Jul 142017

With thanks to Esther Green, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

As small businesses look to compete, grow and develop in today’s fast-paced digital world, they need first-class connectivity that will support their business needs today and far in to the future, one of Scotland’s leading experts in digital industry has said.
According to Graeme Gordon (pictured), Chief Exec of Aberdeen-headquartered IFB – a leading managed service and data network provider – keeping apace of the digital transformation will ensure firms are not overtaken by competitors, giving opportunities to increase productivity and future-proof their businesses as the thirst for greater bandwidth continues to grow.

“Digital technology is developing at rapid speeds, and although small businesses may find it hard to keep up, we’re constantly working on new solutions to ensure all businesses, regardless of size, can stay ahead and have access to the best digital connectivity for their business and to suit their needs,” comments Graeme.

“There is now a new wave of full fibre digital infrastructure available in Aberdeen and Edinburgh which provides superior connectivity speeds, and opens up greater opportunities for businesses. World-class connectivity is the key to success for running any business in the digital age. That’s why we’re constantly striving to meet businesses’ digital needs now and for decades to come.”

Powered by this new full fibre infrastructure, IFB Ultrafast offers lightning speeds to support businesses and help them grow and take up new opportunities that the digital economy offers. It’s a platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – the backbone of Scotland’s economy – to be part of the latest tech transformation with connectivity that is fast, reliable and fit for purpose, as speeds and connectivity take on even more relevance to the way business is done.

An increasing number of everyday business services and applications are now online and used as a matter of routine, these cover banking, accounting, sales tools, customer management systems, voice telephony and critical data backup and recovery systems   – all of which need to be accessed reliably and securely to support  the day-to-day workings of all modern businesses.

Graeme adds:

“Connectivity is at the heart of how all businesses operate and the next stage has arrived. This state-of-the-art full fibre digital infrastructure provides blistering connectivity speeds to support SMEs now and moving forward.”

The ultrafast network is delivered by IFB and powered by CityFibre in Aberdeen and Edinburgh – two of Scotland’s ‘Gigabit Cities’. It is being hailed as an affordable independent network offering superior speeds that leads to increased efficiency and productivity by dramatically accelerating the digital capabilities of business, providing quick data transfers between locations for backup and recovery.

To find out more call 0845 270 2101 or email geton@ifb.net

Aberdeen-based IFB is one of Scotland’s leading managed service and data network providers. For over 20 years IFB has been providing critical connectivity and ICT services to the UK market place. Its key markets include the demanding on and offshore oil and gas sector, professional services and public and third sector. It designs, deploys, manages and supports key services including Cloud, Backup and Recovery, Internet Access, Networks, Hosting, Workplace Recovery and Telecoms through national, multi-Gbit/s network that links Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London points of presence.

IFB can be contacted on 0845 270 2101 or geton@ifb.net. More about the company can be found at www.ifb.net

CityFibre is the UK’s builder of Gigabit Cities and the national alternative provider of wholesale fibre network infrastructure. It has major metro duct and fibre footprints in 42 cities across the UK and a national long distance network that connects these cities to major data-centres across the UK and to key peering points in London.

The company has an extensive customer base spanning service integrators, enterprise and consumer service providers and mobile operators. Providing a portfolio of active and dark fibre services, CityFibre’s networks address 28,000 public sites, 7,800 mobile masts, 280,000 businesses and 4 million homes.

CityFibre is based in London, United Kingdom, and its shares trade on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM: CITY).

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Dec 162016

With thanks to Esther Green, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

Graeme Gordon, Chief Executive Officer of IFB.

IFB, one of Scotland’s leading managed service and data network providers, has invested a further £1 million to expand its UK network capacities, specifically designed to increase fibre and ultra-high speed connectivity to firms across the UK.

Effective connectivity is critical for strong modern businesses in the digital economy with the demand not just being driven by devices – laptops, tablets and smartphones, but also from more complex data in sensors built in to the environments we live in.

Through its delivery of reliable, resilient, secure and fast connectivity to 1000’s of its SME and Enterprise business customers, IFB has the ability to move large volumes of business data around.

The investment allows IFB to continue this whilst delivering next generation fibre to the premise connections, assisting its customers in competing in today’s modern digital economy.

The investment has been made in new network fibres and hardware infrastructure connecting IFB’s main network and Data Centre hubs in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, London and Stavanger. As well as further enhancing the abilities of IFB’s super connected hubs in the London Internet Exchange (LINX) and at the Scottish Internet Exchange (IXScotland).

