While you enjoy the summer and a well-deserved break from your studies we wanted to write to you in our role as Scotland’s business leaders and on behalf of our networks of thousands of Scottish employers. As you receive your official SQA results, we want to reassure you that we recognise and value your qualifications as much as any other year. We congratulate you on everything you’ve overcome and achieved this year, and you have our support, whatever your needs and wherever your ambitions lie.

Over the past 18 months you’ve had to deal with a situation like no other and the flexibility, ingenuity and resilience you’ve shown gives us confidence in you as future employees.

We are committed to helping to create job opportunities for you so that you can have a positive future. We are also committed to ensuring that there are opportunities available for  every young person and that you have help and support to develop further.

Many people in interesting job roles across Scotland may not have taken an obvious or traditional path. Look out for #NoWrongPath which will show you that, whatever your results, there are different routes into jobs. There are lots of industries continuing to grow and new ones emerging which offer exciting opportunities. Employers need young people with fresh ideas and experience to get involved and work together with us to tackle big challenges, such as climate change. We will do all that we can to help you find ways to use your skills and talents in the workplace.

We all support the ambition of the Young Person’s Guarantee and its commitment that within two years, every young person aged between 16 and 24, will have the opportunity of a job, apprenticeship, further or higher education, training programme or volunteering. And we’ll keep speaking to young people across Scotland to understand how we can keep delivering on our commitment to you.

Wishing you the very best of luck with your next steps. Scotland’s employers stand ready to support you. This is our #CommitmentToYOUth.

 

Signed

Sandy Begbie, CEO, Scottish Financial Enterprise

Marc Crothall, CEO, Scottish Tourism Alliance

Louise Macdonald, National Director Scotland, Institute of Directors

Damien Yeates, CEO, Skills Development Scotland

James Withers, CEO, Scotland Food and Drink

Dr Liz Barron-Majerik, Director, LANTRA

Lee Ann Panglea, Head of CIPD Scotland and Northern Ireland, CIPD

Tracy Black, Director Scotland, CBI

Anna Fowlie, CEO, SCVO

Fiona Hodgson, CEO, SNIPEF Training Services

David Lonsdale, Director, Scottish Retail Consortium

Karen Betts, CEO, Scotch Whisky Association

Martin Crewe, Director, Barnardo’s

Susan Love, Head of External Affairs, The Federation of Small Businesses

Liz Cameron, CEO, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Sara Thiam, CEO, Scottish Council for Development and Industry

Paul Carberry, Director for Scotland, Action for Children

Iain MacRitchie, Founder and Chair, MCR Pathways

Anne Wexelstein, Director for Scotland, Career Ready

Kate Still, Director Scotland, The Prince’s Trust

Kirsten Urquhart, CEO, Young Scot

Linda Hanna, Interim CEO, Scottish Enterprise

Carroll Buxton, Interim CEO, Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Jane Morrison-Ross, CEO, South of Scotland Enterprise

“Businesses will understand the importance of tackling the new ‘Delta’ variant, but today’s decision will be a great relief for some and disappointing for others. While some areas will be able to take advantage of further re-opening, other areas have hit another roadblock.

“Where restrictions have been extended, the Scottish Government must provide adequate and targeted financial support for businesses directly affected by today’s announcement. The testing and vaccination rollout must continue to accelerate quickly so we can collectively meet the milestone of level 0 on 28th June.

“We also need urgent clarity and a clear timeline on the reopening of offices and further relaxation of restrictions on international travel. This must go hand in hand with a comprehensive physical distancing review which facilitates businesses to expand their trading capacities.”

“It is however immensely welcome that Glasgow will now be able to move from Level 3 to Level 2 on Saturday, as well as 14 local authorities across Scotland which will move to Level 1. This is thanks to the tremendous efforts of both businesses and the public in suppressing the virus.“

A collaborative robotics and social care event has brought together innovators and end-users in a week-long burst of creativity around assistive technology, supported by the world’s first example of an open assisted living laboratory.

