all familiar with the process of online connection between a requirement and an offering – think airbnb, or any online retail system for example. In the context of the North Sea oil and gas industry, Leximo is allowing businesses to survive downturns and maximise upturns, by gaining access to resources and expertise that may not previously have been possible due to costs or lack of contacts.”

Aberdeen-based ITCA Training is amongst the first companies to adopt the Leximo approach. Managing Director, June Jones explains:

“We are excited to have ITCA’s course and resource availability already published on Leximo and look forward to starting our pre-apprenticeship learners on their career journey by engaging them with the platform. Leximo is an extremely forward-thinking innovation for marketing all types of resources, which has great potential to meet business and individual needs.”

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Oct 132017
 

Managing director of Zenith Energy, Martin Booth.

With thanks to Donna Ross, Senior Account Manager, Frasermedia Ltd.

An Aberdeen-based well engineering and project management company has marked five years in business by opening new
bases across the globe to meet growing demand.
Zenith Energy, which provides a range of services to the oil and gas sector within the UK and internationally through its Aberdeen headquarters, has opened offices in Abu Dhabi and Perth, Australia, following contract wins with major names in the industry.

The specialist firm has built its client base to more than 34, with continued repeat business, since its establishment in 2012, going from a two-man business, to a global organisation employing 23 people.

The firm provides specialist expertise for the complete well life cycle from the conceptual design phases through to field development planning, well operations, well intervention and well abandonments, using both rig and rig-less solutions.

During the first quarter of 2017 Zenith expanded its client base and successfully completed work in the UK, Italy and Equatorial Guinea for new and existing clients.

All projects were delivered on time and on budget, with zero HSE accidents or incidents showcasing the company’s ability to deliver the correct technical and commercial solution for our clients. 

Managing director of Zenith Energy, Martin Booth (pictured), said:

“Zenith Energy was set up with the intention of creating an Independent Well Engineering and Wells Project management company, and over the years we have diversified our services to meet demand.

“We have experienced the highs and lows of oil price and one of the longest, worst recessions in the oil industry that most of us remember. However, five years later we are still here, growing and developing our company and capabilities.

“We are now looking forward to the next five years from a position of strength in the market and an ability to deliver in a low cost environment.”

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Sep 282017
 

As the significant new data security regulation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), comes into force in May 2018, Darren Bird, Head of Technology at Xeretec, explains how businesses can stay compliant.

Xeretec’s Darren Bird.

Irrespective of how security conscious we have become in the digital era, the recent cyberattack on the NHS was a sobering reminder about the online vulnerabilities that all private and public sector organisations are still exposed to.

Cyberattacks come in many forms, with many resulting in confidential data either being exposed or compromised.

But security breaches don’t just arise from large scale, high-profile attacks. Sometimes poor internal processes, or a lack of diligence, can result in a breach.

In a bid to force companies to be even more proactive in their efforts to protect company and customer data, the EU has announced the GDPR will come into action in May of next year.

In the case of a breach, the EU is warning of hefty fines of up to €20m, or 4% of a company’s annual worldwide turnover – whichever is greater.

Here are our recommendations to help avoid GDPR non-compliance:

Implement measures to keep your data safe:

The primary objective of the GDPR is to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the EU. This will ensure all organisations provide a broader duty of care to their customers, to prevent their personal details and data from leaking, so it is crucial that businesses start to think about the security measures they will put in place to comply with the GDPR.

The EU specifies that personal data is:

“any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer’s IP address.”

Don’t overlook print from a security perspective:

In the context of document imaging and print, it’s well known that unprotected print devices can be a source of data leaks. Private data is still being left unclaimed on devices, even though solutions already exist to mitigate the risks. While May 2018 may seem some time away, now is the time for all organisations to start assessing how ready and able they are to comply with the GDPR. Xeretec ensures that all its clients’ print is secure and has vast experience helping businesses to understand the security vulnerabilities print exposes them to  

Find print solutions to comply with GDPR:

Xeretec can also provide intelligent print management solutions that enable IT administrators to set up automated workflows. These can detect if documents contain specific patterns relating to data, such as bank or credit card details, personal health information, or sensitive company data. It can then redact any, or all, instances of that pattern in a document.

On top of that, it is sophisticated enough to flag up incidents of potential compliance violations to a company’s chief data, security or compliance officer, thereby acting as an early warning system ahead of a potential breach.