IFB also connects to Europe through trans-North Sea fibre connectivity, providing resilience and alternative routing for business data and traffic in and out of the UK. The investment is the next in a series of key developments IFB will be announcing during early 2017.

IFB’s CEO, Graeme Gordon commented:

“We are seeing rapid acceleration in the need, use and creation of diverse types of data from every shape and size of business, these businesses are sharing more data online and using more online applications and services.

“Cloud, or your data in an offsite data centre, means that getting to and from this data requires better connectivity – this ever increasing need will continue to grow as you combine more connected everyday object sensors and devices as part of The Internet of Things and as we start to talk about Industry 4.0 – seamlessly combining physical, digital and cloud based data and applications more of the time.

“We have seen a tenfold increase in bandwidth usage by our clients in the last three years driven by these and other key factors. For some time now our clients have not just been using the connections we provide to simply access the Internet, they are using it to back up and protect their data offsite, for access to online private and public applications, and to move more services such as voice and video calls off of traditional phone lines.

“This data demand calls for much higher, constant bandwidth availability simply to stand still, and in real terms much more bandwidth if you want to grow your market position. IFB’s investment means its clients can become much more productive and effective by creating and consuming the same amount of data in a much smaller period of time, or do much more in the same timescale.

“The enhanced network infrastructure also allows IFB to accelerate and deliver directly to the user, its own range of innovative and affordable cloud, data backup and hosted voice services to meet client’s individual needs.

“A recent survey by The Institute of Directors showed that 57% of its members store their data on owned or leased servers with 30% doing so in the cloud. 60% of members feel an increase in connectivity speed would improve competitiveness and 78% believed their organisation’s productivity would increase by an uplift in speed.”

IFB’s network expansion is part of a major project developed in partnership with one of its long term key technical suppliers, Softcat.

Seán Connolly, Account Director at Softcat says:

“We were delighted to collaborate with IFB to help expand their network capabilities. Our Cisco and Juniper technical design team complimented IFB’s existing skillset to deliver a robust, scalable solution fitting with IFB’s growth plans.”


Sep 062016

CALCULATOR AND MONEY Timothy Nichols - Dreamstime.comBy Suzanne Kelly.

On the face of it, Aberdeen Community Energy’s mission to ‘build, own and operate the Donside Hydro Scheme on behalf of the community’ sounds like a good idea for green energy in the local community.

Clean energy and community ownership are desirable of course.

However, before anyone joins the rush to invest in this or any scheme, they should exercise caution.

Sinclair Laing is ACE’s ‘Founder Director and Chair of Aberdeen Community Energy’ and Management Committee Member of Donside Community Association. On his personal facebook page he shared ACE’s post and wrote:

“C’mon people show us the colour of your money! And we will more than double it for you!”
– Sinclair Laing 14 August, Facebook

This is quite a bold promise – as the director is making it, does this constitute a guarantee? Are investors buying into the scheme because of this promise?

One reason people might have great faith in this start up is that Aberdeen City Council included it in its publication ‘Our Green Times’. This is veritably an endorsement by the city of the ACE project. The feature in ‘Our Green Times’ does not mention that Laing is also an Aberdeen City Council employee – this fact may be part of the reason for the article/advert in the city’s green newsletter.

Aberdeen Voice spoke with a representative from Our Green Times who believes the City had vetted the scheme’s legality, but the spokesperson was not aware of Laing’s Facebook claim to ‘more than double’ an investment in ACE. The spokesperson said that Our Green Times features items written by the City’s officers (such as Laing) and also takes news items from the city’s partner organisations.

ACE was asked to answer these questions.

  1. I attach a screen shot from Sinclair Laing’s Facebook page with a link to ACE in which he makes the claim investors will ‘more than double’ their money. Can ACE please comment on this comment? Does ACE also make this claim? How many investments were received on and following the date of Laing’s statement?
  1. Will Sinclair Laing or any others be salaried, remunerated or given shares for free? If so, please give details.
  1. Please supply names of any other directors, board members, and whether or not they are to be salaried, remunerated or given shares gratis.