Highlights included connecting multiple home appliances with a single in-ear switch, and new concepts for using technology to help support social isolation and existing care packages.

The event was organised by The National Robotarium, based at Heriot-Watt University, in partnership with Product Forge, the Usher Institute and Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh and Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL).

Attended by health and care professionals, academics and assistive technology providers, it aimed to prototype new solutions and accelerate technical designs to tackle multiple care and assisted living challenges.

Dr Mauro Dragone, an assistant professor and director of the Robotic Assisted Living Testbed (RALT) at the National Robotarium, based at Heriot-Watt University, co-organised the event. He explained: “The National Robotarium’s mission is to translate cutting-edge research into technologies to create disruptive innovation in an expanding global market, delivering sustainable economic benefit to Edinburgh, the UK and beyond.

“Our Robotics and Care Mashup exemplifies the concept of a user-centred living lab, integrating concurrent research and innovation processes within a public-private-people partnership. We involved a range of stakeholders in the event to define research priorities and questions for health and social care technology and to accelerate innovation in the sector.

“Our assisted living lab is set up to operate like a real flat with a kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom. Throughout the home, we have connected sensors, domestic robots and other assisted living technology to help care practitioners, designers and end users to test the usefulness of assisted living technologies. Through our Open Ambient Assisted Living (OpenAAL) project, we have recently equipped our laboratory to offer real-time interaction with its sensing, automation and robotic equipment, over the Internet.

“This provides a platform that researchers, technology and industry users can use to co-create technology, where time and distance is no longer a barrier – any time, any place access. The aim is to catalyze and support collaborations to more quickly develop innovative concepts of assistive living technology to be considered for mass-market roll-out and rapid uptake.”

A line up of fourteen international speakers inspired participants throughout the week with talks providing multiple perspectives on key aspects for assistive technology, from social science and cybersecurity to IoT and ethics for healthcare and social robotics.

Participants were also mentored by representatives from the Discovery Stage sponsor Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL), and the Scottish Social Service Council (SSSC), Scotland’s Innovation Centre for sensing, imaging and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies (CENSIS), the Institute of Design Informatics at University of Edinburgh, and the Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre. 

Successes from the week’s event included demonstrating how the ‘Earswitch’ can be used to operate multiple devices using an ear muscle alone. This could significantly improve the independence of thousands of individuals with a range of assisted living needs.

The ‘Earswitch’ was created by primary care practitioner, Dr Nick Gompertz, from Somerset and is supported by funding from NIHR. Dr Gompertz previously proved voluntary movements of the eardrum could be filmed and then used to trigger a virtual keyboard for MND and complex stroke sufferers.

Dr Gompertz worked with Thomas Gillett, a PhD student at Heriot-Watt University, to improve the accuracy of the switch and to connect it to existing assistive devices and automation frameworks. This simplifies the use of the Earswitch with a diverse range of assistive devices, including emerging examples of assistive robotic technology.

Explaining his involvement in the event, Dr Gompertz, inventor of the Earswitch, said: “The Mashup has helped to accelerate and widen the applications of the Earswitch prototype. During the event, we’ve used the Earswitch to control disability software which then can connect to devices throughout the National Robotarium’s assisted living lab and beyond. This allows a user to control multiple appliances in a home setting with their ear muscle alone.

“Everyone with assisted living needs faces a unique set of challenges so they can end up with multiple devices to support their needs. The updated Earswitch prototype can now control a single access point from which to surf the internet, control wheelchairs, operate home appliances and even play computer games. ”

Team Communicare, led by Dr. Mel McKendrick, assistant professor, School of Social Science, Psychology, at Heriot-Watt University, was declared the event’s winner with their concept for technology-aided social cognition and human interaction.