Having a secure print function is another way that businesses can help their print comply with the GDPR, as this only allows those authorised to release prints from a device via a secure PIN code or swipe card. This is a powerful way to stop unclaimed documents being left on devices and an effective measure to help prevent security breaches from occurring.

Combined, these solutions can help deliver the type of proactive security management that could easily halt the kinds of security breaches that the GDPR is trying to prevent, therefore helping businesses avoid paying severe fines.

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Sep 282017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Jasmine Ltd.

A leading north-east accountancy firm is targeting further growth as it marks its one-year anniversary in Banchory after expanding in to Deeside.
James Milne Chartered Accountants acquired the business of AC Howat Chartered Accountant in September 2016 and moved into a new office in the Banchory Business Centre.

Established in 1888, James Milne has a team of 30 staff and partners across its offices in Aberdeen, Inverurie and Banchory who provide accountancy, taxation and business services to a range of business and personal clients.

The firm, which prides itself on its partner-led approach, has seen growth across all areas over the last twelve months.

Partner Richard Christie, who heads up the Banchory office, has worked with colleagues Lauren Thompson and Bill Urquhart to increase the firm’s client base in the area.

He said:

“We’ve had a very promising year since setting up in the Banchory Business Centre and the team has done an excellent job working with new and existing clients to provide a range of accountancy and taxation services.

“Being able to expand into Banchory and Deeside was a significant step for the firm and we are very excited about continuing to develop the relationships with our existing clients as well as the potential for further growth in the area.”

James Milne also provide support to businesses and are regularly contacted by people who are looking to start their own company and require advice. The firm’s range of services, includes, accountancy, business taxation, bookkeeping, payroll services and tax planning.

Bill Urquhart worked with Alan Howat for 13 years in Banchory and has helped to maintain important links with clients.

He said:

“It’s been a very quick year but it feels like there’s been a seamless transition and I’m delighted to be working with so many longstanding clients.

“We have a good team here in Banchory and Richard, Lauren and myself are on hand to assist clients with their accountancy needs and meet with people and businesses who want to find out more about our services.”

James Milne serves both personal and business clients across a diverse range of industries, from the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire staples of oil and gas and agriculture through to retail, hospitality, fishing, haulage, trades, construction and many more. For more information, please visit: www.jamesmilne.co.uk

Sep 222017
 

Suzanne Kelly asked the Cock and Bull about its current stance on Donald Trump, given that it had proudly supported the tycoon years ago. With all the incontrovertible evidence Trump was a bigot, let alone how the environment and Menie residents were treated, surely the restaurant would have had second thoughts? Not quite. By Suzanne Kelly

A long time ago, Donald J Trump showed up in Aberdeenshire with a host of empty promises, a bad reputation, and more than a whiff of racism and sexism.

Despite how Menie Estate residents were treated by his team (water cut off for months for the Forbes family, who he called pigs; journalists arrested; a respected photojournalist threatened, etc. etc), a selection of businesses were keen to get in bed with him.

Many local businesses did and do trade with him (even though the Trump organisation fired a chef for having a photograph on his private Facebook page that they didn’t like – a story well-known in the catering trade), and fair enough, everyone has to make a living.

Some local restaurateurs supported the Menie Estate residents, and their support is steadfast and appreciated to this day. BrewDog attended an event there to sell beer and it got a good deal of criticism at the time. However, they decided subsequently to make a video poking fun at the bouffanted racist (what do you call someone who prevents black people from owning dwellings in his apartment buildings but a racist?).

While plenty of local businesses understandably did business with Trump, some went out of their way to take a pro-Trump stand.

The Marcliffe fawned over the tycoon, and invented the phrase ‘The Trump effect’ to say how much money was flowing into the area because of Trump’s presence.

Only that’s not what happened. The Marcliffe has been in sell-off talks from time to time, and its profit margin probably cannot have been helped by the homophobic comments of proprietor Stewart Spence. The Trump club posts year-on-year losses, and observers rarely see even a half-full parking lot. The environment has been changed and residents badly treated: this is the real Trump effect.

Few businesses went as far as the Cock and Bull. They hung a pro-Trump banner which many say also ridiculed an elected councillor.