A spokesperson for ACE from Weber Shandwick responded:

  1. “Yes indeed Sinclair’s statement is correct and it’s a statement that ACE stands by. It’s based on financial models developed for this project by Sharenergy, a specialist cooperative who are very much experts in this field. They were commissioned to work on this project for their expertise in community energy projects and share offers.“The Financial models have also be reviewed by Local Energy Scotland (LES), a Scottish Government appointed consortium who manage the Scottish Gov’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) fund. The LES & the CARES fund have helped to support this project from the outset with expertise and finance.“I’m sure you’ve already seen our share offer guidance document, but if not then please refer to section 8 for all financial details, including a member payment profile which demonstrates how the financial return works and how indeed investors can double their money.”
  1.  “See page 17 of the share offer document for more information. None of the ACE directors will be compensated financially – it’s all on a voluntary basis. In fact in Sinclair’s case it’s quite the opposite, he used his own, personal money to help bankroll the community scheme at an early stage, to fill a funding gap so that the project could move forward.”
  2. “For a full list of ACE’s directors please see this page of our website . And in terms of remuneration/salaries, it’s all completely voluntary – no salaries on share incentives involved. Everyone involved in the project is driven by one vision – to generate clean, renewable electricity and to create a sustainable income for the local area to spend on community priorities.”

Anyone who wants to invest in any schemes should be aware that their money is at risk. It is not possible to guarantee in any scheme that money will be doubled. Asked in general terms whether a start-up could or should make a promise about returns, a spokesman for Citizens Advice Scotland said:

“We do not comment on specific organisations, but In general terms we would urge people to be extremely cautious before entering into any new deals or financial arrangements. Every day CAB advisers across Scotland are seeing people who have lost money in new schemes which promised to make them rich but ended up doing the opposite.

“We are not saying that you should never invest in a new scheme, but we do urge people to read all the small print of any deal before parting with your money, and make sure you also do as much research as possible, getting as much independent advice and information as you possibly can about the organisation and the people involved.

“We have found a general rule of thumb is that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Those who are considering investing in any schemes should consider advice offered by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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Apr 082016

Colin CampbellWith thanks to Gemma Setter, Account Executive, Tricker PR.

Aberdeen-based Langstane, Scotland’s largest independent office supplies company, has achieved the Investors in Young People Accreditation, the only people management standard that focuses on an employer’s recruitment and retention of young people.

This represents a true commitment to the training and development of young people and demonstrates Langstane as an employer of choice for young people.

Launched in July 2014, Investors in Young People originated through a key recommendation from the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, led by Sir Ian Wood.

The accreditation is offered to all businesses across Scotland and exists to recognise and support organisations across Scotland in the employment of young people.

Having now achieved the accreditation, Langstane is now eligible to use and display the Investors in Young People logo and plaque, and enjoy its benefits.

Commenting on the award, Colin Campbell (pictured), managing director of Langstane, said:

“Langstane is extremely committed to attracting and retaining young talent in all areas of the business. Young people play a huge part in the future of our company, so it is vital that we provide them with all the training, support and advice they need to truly excel in the workplace.

“We are honoured to be awarded the Investors in Young People Accreditation, as it reflects our dedication towards helping those just out of school, college or university into a worthwhile career with Langstane.”

Peter Russian, chief executive of Investors in People Scotland, said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for Langstane, and I and the whole IIYP team would like to wholeheartedly congratulate them. The Investors in Young People framework not only recognises and supports organisations in the employment of young people, but marks them out as an employer of choice. 

“I envisage that many more organisations will wish to follow in the footsteps of Langstane and demonstrate their commitment to young people by working with the Investors in Young People framework.”

He continued:

“The benefits of recruiting and developing young people are countless. These include the creation of a talent pool for the future, new and increased skills in areas such as IT and social media, fresh eyes and mind-sets into business operations along with enthusiasm and unique talents.”

James Bream, research and policy director at Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce added on behalf of Developing the Young Workforce North East Scotland, added:

“It is exciting to see another North-east business taking real action to help create a bright future for the young people in the area. We work closely with business and schools to help promote the benefits of supporting young talent, so it’s superb to hear that Langstane have received an Investors in Young People Accreditation to reward their efforts.”

Established in 1947 as a family business, Langstane is now Scotland’s largest independent office products company and one of the largest in the UK. It employs 158 staff from its head office in Aberdeen, as well as offices in Dundee, Livingston, and Inverurie.

Specialising in a wide variety of office products, Langstane also supplies print services, furniture, catering, business gifts, and janitorial supplies to locations throughout Scotland.

For more information about Langstane, its products and career opportunities visit www.langstane.co.uk. Like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LangstanePress and follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LangstanePress.