Dr. McKendrick said: “Social isolation is associated with poor mental health and is a significant concern in an older population, whether in their own homes, residential homes or hospitals. It is also applicable to single parent families, individuals with mental health challenges, offenders, homeless people and linguistically and culturally diverse individuals  including migrants and refugees. However, recipients of existing befriending services report varying experiences with challenges in the relationship between befriender and befriending recipients in social perception. This may impact on the success of the befriending.

“Our Hermes Holistic Messenger is designed to augment virtual communication tools used in befriending applications. By enhancing social cognition through increasing the befriender’s awareness of the cultural and mental individual differences of the befriending recipient, the experience and continued social support may yield significant reductions in feelings of social isolation and associated negative impacts”.

The runners-up, team Curi-O, led by Rakin Sarder, MSc student in Human-Robot Interaction at Heriot-Watt University, proposed a post-discharge robotic nursing service model for patients who are recovering in their homes after their treatment.

Mr Sarder said: “Many medical treatments require patients to follow specific recovery guidelines following their discharge. Studies have shown that this recovery process can be a challenging phase for patients, especially if they have physical or cognitive impairments. Solutions such as in-home nursing are expensive.  

“Curi-O service could be used by healthcare professionals as a telehealth, telemedicine, telemonitoring and teletherapy medium, enabling them to perform routine check-ups and generally provide social, cognitive, and physical assistance through a social telepresence robot when needed.”

Event co-organiser Allan Lloyds, managing director of Product Forge, said: “Our events are all about providing hands-on opportunities for health and care professionals to work with technologists and designers on new product concepts. With the support of expert mentors and resources, we see accelerated results by bringing people together in this way. We’re really excited to see such fruitful collaborations emerge such as Curi-O, Hermes and the updated Earswitch.”

Discovery Stage sponsor Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) worked with health and care professionals, technologists and designers over the five-day hackathon to support emerging ideas.

Graham Watson, executive chairman of SHIL, said: “Now more than ever, innovation that accelerates improvements in patient care is a vital focus. Scotland and the rest of the UK has an incredible wealth of expertise and these ground-breaking events provide an opportunity to foster collaboration across the healthcare innovation ecosystem and solve real problems in the care sector. We look forward to driving forward more exciting innovations with the teams involved.”

The Earswitch team also worked with Nick Laing from smart home company, Function Control to operate real home functions including lighting, heating and motorised blinds during the live event, and with assistive tech companies Smartbox and GetTecla. As well as controlling simple switching commands, the team now intends to combine biometric data from the Earswitch with smart home monitoring data to build a picture of a person’s overall health, daily routines and activities in the home.

With 2019 now firmly behind us and our focus now on a new decade, I am genuinely disappointed by the criticism that has followed another successful Winter Festival.

I think it’s time we all took a breath and started a balanced and adult conversation about how tourism benefits the city and how tourists and citizens can exist side by side. We need to move away from apocryphal stories, hearsay and rants from keyboard warriors and embrace evidence, data and the real views of all stakeholders in the city to take this important sector forward.

There is a tendency to hear criticism from a small minority who seem to think they speak for the whole city. There will always be those who shout louder, but offer no solutions and do not contribute positively to the debate. As a business organisation representing many businesses in the tourism sector, Edinburgh Chamber wants to ensure tourism is responsible, sustainable and inclusive. The new Tourism Strategy Edinburgh 2030 outlines the ambition and vision to achieve this.

There can barely be a sector in the city who has not benefited in some way from tourism. A rich cultural diversity, significant employment, a vibrant social scene, city animation and events, and investment into the maintenance of our heritage and built environment. This creates a quality of life which attracts talent to ensure our businesses thrive, the brightest students who ensure our universities maintain their world class status and global investment ensuring our economy is strong.

Without doubt there are unacceptable inequalities in our city and we all have a responsibility to address this. Tourism has a big part to play. Over 36,000 jobs are supported directly by tourism, but this figure could be four times greater if we look at the supply chain of delivery drivers, maintenance workers, taxi drivers, logistics, legal and finance support for the many businesses involved in hospitality, venues, transport and tourism. Jobs in tourism are a fantastic entry point for many people with most jobs requiring a ‘can do’ attitude rather than qualifications. Most training is given on the job with customer service and digital skills being very transferable into other sectors. It is a VERY inclusive sector, and one which is very important to the Scottish economy. Edinburgh is also the gateway to the rest of the country with 60% of visitors to Scotland coming via its capital city.