They won’t take a stand on Trump now, but they tell me that it was a former employee who hung the banner – ie a big boy did it and ran away. The venue had all the intervening years to say they did not stand with Trump if they wanted to. They didn’t do so then and they refuse to distance themselves from him now.

The restaurant was approached, in polite terms, on Facebook to find out its current position. The chance to take a stand against Trump and all he stands for was turned down.

Instead of supplying an answer – and any sensible business that cared about racism, sexism, the welfare of residents across the road from them, and of the rights of people in the catering industry to have whatever they want on their personal Facebook pages – they decided to suggest I was asking for the opinions of their employees.

Nothing could have been further from the truth.

We are talking about a president who has the endorsement of the Klu Klux Klan

Whether or not you like the restaurant or what you think of Trump, readers are invited to compare the initial conversation with what the Cock posted subsequently. Ask yourself if they are misrepresenting what the initial conversation was.

Ask yourself why they didn’t name me, which both made me look cowardly, and prevented me having a say early on to derail the misconceptions they offered up. The restaurant uses the scales of justice as an image; readers might want to use those scales to measure the two threads.

It is up to the individual whether it’s more important to have a good steak dinner from a venue that will not condemn racism or not. It is up to a business that has literally flown the flag for Trump in the past (even though there was more than enough evidence that he was as bigoted as the entire world can now see) whether they will either change their opinion, stick to their support, or instead start a hysterical campaign against the person who asked them if they still have the courage of their past convictions.

This is not a witch hunt as the restaurant suggests; it was giving them the chance to say no to bigotry and sexism (let alone the current Trump threat to use nuclear weapons against 24 million people suffering under the N Korean dictatorship).

Political differences are one thing and are to be celebrated. We are talking about a president who has the endorsement of the Klu Klux Klan, who has denigrated women and is implicated in rapes, and who is being investigated for collusion with Russia contrary to US law.

Contrast what the Cock and Bull posted with the initial questions, and ask yourself who is being dishonest and manipulative – me or them.

Why boycott dictators and those who support dictatorships in the first place? Because every business, charity, and high-profile person (let alone newspapers such as the P&J) which is friendly to the corrupt adds respectability to the dictators in question. The despot needs the veneer of respectability, and those who go along with bigotry are complicit. This is not a political point. This is a question of ethics: do you support racism and sexism or not.

People who have formed opinions based solely on what the Cock posted after my initial approach should have both sides of the story: not just the Cock and Bull cock and bull side of things – which is far from the real, complete picture. For instance, this sentence they wrote is a complete fabrication and huge distortion:

“I was contacted by said journalist and asked to publicly renounce any support for Donald Trump I may have (the man, not the course) in order for us to be excluded from the boycott list.”

This statement by the Cock is untrue; it is a gross exaggeration.

“…had it not been for your inflammatory comments regarding the restaurant elsewhere I would not have felt the need to reply.” The Cock writes; I will be interested to have them show proof of these inflammatory remarks I am meant to have made, as I am unaware of any at all.

The original post:

SK: “Just a quick question; yes or no will be fine: does the Cock and Bull support Trump? Thank you”

The Cock and Bull Balmedie: 

“Not sure I’m understanding your point here Suzanne, are you asking all businesses in the area to poll the political affiliations of their staff?”

Suzanne Kelly:

“It seems pretty simple to me. I’m aware of the position of many area businesses such as the Marcliffe, and a number of restaurants. Why do you add 2+2 and get 5? I am not asking anything about political private affiliations of your staff. Did the Cock and Bull ever hang a pro-Trump banner? I was told the restaurant had gone public with its support for Trump – in which case my question is even more valid than it already was.

“In case you don’t know, there is a major anti-Trump backlash, an international boycott of his businesses and their supporters (and even an app), and I’d be delighted to tell my contacts re. the boycott that the Cock and Bull has not, and does not, side with Trump’s racist, sexist ideas.”

Third party:

“They did have a ‘We Welcome Trump to Menie’ (paraphrasing here) banner. I saw it but it was some years ago. It wasn’t there last week.”

The Cock and Bull Balmedie:

“Sorry for the late reply – business to run, wages and bills to pay and all that. Personally I have no clue as to what you are going on about but given the tone of your posts you obviously have an axe to grind and have chosen a local business page to do so (not cool).