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Feb 042016

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

Aberdeen Inspired renewal ballot

Gary Craig, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired and Julie Haig of city centre butcher Haigs (an Aberdeen Inspired levy payer).

A leading business organisation is planning to invest a projected £6.5 million in Aberdeen city centre as voting opens today (February 04) for a crucial renewal ballot.

A wide range of city centre projects and initiatives have been outlined for the next five years as part of Aberdeen Inspired’s planning towards the renewal, with an estimated £1.3m budget forecast annually in its new business plan.

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

Levy players will begin to vote from today (February 04) on whether the organisation returns for a second five-year term, with the ballot running until March 17. The majority must vote “yes” to allow Aberdeen Inspired to make these ambitious plans a reality.

Gary Craig, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said:

“The next six weeks are vital for Aberdeen Inspired as we look towards our future plans should the ballot be successful. We are proud of what has been accomplished in our current term and are even more excited about what lies ahead.

“As part of the renewal process we have set out our aims in a business plan for our levy payers which highlights our aspirations and level of ambition for our next term, along with budgets and projects that will be carried out if there is a positive ballot outcome.

“If we do return for another five years we have estimated that Aberdeen Inspired will have a minimum of £6.5 million to utilise on a variety of enhancement and improvement projects throughout the city. This is a great investment in the future of Aberdeen which equates to around £1.3 million per year – funds which could play a part in regenerating the city centre.

“We are passionate about building on the positive work that Aberdeen Inspired has already carried out and hope we are in a position to play a major role in ensuring a bright future for our city centre.”

The organisation has organised future projects under four main themes – attractive city centre, promoting our city centre, safe and welcoming city centre and helping your business – all of which aim to be beneficial to its 700 levy payers throughout the BID (Business Improvement District).

Planned projects to improve the city centre aesthetic for the year ahead (2016-17) include a variety of multi-faceted clean-up campaigns ranging from a concentrated focus on Union Street to an extended programme of decorative floral baskets and bedding to further creative lighting projects of a similar nature to the well-received installation within Golden Square.

Aberdeen Inspired intends to bring forward a number of ‘Adopt an Area’ and street art projects – as well as utilising vacant properties in the city centre by lobbying owners to consider providing free and discounted space for pop-up enterprises and exhibitions.

The organisation also plans to build on the success of the Aberdeen Christmas Village, which welcomed more than 500,000 visitors, by increasing the size of the Village and attractions as well as organising a bigger programme of festivals throughout the city centre. This includes the recently announced Play Me, I’m Yours street piano exhibition – which aims to encourage people to engage with their city by providing pianos for the public to express themselves and interact with each other.

Other plans that will be carried out if Aberdeen Inspired is voted through include further backing of the city’s Purple Flag status – an accolade which recognises a safe and secure night time economy – as well as a follow-up to the current wayshowing project, which would involve suspended signage installed throughout the city centre to identify specific streets and quarters.

Gary Craig added:

“All of the projects we have outlined for the next five years would bring tremendous benefits to Aberdeen. If we are lucky enough to be voted through for another term we promise to bring forward major enhancements to the BID and city centre, all of which aim to drive footfall to the zone and increase dwell time. This is of huge benefit to our levy payers, as well as to residents and visitors to the city.

“We work closely with our levy payers on a very close basis and have taken on board their ideas and concerns when devising our projects, paying particular focus to the aesthetic of the city centre, as well as bringing new events to Aberdeen as part of our festival plans and continuing to help towards safety and security.

“Everyone in the Aberdeen Inspired team is passionate about making the city a better place and we are confident that we will be given the chance to carry out our plans and continue to revitalise the city centre.”

Aberdeen Inspired has led key projects over the past five years, with the Aberdeen Christmas Village and the rooftop garden at the St Nicholas centre particularly popular. The organisation has also been involved in key infrastructure initiatives, such as the installation of Big Belly Bin solar compacting technology throughout the city centre in addition to funding deep cleans of Union Street, floral enhancements across the BID and shopfront improvements.

The organisation is currently finalising two major projects in the city centre – installing over 50 street information signs and lighting up the Colonnade at St Nicholas Kirk.

Further information on the work of Aberdeen Inspired is available at www.aberdeeninspired.com

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Jun 112015
Aberdeen Train Station May 2015

Aberdeen Train Station, May 2015, This may be the first view of the city to meet a visitor’s eye.

Victoria McAleer writes to Aberdeen Voice of her disappointment regarding how Aberdeen presents itself as a tourist destination.