Significant investment is attracted to an international, welcoming and open city. Edinburgh St James is a perfect example of Edinburgh bucking the UK trend of city centre retail investment. It alone will create 3000 new jobs, with an extensive outreach and training programme established to support these jobs. There are a number of 4 and 5 Star hotels opening this year, reflecting the type of visitor we wish to attract and who want to enjoy what Edinburgh has to offer.

Yes, we need to manage our city centre and our visitors – what city doesn’t? London seeks to manage congestion and pollution of its city centre by monitoring vehicles and charging for access. No doubt Edinburgh will bring in its own measures for city centre management around reducing emissions and congestion, irrespective of tourism. Protecting our city and addressing sustainability and the climate emergency is a priority and the tourism sector will get behind this.

Edinburgh has an abundance of wonderful natural and architectural heritage to enjoy, alongside an animated and fun programme of events that stimulate, entertain and thrill. Edinburgh is a historic and progressive city, it is certainly not ‘tacky’ as some would suggest. Without doubt there are always lessons to be learned and improvements to be made but we have a city to be proud of and one which we should warmly share. We have a lot to be thankful for in many ways.

    • FORECASTS The Scottish Fiscal Commission has forecast that GDP growth will be 1.2% in 2019, falling to one per cent in 2020 and 2021, 1.1% in 2022, and 1.2% in 2023, given the uncertainties of Brexit, falling productivity growth and a shrinking working age population.
    • BREXIT Derek Mackay has claimed that the Scottish government would have “no choice” but to revisit this budget in the event of a no deal Brexit.
    • INCOME TAX Rates will remain the same as last year. The starter and basic rate threshold will be increased at the rate of inflation and the higher rate threshold will be frozen.
    • HEALTH Health will receive the bulk of this Budget’s spending rises, including an increase of almost £730 million, with £27 million for mental health.
    • PUBLIC SECTOR A three per cent pay raise was announced for those earning £36,500 or less.
    • EDUCATION £180 million will be invested to raise attainment in schools.
    • ECONOMY £5 billion capital will be invested to modernise infrastructure, including the creation of a Town Centre Fund and a £130 million investment in the Scottish National Investment Bank.
    • BUSINESS RATES A relief package worth over £750 million will be introduced with a below-inflation cap on business rates, ensuring that more than 90% of properties in Scotland will pay less than the rest of the UK. The out-of-town levy proposed in the Barclay Review will not go ahead at this time.
    • HOUSING £825 million will be allocated to housing, as part of a total package of three billion pounds to deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the course of the Parliament.
    • EDINBURGH The Scottish Government will continue to support the City Region and Growth Deals, including in Edinburgh, to the tune of £187 million. It has also confirmed it will establish a UNICEF data and informatics hub at the University of Edinburgh.

    Analysis

    POLITICS

    Compared to last year’s budget – which broke with British fiscal uniformity by creating five rates of income tax in Scotland, as against three in the rest of the UK – this was a steady-as-she-goes affair. In Scottish parlance, finance secretary Derek Mackay delivered a “ca’ canny” – or go cautiously – package of measures.

    The most radical revenue-raising policy was freezing the higher rate income tax threshold in Scotland – paid by the top 15% of earners – at £43,430, at a time when UK chancellor Philip Hammond announced plans in his budget for the threshold elsewhere in the UK to move to £50,000 from next April.

    However, to put this into perspective, the measure is forecast to deliver an extra £68 million – or just around 0.25% of the total Scottish budget. Meanwhile, around 55% of income tax payers will pay less tax next year than if they lived in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

    To some extent, steering a relatively middle course invites criticism from both sides: higher tax for some, but not sufficient to transform the public expenditure outlook.