“However if you are alluding to the fact that Donald Trump dined at this restaurant many years ago when planning his course then yes he did. If you or your contacts choose to boycott us and all other shops, restaurants, hotels etc he has frequented and add us to your “blacklist” for that reason then it is your prerogative to do so and I respect your decision.

“We also have many guests staying and dining with us who play on his course so if that is classed as support then you may want to add that to your reason to boycott also.”

Suzanne Kelly:

“Thank you. Now returning to the question, and in the intervening hours people such as (Third party) have mentioned the banner your restaurant hung, are you pro-Trump as the Marcliffe for instance, or do you oppose racism and bigotry? I just want to let people know if your welcome to Trump still stands. Thank you.”

The Cock and Bull Balmedie:

“I’ve seen your witch-hunt on the Tripping up Trump page – you’ll get nothing further here. You want to up the boycotting of local businesses because you “think” you know their views then you be my guest.”

Suzanne Kelly:

“I gave you a chance to disavow your previous pro Trump stance in light of a mountain of evidence the man your banners supported is a bigot who has been caught in numerous lies; as you don’t wish to distance yourself from the man, I know all I need to. Many thanks.”

(Third party suggested I stay out of this issue)

Suzanne Kelly to third party: 

“Lol. You don’t seem to be aware the cock n bull story – or to be logical. They put up a sign welcoming Trump; they made a public declaration, which is their right. I have the right to ask them if it still applies even though it is evident to the world Trump is a racist and sexist. All the best”

The Cock and Bull Balmedie:

“A mountain of evidence? A banner that was hung some ten odd years ago by a member of staff no longer here that supported a golf course (golf course!) being built by a man who was at the time a business man and not president-elect?

“Due to this we are meant to support racism, sexism and bigotry as you have implied? A disgusting implication and had it not been for your inflammatory comments regarding the restaurant elsewhere I would not have felt the need to reply.

“Enough time wasted, I’ll get back to running a restaurant where thankfully the good vibes from lovely customers outweighs the frankly awful “boycott local businesses” campaign being run by yourself.”

Here is what the Cock and Bull posted on Facebook on the 20th September:

“I was made aware this week that due to us voicing our support for a new golf course in the area a decade ago, a journalist and anti-Trump activist was looking to include us in a “blacklist” to encourage customers to boycott the Cock and Bull, her words were “time to up the boycotting of pro-Trump businesses”.

We will not deny that we were advocates of the course when the plans were submitted ten years ago as we knew that the oil would not sustain the city forever and and know first-hand how important golf tourism is to Aberdeen. I was contacted by said journalist and asked to publicly renounce any support for Donald Trump I may have (the man, not the course) in order for us to be excluded from the boycott list. I refused. I did this not because I endorse Trump’s policies (I do not) and not because the political affiliations of anyone connected with the Cock and Bull are any of her business (they are not) but because her hatred for the man had overshadowed any other contributions that we make to our community and I wanted no part of it. She was not asking me the important questions of why you should choose to shop/dine/stay in my (or any) establishment – do we run our business ethically and sustainably, do we treat our staff fairly and morally, do we source our supplies responsibly, do we treat our customers hospitably and equally and we do we connect with our local community charitably. None of this was relevant to her and in my silence I was then branded a supporter of racism, sexism and bigotry. I find it incredibly sad that someone would want to tear down what another has built up due to an ill-conceived, ill-judged difference of opinion. Ours was not the only local business named that may be added to the list so by sharing this I hope that customers will make up their own minds about where they want to take their business using the points raised above and not be swayed by another person’s agenda. Our diversity of opinion is what makes us interesting but it is our humanity that allows us to understand why another’s opinion may differ from our own and our empathy that allows us to live together despite these differences.”

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Sep 152017
 

With thanks to Yvette Rayner, PR Account Manager, Frasermedia Ltd.

Rigmar’s rope access team conducting cable stay inspections on behalf of Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC), on the new Queensferry Crossing” – Photo courtesy of Transport Scotland

Leading global inspection and maintenance firm, Rigmar Services, has completed a six-month, seven-figure installation on one of Scotland’s largest and most iconic infrastructure projects in a generation.

The firm, which is headquartered in Aberdeen, was contracted to complete the installation of the 288 cable stays on the three main towers of the new Queensferry Crossing, over the Firth of Forth in Edinburgh.

The £2.5m project was the largest to date for Rigmar’s civils division, which launched three years ago when the firm realised the potential to diversify its skills and expertise into new markets.

