A Yes Vote⤴

from @ Questions and Reflections

I have no problem with a Yes vote based on the spin from both sides of the Independence campaign in Scotland. In fact if there is a Yes vote i want Scotland to have its own currency outside the EU. Then it can negotiate with the EU from a position of strength. Alex Salmond to my way of thinking is far too timid. What we don’t want is partial independence linked to the UK pound or the Euro both of which would fatally limit our ability to control our currency in our own interests.

What is more of a problem is the shape of a future Scottish society. As part of the UK we have massive inequality which is growing worse daily. We have a culture of encouraging global businesses to take over our vital services. And we are squeezing the poorer elements in our inner cities until the pips hurt. Will a future Scottish independent government have the Vision and Courage to reshape our politics and society so that everyone in the country has adequate food, good accommodation, access to health care and the opportunity after leaving school to have a worthwhile and fulfilling job. That is not an impossible dream. It will be a slow process and so will require commitment from all political parties in the new country.

Filed under: Democracy, Food for Thought, Independence, Politics, Social and Politics

Girls in ICT Day⤴


rsz_angelaconstance_174x201Today is International Girls in ICT Day, an initiative launched by the International  Telecommunication  Union (ITU) in 2010 to encourage more girls and young women to consider careers in information and communication technologies. 

Founded in Paris in 1865, the ITU is now a specialised agency of the United Nations with a membership of 193 countries and some 700 private-sector entities.

While its first area of expertise was the telegraph, the ITU now covers the whole ICT sector, from digital broadcasting to the Internet, and from mobile technologies to 3D TV, meaning it is very well placed to address issues of inequality within its field.

Girls in ICT Day is an opportunity not just to celebrate the careers of those women who have made an impact in digital technologies, but to consider how best to address the barriers to more taking up a career in the sector.

I have just taken the post of Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment, as part of the Scottish Government’s prioritising of gender equality. We now have a Cabinet that is 40 per cent female and have asked public bodies to adhere to the same standard.

Myself and other ministers also recently took part in activity around International’s Women’s Day and in March we also had Make Young People Your Business Week, a series of events specifically geared towards the ICT and digital technologies sector, which included the announcement of £6.6 million for the sector.

We want everyone in Scotland to be able to take full advantage of the economic, social and cultural opportunities of the digital age. We want to ensure everybody has the opportunity to share in the benefits that new technology can bring. Today’s launch of the Digital Participation Strategy at Pilton Equalities Partnership by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, reinforces our determination to build upon the progress we are making in developing world class digital skills for all of our citizens.

I was very clear throughout the week that there should be a particular emphasis on young women. Research shows that women in the sector had decreased to around 17 per cent in 2011 and I was able to speak at the Scottish Women in Technology conference, attended by around fifty women in the sector, to outline how the Scottish Government wants to address those numbers.

Alongside the First Minister at Scotland’s first Women’s Employment Summit in September 2012, I announced £250,000 for CareerWISE, intended to encourage more girls into the sector do exactly that.

I hope to see this investment, which has funded female champions in STEM subjects to go into our schools and take the time to chat to girls about their work, making a difference in the coming years.

While levels of working women in Scotland are currently very promising, our economic recovery is still continuing, and more needs to be done to level the playing field for women in the workplace.

Girls in ICT Day is an excellent opportunity to highlight both the opportunities for young women in digital technologies but to ensure employers are aware of what they can bring to their business.

The post Girls in ICT Day appeared first on Engage for Education.

Student Debt Could Cause Catastrophic Damage To Universities⤴


Academic qualifications prove an individuals ability to learn and achieve. Decades ago gaining a good job relied on experience and a good education at secondary or higher levels. Those going to university were the exception. In the past 20 years this has spun around with the majority of graduates at University claiming their degree was [...]

Back Soon: eduBuzz News “Activity Stream”⤴

from @ eduBuzz.org Learning Network

Final testing is now under way on software which will bring back the popular eduBuzz home page “Activity Stream” display of latest posts and comments from around East Lothian schools. We hope to bring it back within a week. We were using BuddyPress software to make that happen, but advice from our new hosts was […]

The End of the Oil Era?⤴

from @ Mr McGowan's Learning Blog

Could it be that Solar Power will overtake the fossil fuels as the most common energy source shortly?




If this is the case, think of the implications for the Middle East in particular. Dubai are already well on the way to diversifying and preparing for life after the oil, as is Qatar. What of Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries?

Leadership Lessons from the Manchester United⤴

from @ Mr McGowan's Learning Blog

Forbes magazine have identified Ten Key Leadership Lessons that should be learned from the crisis at Manchester United.




It is great to come out with this sort of thing in hindsight, however, personally I do believe they needed someone more experienced and with a more glittering CV. I do also think that for both the Manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the CEO David Gill to stand down at the same time was perhaps misguided.


The situation at Manchester United is fascinating both students and myself due to the fact we went there in November for the Stadium Tour and received an excellent business presentation. The club are trying to be like a Fortune 500 company and perhaps they are now seeing all the inherent problems such size and expectation brings once the successful leader moves on.

Scottish Government Modern Apprenticeship⤴

from @ Careers

SG MA Administrative Officer Health and Social Care, Edinburgh – Closing Date 6th May 2014

SDS are continuing to co-ordinate the application process for the Scottish Government Modern Apprentice vacancies, by working with those eligible individuals currently on the unemployed register, who may be interested in applying for jobs within this organisation.

Above is another job specification for an Apprentice opportunity based in the Health and Social Care Directorate of the Scottish Government. .

1 x MA Administrative Officer

This Modern Apprenticeship is based in St Andrews House, Regent Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG

While this will be targeted mainly at the Edinburgh teams, other areas can also be notified if working with young people who are willing to travel.

Please can you alert the relevant teams to this vacancy and ask that they encourage eligible young people to apply (16-24, unemployed, who are capable of completing an SVQ Level 2 in one year). Young people contracted to work less than 16 hrs per week are also eligible as are those who are currently on an Employability Fund programme.

Unfortunately the Scottish Government cannot support to SVQ Level 3 young people who have already completed the SVQ Level 2 in Business Administration and they would therefore not be eligible.

Candidates should explain in their CVs specifically how they meet the competencies indicated in the post and should include a short covering letter.

Closing date for applications is Tuesday 6th May 2014. Can I please ask that all CVs and covering letters are sent electronically to emma.scott@sds.co.uk

This position has an attractive starting salary of £16,042.

The department is keen that the successful candidate start asap, although security checks may take 6 weeks.