    However, at a time of crisis and confusion at Westminster, and with no clarity as to what the UK’s future relationship with the European Union is to be, the Scottish Government has concluded that both in terms of policy and presentation, “ca’ canny” is the right path for Scotland at this time.

    Nonetheless, the independent Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC) report, published once the finance secretary sat down, warned that a higher marginal tax rate for higher earners “will start to affect taxpayer behaviour, for example decisions on how many hours to work.”

     

    BUSINESS

    In total, more than £5 billion in capital spending is planned for the coming year, including £1.7 billion in transport infrastructure, £825 million in housing, and £180 million for city and region deals.

    A key headline for businesses was the announcement that a tax on out-of-town premises – a recommendation of the Barclay report on non-domestic tax rates – will not be implemented at this time, however, the matter will be kept under review.

    Business groups had been vocal in their calls for no new business rates levy to be brought in, with 21 organisations – including the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Freight Transport Association, British Soft Drinks Association, Scottish Tourism Alliance and the Scottish Grocers’ Federation – signing a joint letter to Mackay back in November.

    However, acknowledging the struggles of local high streets, Mackay announced that a new £50 million fund will be introduced to support the diversification and development of town centres.

    Other key measures include: £130 million to support the establishment of the Scottish National Investment Bank, a £15 million increase in business R&D funding, £8.3 million to progress the new National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, and £150 million for the Building Scotland Fund which will provide debt and equity support to the private sector and organisations, such as housing associations and universities.

    And the imperative of focusing on economic growth is starkly illustrated by Scottish Fiscal Commission report.

    Economic growth is forecast by the SFC to be “relatively subdued” over the next five years, primarily as a result of slow productivity growth. Trend productivity growth “has been declining in Scotland since the early 2000s”, and while it is projected to “gradually increase” over the next five years, the Scottish economy clearly needs all the help it can get.

    Derek Mackay went to great lengths to contrast the economic performance with the “economic and social vandalism of the UK government”, pointing to growth outpacing the UK as a whole in the first six months of 2018.

    Changes to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax were also announced. The additional dwelling supplement (ADS) will increase from 3% to 4%.

    Non-residential LBTT will be reduced from 3% to 1% and the upper rate increased from 4.5% to 5%, with the starting threshold of the upper rate falling from £350,000 to £250,000.

    Figure jumps to nearly 80% when a TVL ring-fenced for infrastructure investment is proposed, finds Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce

    The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce today announced its findings of a recent survey of members regarding the potential introduction of a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) in Edinburgh.

    The survey yielded views from 200 businesses and organisations from across the city, from a range of industries including hospitality, financial services, creative industries and transport.

    The research found that:

    • -69% of businesses would support the introduction of a TVL
    • -79% would support a TVL if the funds were ring-fenced for infrastructure investment in Edinburgh
    • -Support varied between industries, from 50% in the hospitality sector to 81% of financial services companies and 93% of third sector organisations
    • -The form of levy most favoured was a ‘per person, per night’ charge – as used in many European countries including Spain, Austria, Croatia, France and Bulgaria
    • -The vast majority of respondents – 87% – would like the option to review the TVL after a set period of time

     

    Edinburgh attracts more than 4 million visitors each year, who contribute over £1.4 billion to the local economy[1]. This number is set to grow year on year, generating an additional £485 million for the city by 2020[2].  Yet, with the increasing volume in visitors, there comes a greater requirement for the city to invest in public services and infrastructure.

    The idea of a TVL in Edinburgh has been debated at a local and national level for over a decade. In 2017, the City of Edinburgh Council agreed to continue to make a case to the Scottish Government for the introduction of a TVL, and earlier this year the Scottish Government announced a national consultation on the matter.