Working 24/7, Rigmar’s specialist access team was deployed to the Queensferry Crossing project with a peak labour force of 50 multi-skilled technicians, which ramped up from February, enabling the completion of the project in time for the official opening.

The team worked at maximum heights of 210m above the water line at high tide, utilising their rope access, rigging and mechanical knowledge to support the final construction of the structure.

In addition to the primary cable stay workscope, Rigmar’s rope access rescue team also carried out perpetual safety audits of the work site and provided 24/7 rescue support on the project.

Completing the main contract, from initial evaluation and safety audits, through to project planning, mobilisation and installation, the firm has recorded more than 55,000 hours on site with zero lost time accidents or incidents.

Rigmar Services specialist access manager, Steve Bunting, who has overseen the project throughout, said:

“Working on such a prestigious project has given us superb visibility in the civils industry and fully confirmed our commitment to this market.

“Throughout this project our work scopes continued to increase as the client gained confidence in our OPITO/NVQ qualified riggers, and their ability to review engineering drawings and generate lift plans to deliver installation and decommissioning scopes. With our vast rope access experience, we are focused on providing complete solutions for any access challenges.

“It has been a remarkable project for the Rigmar team to be involved in and it’s been an honour working the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) and their vast network of highly experienced sub-contractors on this once in a lifetime project.” 

Alexei Bond, principal engineer for HOCHTIEF (UK) Construction, part of the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors consortium, said:

“To meet the challenging programme, Rigmar provided a high number of skilled rope access personnel to work at night, allowing work to be completed simultaneously on all available work faces without impacting on other critical activities. 

“The Rigmar site team took responsibility for ensuring that all the quality inspections and documentations were completed to the required standard, they also provided a detailed daily report allowing the progress of the work to be closely monitored. Throughout, there were no safety related incidents, which is a considerable achievement given the nature of the work and the extremely exposed work location.”

Rigmar Rope Access Technician, Zeff Marlow, inspecting cable stays on the new Queensferry Crossing,

The Queensferry Crossing is the second high-profile contract that Rigmar’s Specialist Access Division has worked on in the past 18 months.

The firm provided expert engineering and access services for the construction of NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels in 2014/2015, utilising its QuikDeck® system, which is a temporary suspended access platform, with an installation build process that is up to 80% faster than traditional scaffold, with significantly higher load capacity.

Mr Bunting added:

“Working on the NATO headquarters, which was the largest infrastructure project in Europe at the time, gave Rigmar Services the credibility to secure the Queensferry Crossing contract. We have also recently completed a bridgecontract in Wales and are about to begin using Quikdeck® on another bridge project in the Scottish Highlands. The specialist access division is currently delivering a significant contribution to the group’s turnover and we are continuing to enhance our service offering across a variety of markets.” 

Following the official opening of the Queensferry Crossing by HM The Queen on Monday 4 September, the bridge will open full time for traffic on Thursday, 7 September 2017. 

Rigmar’s specialist access division currently has a number of projects in sight for 2018 including work scopes on stadiums, warehouses and piers, in addition to on-going bridge works, including continued under deck work on the Queensferry Crossing.

Rigmar Services is a division of the Rigmar Group, which provides asset integrity, fabric maintenance and marine services. In addition to the head office in Aberdeen, Rigmar has offices in Canada, West Africa, Abu Dhabi and Singapore.

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Sep 022017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Jasmine Ltd.

Aberdeen businesses have reported a significant boost in trade over the weekend following large crowds in the city centre for Celebrate Aberdeen and the Great Aberdeen Run.
Business organisation Aberdeen Inspired has been in touch with traders to assess the impact of the two events – with initial feedback highlighting that some saw an increase of more than 30 percent increase in sales compared to a normal weekend.

Thousands of people spent time in the heart of the city as part of the Celebrate Aberdeen parade and musical performances over Saturday and Sunday as well as the Great Aberdeen Run.

Julie Haig, owner of Haigs Food Hall, said:

“Sunday was really special and to see Union Street geared up for such a great running event was fantastic. The buzz it created in the city was amazing.

“The sense of community spirit I felt over the weekend makes me proud to be an Aberdonian. We saw a significant increase in footfall over the weekend and we would like to thank the people of Aberdeen for coming out and supporting these wonderful events.”