I have lived  in the city for 18 months  now (after living in the shire for 8 years)and I’m well aware of it’s history and main focus on the oil and gas industry.

It seems the city has been buffered by the economic buoyancy that the oil and gas sector provided, compared to other cities in the UK.

I am also aware that at present there is a downturn in the sector and many people have been made redundant.

My native Liverpool, like many other cities, especially in the Northern half of the country was without such an industry and in the 80’s and 90’s unemployment was rife.

The city looked at what it had to offer and the groundwork was done to regenerate the Albert Dock area, spring boarding a total revamp of the city centre and more focus was paid to tourism and welcoming people to the city.

It’s proved invaluable. The city has gone from strength to strength and attracts people from all over the world.

Orrel Road Station Liverpool May 2015

Orrel Road Station Liverpool, May 2015. A cleaner, more welcoming environment.

It is of course helped by having attractions such as The Tate Gallery, The Beatles Museum, The Slavery Museum, The Walker Art Gallery, to name but a few and by other attractions such as the historic waterfront ferries and football.

This has all been achieved by hard work and the determination of people who were proud of their city, because, believe me it was not a place you would have spent a weekend in the 80’s.

It seems to me that Aberdeen tourism is a half hearted affair, probably because Aberdeen has never had to rely on anything else but oil and gas.

Which is a great shame.

The basics are already here. Great beaches and architecture.

What is missing though is a proper museum/gallery.

I know Aberdeen is of much smaller population than Liverpool, but this population is swelled greatly by all the oil and gas employees who live in the city during the week and use the resources, infrastructure and so forth.

Why couldn’t one of these multi billion pound companies sponsor a new museum/gallery and give something back to the people of Aberdeen from whom they have taken so much ?

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[Aberdeen Voice accepts and welcomes contributions from all sides/angles pertaining to any issue. Views and opinions expressed in any article are entirely those of the writer/contributor, and inclusion in our publication does not constitute support or endorsement of these by Aberdeen Voice as an organisation or any of its team members.]

Jun 112015
Hugh Little

Aberdeen Asset Management’s Hugh Little,

With thanks to Esther Green, Tricker PR.

One of Aberdeen’s most well-known and well-respected business figures is to retire this summer. Hugh Little, 58, Head of Acquisitions at Aberdeen Asset Management (Aberdeen), and one of the firm’s longest standing employees will step down at the end of June following a career spanning 28 years with the company.

Aberdeen, headquartered in the city of Aberdeen, is a global investment management group, managing assets for both institutional and retail clients from offices around the world.

Hugh plans to spend time on some non-executive roles, and was recently appointed to the Board of the newly listed property fund, Drum Income Plus REIT PLC. He will also remain as a Governor and visiting professor at Robert Gordon University.

Hugh joined Aberdeen from the corporate finance division of Ernst and Young in 1987 as the firm’s ninth employee, working alongside Chief Executive Martin Gilbert on mergers and acquisitions. At this time, Aberdeen had less than £100 million assets under management (AuM). Today that figure stands at £330 billion.

In 1990 he moved into the private equity division at Aberdeen and he led this sector of the business for the next 16 years. Some of the private companies to which Aberdeen provided early stage funding during this period included First Group and Wood Group, both of which went on, like Aberdeen itself, to become FTSE 100 companies.

In 2006 Hugh reverted back to his original role as Head of Acquisitions and since then has project-managed the group’s prolific mergers and acquisition activity which has included the acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) in 2014 which added over £130 billion AuM and strengthened the firms’ fixed, income, property and solutions capabilities and created a strategic alliance with Lloyds Bank.

He also led the 2013 acquisition of Artio Global Investors (additional $14.3 billion AuM), the 2010 acquisition of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Alternatives fund management business (additional £17bn of AuM), the 2009 acquisition of certain asset management business from Credit Suisse (adding £36 billion AuM) and the 2008 strategic and capital alliance with Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation which brought Aberdeen distribution access to Japan – one of the world’s largest pension markets.

In 2014 Hugh picked up the prestigious Deal Of The Year and Acquisition of the Year awards on behalf of Aberdeen at the Scottish Business Insider Deal and Dealmaker’s awards in recognition of the £550m acquisition of SWIP from Lloyds. Judges commented that the deal wasn’t just an acquisition for a big cheque, and that it was a really creative deal with longevity in mind.