    Commenting, Liz McAreavey, CEO of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said:

    “The potential introduction of a Transient Visitor Levy in Edinburgh is one of the most significant issues being discussed in our city and it is only right that business has its say. After an extensive consultation with our members, we have found broad support for the principle of a levy, which increases further if funds were dedicated to improving the city’s infrastructure.

    “We look forward to seeing the City of Edinburgh Council’s proposals for the use of funds raised by a TVL and we remain committed to improving the environment for the businesses that serve as the backbone of our local economy. We will be submitting to the Scottish Government’s consultation, articulating our own position and that of Edinburgh’s business community, in due course.”

    [1] http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/55967/item_91_-_tourism_in_edinburgh

    [2] http://www.etag.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Ed2020-Review-Main-Report-Final-260916.pdf

     

    Commenting on the result of the General Election, Liz McAreavey, CEO of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce said:

    “This morning’s result of a hung parliament has brought even more uncertainty throughout the UK.

    “The voters have spoken and without a majority party win, a period of discussion and negotiations lie ahead before a solid outcome is decided. The formation of a reliable and stable government is of prime importance, and is necessary to restore public and business confidence.

    “As soon as the outcome of this election is clear, the government must immediately focus on building a firm foundation for our country’s future prosperity and competitiveness.

    “With Brexit negotiations so close on the horizon, government must work pragmatically with businesses, with the public and with other politicians and policymakers to deliver the best possible deal for the country.

    “This result has undoubtedly shaken business communities throughout the UK and raised concerns, but we must focus on making the swift formation of a credible government which is essential to our economic prospects”

    New alliances open up new opportunities for Edinburgh companies

    Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce has participated in one of the first network-wide overseas trade missions to China, led by a delegation of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

    Chief Executive, Liz McAreavey joined senior representatives and business people from Aberdeen, Ayrshire, Dundee & Angus, Glasgow, and West Lothian. The mission explored new trading opportunities and links with business, education and government organisations.

    As part of the programme, Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) announced the official opening of a new International Trade Office in the city of Yantai. The formal opening ceremony was hosted by the Vice Mayor of Yantai city, Madame Zhang Bo, together with senior officials from Yantai Municipal Government.

    As part of the event, both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding for trade engagement and partnership, designed to achieve an effective channel for exchange of business between Scotland and Yantai.

    During the trade visit, Edinburgh Chamber participated in a series of productive meetings with senior business people, highly influential politicians including Vice Governor Wang Shujian, and local government officials as well as national ‘think tanks’ bodies in Beijing, Yantai and Jinan in the Shandong Province

    Chief Executive, Liz McAreavey commented: “The Chinese economy continues to grow at a faster pace than western economies and the rate of growth within new cities such as Yantai and Jinan opens up the potential for Edinburgh businesses to promote and sell its goods and services which Chinese businesses and consumers want and need. That demand, together with a more recent policy of ‘opening up’ to new trading partners and overseas alliances by the Chinese, presents a myriad of opportunities for our local businesses to capitalise on.

    “The aim of our mission was to strengthen relationships and increase engagement with existing and new contacts in sectors where there are direct B2B or knowledge-sharing opportunities for Edinburgh companies. Yantai is a city of 7 million and SCC’s base in Yantai will enable us to plan a comprehensive approach to exploiting the many opportunities in Yantai and further afield for our members and non-members.”

    Shandong Province represents the third largest economy in China with a population of over 97 million and a GDP in excess of 6.3 trillion yuan (£0.7 trillion). It is China’s best wine growing region accounting for over 25% of all wine production. Yantai is the biggest trading port in North China and in 2016, the city imported over $19 billion (£14.7 billion) of goods and services.

    Chief Executive, Liz McAreavey also visited the city of Jinan, which is home to one of the first national high-tech business incubators and since its foundation in 2002, it has incubated more than 1,000 small and medium sized science and technology enterprises. It focuses on cultivating fast-growing sectors such as biomedicine, ecommerce, energy, environmental protection and new materials.