Union Street McDonald’s franchise owner, Craig Duncan, added:

“Sales at breakfast were more than double what we would expect on a normal Sunday and overall for the day there was an increase of more than 30 percent. It’s great to see these big events come to our city and hopefully we’ll see more in the future.”

Craig Willox, owner of Books and Beans, also saw a significant increase in trade which was also boosted by the substantial number of people who visited the Belmont Street Market.

He said:

“This was the busiest weekend of the year for us so far. The Belmont Street Market on Saturday was even bigger than the one in July and looked even better attended. We also had a queue of people waiting outside before we even opened before the Great Aberdeen Run.”

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, praised the work of everyone who worked to deliver Celebrate Aberdeen and the Great Aberdeen Run

He said:

“To see the thousands of runners and well-wishers descend on our city over the weekend was very pleasing indeed and we are very proud to have worked with Aberdeen City Council and the other key partners to help deliver Celebrate Aberdeen and the Great Aberdeen Run over the weekend.

“This success clearly demonstrates the growing ambition we have for this city and we look forward to welcoming even more runners, from the city, region and beyond, for next year’s event as it establishes itself nationally as a ‘must attend’ event on the circuit.

“Of course, an acid test for my organisation is business feedback and the initial soundings from many of the retailers in the city centre has been very encouraging indeed.

“We’re now looking to the opening night of the Aberdeen Comedy Festival on Thursday, October 5, with this event being the third largest of its kind in the country, after proving hugely popular last year.

“We again look to the north-east public to come out in force to enjoy this great offering, as well as reach out to those from further afield, as the festival also establishes itself as another event that people will travel to the city to be part of.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. More information about Aberdeen Inspired is available at: www.aberdeeninspired.com

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Aug 252017
 

With thanks to Donna Ross, Senior Account Manager, Frasermedia Ltd.

An Aberdeen barber is taking the industry by storm after being selected as the only nominee to represent the North-east at a prestigious hair and beauty awards ceremony.
Marc Cran, a barber at Huntsman, was the only finalist from the North-east to be shortlisted in the category for barbers with under one year’s experience at this year’s Scottish Hair & Beauty Awards (SHABA).

He will go head-to-head against fiveother barbers from across Scotland at the awards ceremony, which takes place on Sunday, 10 September at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow.

The 27-year-old made the move into barbering after being made redundant from two oil and gas companies within the space of six months.

Last year, he completed a specialist six-month course at the Scottish Barbering School before securing a stylist position at Huntsman in April 2017.

Marc said:

“It has been a very busy for year for me, as I have been determined to pick up all the necessary skills needed to progress within the barbering industry. Since starting at Huntsman, I have gained a vast amount of experience and have developed my own unique style, all thanks to the guidance I have received from my colleagues.

“This time last year, I could never have imagined that I would be where I am today. To be the only barber from the North-east in my award category is completely surreal and I am honoured that my work has been recognised. Winning an industry award would help me to place Aberdeen on the map for quality barbers, as a lot of the focus seems to be on the central belt at the moment.” 

Kyle Ross, managing director of Huntsman, said:

“For Marc to be shortlisted for this award is a testament to all of the hard work that he has shown over the last few months. He never fails to impress me with his talents, whilst his creative flair and eye for detail has helped him to build up a large client base. He is the perfect fit for Huntsman and has done the team proud.”

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Aug 252017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, PR and Marketing Manager at Think PR.

Ross Jolly, Richard Tinto, Duncan Skinner, Kenneth Salmon (top), Barry Mole (bottom), Stacy Edghill, Rob Cowman, Heather Sharkey, Keith Murphy, Steve White, Rod Hutchison.

Members of the Aberdeen Young Professionals network are being urged to take advantage of this year’s mentor scheme. In what remains a difficult economic climate in the city, Aberdeen Young Professionals (AYP), a networking group for workers in and around the city, launched this invaluable resource last year, and have grown the number of mentors for this year’s intake based on the 2016-17 success.

The organisation, which is now in its ninth year, is urging its members to get in touch and benefit from being partnered with one of the established mentors, each of whom bring a different skill set to the scheme.

Mentoring is open to individuals of all ages and backgrounds looking for career advice and direction.

Potential mentees include those looking at a career change after redundancy, individuals aiming to progress to the next level, or people who want to develop a specific skill set.