Hugh was for twelve years a director of Aberdeen Football Club. He was previously a Director of Grampian Enterprise and has also been a member of the North East Board for the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. Glasgow-born David Boyle will replace Hugh as Head of Acquisitions.

David joined Aberdeen in 2003 as an Investment Manager on the Pan European Equity Team where he was part of the successful team managing UK and Continental Europe equity portfolios. More recently he has been a member of Aberdeen’s alternatives team focusing on private equity. Prior to joining Aberdeen, David worked at Deloitte and Andersen Business Consulting. He graduated with an MEng and MA from Magdalene College, University of Cambridge.

Chief Executive Martin Gilbert says of Hugh Little:

“Hugh has played a significant role in Aberdeen’s growth and success. Without his management skills, commitment and focus, many of the acquisitions which have helped us to grow would not have happened and Aberdeen would not be the financially strong diversified, global asset management company we are today. Hugh will be greatly missed and he leaves with our best wishes. We are fortunate though to have someone of David’s calibre to step into the role.”

Hugh Little comments:

“I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with some incredibly talented people at Aberdeen over these 28 years, not least of whom Martin himself, and I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have been part of its fantastic growth story. Whilst I look forward to spending some time on the golf course and more immediately to my daughter Jenni’s wedding in July, I hope also to share some of my experience with other businesses in a non-executive capacity.

“My years with Aberdeen have given me extensive exposure to global markets and to businesses large and small, and I would hope that I can continue to contribute to the development of Scottish companies who may feel that I could be of benefit.”

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Oct 212013

CB-002With thanks to Dave Macdermid

A growing NE service company has reinforced its commitment to investment in young and talented personnel with the hiring of the organisation’s twentieth subsea technician, Scott White.

Scott spent more than a decade in the Royal Navy and is delighted with his change of career.

Scott said:

It is very exciting to join the company at this growth stage and to become part of this organisation. I am looking forward to commence my on-the-job training after completing intense in house training.”

Since its formation in 2009, East Tullos-based SUBC Engineering has amassed a total of 130 engineers.

Managing Director Colin Burney ( pictured )  is aware of the need to invest in the future of the industry, and said:

We are pleased to have all those new and talented people as part of our successful and expanding team as our business relies absolutely on knowledgeable and talented people and, as a consequence of our intensive growth plans, we plan to hire an additional forty personnel over the next twelve months to meet the growing demand for our services.”

All SUBC offshore employees undergo rigorous internal competence-based training programmes. Newer and less-experienced engineers also take part in mentoring sessions with in-house mentors, each of whom have more than a quarter of a century’s offshore experience as subsea engineers.


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Apr 052013

By Bob Smith.

A problem in rural Scotia
The scourge o modern day
Fan fowk faa hiv the money
Buy second hooses faar tae stay
Noo some young eens in the kwintraside
Leave skweel an wint tae bide
An gyaang tae wark near tae hame
Be it Skite or Deveronside
Bonnie hooses in rural villages
Snappit up bi fowk fae toons
Tae spend a wikk eyn or holidays
Oot-buyin local quines an loons
Holiday hames they are ca’ed
Faar ainers dinna bide at aa
Bit rint them oot tae tourists
Is iss nae bliddy eese ava
The young eens are the future
O the wee villages an toons
They’re haein tae leave the area
Cos o “second hame” bliddy goons
A hoose can be left empty
Fer wikks upon a time
Only bidden in noo an agin
Jist unused steen an lime
Holiday hames help oot tourism
Some fowk they div decree
Bit withoot a local population
The villages wull seen dee
© Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2013
Feb 182013

Two senior youth councillors have welcomed the Aberdeen City Council administration’s budget for 2013/14, hailing investment in education and sport.

Youth council spokesperson Kenneth Watt said:
“The youth council has seen first-hand the effects of devastating cuts that have upset education in the city over the last decade. The commitment to investment from council leaders is very pleasing to a generation that has suffered a lot recently.

“I am particularly happy with the increased funding for Additional Support Needs. Past cuts to numbers of Personal Support Assistants has had terrible effects on the most vulnerable children in the city.”

“The new schools being built and existing ones being upgraded – such as Tillydrone – will have a really positive effect on the community.”

Barry Black, chair, added:

“Our generation is fed up of cuts to education and sport. I believe this is one factor in the recent surges in youth crime in the city and by investing in facilities such as the new pool and the city of culture bid more activities will soon be on offer which the city has been lacking in over the past few years.”