    Key sectors for Edinburgh Chamber based companies to meet key economic needs in the Chinese target cities include: electronic information, robotics and artificial intelligence, bioscience, R &D and smart technologies, food and drink and even football management.

    The accelerated growth of consumers in Shandong province also opens opportunities in consumer goods, recreation and tourism services, financial and professional services and education.

    Chief Executive, SCC, Liz Cameron said: “We now have a deeper understanding of how we can achieve the best exchange for business, where the opportunities exist for Scottish organisations and how we can best pursue these.

    “We have also identified a number of potential opportunities for inward investment into Scotland and will be working with Scottish Government and SDI as well as other trade organisations to explore these and leverage the momentum of change within China.

    SCC intends to return to Shandong Province later this year to conclude discussions on further Memorandums of Understanding and explore new ways to foster co-operation between the two countries.

    josh-quigley-at-edinburgh-chamberJosh Quigley, the Tartan Explorer was the main attraction at this morning’s Breakfast Event, kindly hosted by Edinburgh’s Apex Waterloo Place Hotel.  Josh (24), an award winning young entrepreneur, survived a suicide attempt in 2015 and is now dedicating his time to a Cycle the World Expedition raising awareness of suicide prevention and mental health issues.

    Whilst many of this year’s Chamber events will focus on business growth and networking, other events will focus on the equally important people dimension.  Attendees were riveted by Josh’s candid account of his ongoing battle with depression and the positive approach he takes to tackling it each day.

    Some of the stand-outs quotes from Josh were: “How you respond to your depression is more important than how you got it”; “If you don’t enjoy it – change it”; “Give yourself positive affirmations – I feel brilliant today and I look amazing – you can trick your brain into believing these.”

    Chamber Members, AM Bid Services and Cyrenians sponsored Josh’s involvement with today’s event.  Andrew Morrison, Managing Director of AM Bid Services said: “Our team are highly energised by being involved in sponsoring Josh’s Expedition.  Hearing today that 8 people have directly credited Josh with saving their lives speaks volumes about the importance of his work.”

    Ian Grimwade, Head of Business Development at Cyrenians agreed: “Josh’s own journey – physical, spiritual and mental – is transformational not just for his own life, but for so many others who have been inspired and saved by his actions. We fully support Josh’s push for a more open discussion on suicide prevention and issues related to mental health, and a vision of an inclusive society in which we all have the opportunities to live valued and fulfilled lives.”

    Liz McAreavey, Chamber Chief Executive said ‘What a wonderful inspirational speaker!  Josh gave us a positive – yet stark – reality check at our first chamber event of 2017.  Action and choices are under our own control.  We look forward to listening to the next update from Josh when he is back in Edinburgh.’

    Donations to help Josh continue with the Cycle the World Expedition and his important work raising awareness of suicide prevention and mental health issues can be made at: http://tartanexplorer.com/

     

     

    On the 10 November, George Lakkotrypis, Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism for the Republic of Cyprus will visit Edinburgh to speak at the Cyprus-UK Business Forum.

     Taking place at The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh. This free event is the first of its kind in Scotland and is a unique opportunity to hear the Minister talk about the country’s economy and key growth drivers, all whilst exploring opportunities for investment and international trade in Cyprus through networking with Cypriot delegates and panel discussions from CIPA, CIFA and PwC Cyprus.

    The current Cyprus government has made staunch efforts to create and develop an increasingly attractive business and investment framework in Cyprus. With new incentives to attract investment and the promise of good governance, many industry experts and multinational companies have recognised this as a ripe time to focus on the Cypriot market in terms of both international trade and investment opportunities. The added advantages of its transparent and favourable tax and regulatory framework, well-educated population and strong growth prospects bode well for this strategically located European market.

    This event is free to attend and available to both members and non-members of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

    To find out, or to book a space visit the Chambers event page here

    Cyprus-UK Business Forum in Edinburgh
    10 November 2016
    9am – 12pm
    The Balmoral Hotel
    1 Princes Street
    Edinburgh
    EH2 2EQ

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