Ross Jolly, founder of AYP, said:

“AYP had a fantastic response to the mentor scheme last year and we are pleased to be building on that success. We have a great group of highly respected mentors on board, who are all looking forward to helping our mentees progress their careers.

“This is an opportunity for anyone who needs some guidance, advice and support from people who have the experience and expertise to help.”

Catriona Stevenson (pictured below) recently joined the organisation seeking a friendly and listening ear, along with support and guidance as she faced a crossroads in her career.

Originally a banker for 15 years, she took voluntary redundancy in 2013, just as she became a mother for the second time. A year later and keen to return to work, Catriona realised she still wanted to utilise her banking skills, but didn’t want to return to the world of finance.

A PA job with Thor Holt Ltd followed, which eventually led to a business development role.

Catriona said:

“Fast-forward three years and with the oil and gas downturn still in full stride, I have moved into a business development and marketing role with RCP Ltd.

“Whilst I am comfortable building relationships and getting out there to meet new people, the oil and gas industry can be a real minefield and despite a great network both face to face and within LinkedIn, I felt I needed some support from those on the inside.

“Sometimes we just need someone to listen and offer a bit of advice, and that’s where I was at when I applied to the AYP mentoring scheme in May of this year.”

Paired with mentor Kenneth Salmon, business development director for Merseyflex, Catriona is looking forward to what the partnership could bring.

Kenneth said:

“I was delighted to be paired up with Catriona and look forward to using my experience to help her in whatever way I can. I am sure we will learn a lot from each-other as we go through the mentor process.

“I would advise any professionals who are looking for some guidance, particularly in the current challenging climate, to find out more about AYP and the benefits it provides.”

New mentors taking part in AYP this year include: Duncan Skinner, Barry Mole, Kenneth Salmon, Colette Backwell, Leigh Stott, Dave Grant, Stacy Edghill, Richard Tinto, Keith Murphy and AYP Founder Ross Jolly.

At its regular events, which consist of discussion series, networking opportunities and social meet-ups, AYP provides an opportunity for members to network with like-minded individuals and make new contacts in a relaxed environment. The group currently has more than 6,000 members.

Details for joining the network can be found at http://www.aypgroup.co.uk/

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Aug 202017
 

With thanks to Donna Ross, Senior Account Manager, Frasermedia Ltd.

Thursday, April 4th 2014, Banff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Motive Offshore, Image Library and stock photography, for website and PR
(Photo Ross Johnston/Newsline Scotland)

With signs that the oil and gas market starting to recover, it is more important than ever for companies to ensure skilled staff are in place to plug the looming skills shortage.
For leading offshore services firm Motive Offshore, which is headquartered in Boyndie near Banff, training the future talent of tomorrow is extremely important and the company has continued to employ a high number of apprentices over the years.

Providing a first-class service means that Motive is extremely passionate about developing its team to ensure that its clients always receive a high level of work allowing them to meet their business objectives.  

The firm, which has a skilled workforce of 60 members of staff across its marine equipment manufacture and rental and fabrication divisions, has continued to roll out its apprenticeship scheme to new members of staff.

Motive Offshore directors, James Gregg, and Dave Acton, both started their careers as apprentices and have played an instrumental role in continuing to develop strong links with North East Scotland College, ITCA, Skills Development Scotland and local secondary schools.

Today, the firm employs two apprentice fabricators; two craft apprentices; an apprentice fitter and an apprentice machinist.

The latest intake follow in the footsteps of four previous apprentices who all gained full time employment with Motive on completion of their apprenticeships, as hydraulic technician, fabricator, machinist and fitter.

Apprentices at Motive aren’t purely workshop based, assistant accountant Lauren Stronach also completed an apprenticeship at the firm and plans are now in place to add a finance apprentice to the team.

Currently Motive is also advertising for four new craft apprentices and intends to fill these positions by the end of summer.

James Gregg, said:

“At Motive we recognise the importance of investing in continuous learning and development for all ages. We see our apprentice programme as a vital link in the succession planning process and an important step in building a stronger business.

“Apprenticeships are a valuable asset to a company and the training that apprentices at Motive receive gives them first hand, on the job experience.

“As the oil and gas industry starts to pick up again, companies need to become proactive in providing job opportunities. Not only will this improve employability in an incredibly difficult market, it will also benefit the business and ultimately the economy of the North-east.”