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LAUNCH OF NEW DELOITTE/ UBT EMPLOYABILITY PROGRAM FOR SAUDI UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

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LAUNCH OF NEW DELOITTE/ UBT EMPLOYABILITY PROGRAM FOR SAUDI UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

In line with Saudi Vision 2030 to equip young Saudi men and women for future careers, Deloitte collaborated with the University of Business and Technology (UBT) in Saudi Arabia, on creating a program to bring professional and technical skills to university students and support their employment prospects, personal growth and leadership development.

The Deloitte and UBT collaboration includes a range of educational and training events and activities. As part of the initiative, Deloitte is sponsoring UBT’s accounting clubs on both the men and women campuses to develop auditing and accounting skills of young Saudi’s. Deloitte is also running awareness meetings and workshops on a range of topics such as career guidance, and auditors, tax and advisory consulting careers.

“We value the UBT partnership as it is integral to Deloitte’s commitment and strategy to develop the professional skills of young Saudi men and women even before they go into the market,” commented Mazen Al Omari, Partner and Nationalization Leader, Deloitte Saudi Arabia,. “Our Saudi and expatriate employees also undergo extensive on the job training, classroom led and eLearning development programs in Saudi Arabia, in the region and across the world. We prepare them and support them for professional certification like the SOCPA qualification but also for many others according to their interests and career aspirations. Our global Deloitte University methodology and campuses are not only actual learning hubs but the methodology drives all our professional and leadership training offered in the Kingdom,” added Mazen.

 “We are pleased to have collaborated with Deloitte on this program as it will support our students’ personal and professional development and employability skills. We hope that this collaboration will encourage other private sector organizations to follow suit” commented Dr. Lulwa AlMutlaq, Vice Rector of Sari Campus, UBT.

 “As the largest professional services organization in the world, Deloitte will continue to play its part in the long term economic success of Saudi Arabia through talent development and serving our clients and the markets with world class quality and offerings to help them navigate market challenges and grow and prosper,” commented Robert O’Hanlon, Deloitte Practice Leader, Saudi Arabia. “Through our wide-ranging initiatives, including the UBT partnership, we are not only committed to contributing towards the government’s target of 75% of the private sector workforce being Saudi nationals, but we are also as committed to developing careers for Saudi youths whether they join our firm and profession or work in other sectors in the market”.

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German January exports to UK fell 30% year-on-year as Brexit hit – Stats Office

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German January exports to UK fell 30% year-on-year as Brexit hit - Stats Office 1

BERLIN (Reuters) – German exports to the United Kingdom fell by 30% year-on-year in January “due to Brexit effects”, preliminary trade figures released by the Federal Statistics Office on Tuesday showed.

In 2020, German exports to the UK fell by 15.5% compared to 2019, recording the biggest year-on-year decline since the financial and economic crisis in 2009, when they fell by 17.0%, the Office said.

“Since 2016 – the year of the Brexit referendum – German exports to the UK have steadily declined,” the Office said in a statement.

In 2015 German exports to the UK amounted to 89.0 billion euros. In 2020, German they totalled 66.9 billion euros.

Imports to Germany from the UK totalled 34.7 billion euros in 2020, down 9.6 % compared to 2019.

(Reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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German unemployment unexpectedly rises in February

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German unemployment unexpectedly rises in February 2

BERLIN (Reuters) – German unemployment rose in February for the first time since last June, data showed on Tuesday, dashing expectations for a fall as lockdown measures to suppress the coronavirus case load held back Europe’s largest economy.

The Labour Office said the number of people out of work rose by 9,000 in seasonally adjusted terms to 2.752 million. A Reuters poll had forecast a fall of 13,000.

“Kurzarbeit (shortened working hours) continues to secure employment on a large scale and prevent unemployment,” Labour Office chief Detlef Scheele said in a statement, adding: “Individual sectors are feeling the effects of the lockdown.”

Germany has been in lockdown since November, and measures were tightened in mid-December, as it battles a second wave of the virus. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said new variants of COVID-19 risk a third wave of infections.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged compared with the previous month at 6.0%.

The labour agency said some 2.39 million employees were on shortened working hours in December under the government’s Kurzarbeit scheme designed to avoid mass layoffs during downturns by offering companies subsidies to keep workers on the payroll.

After peaking at some 6 million last April, the number of people on Kurzarbeit fell before rising again in November as lockdown measures kicked in, the Office said.

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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We cannot ‘lockdown’ to avoid the climate crisis

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We cannot ‘lockdown’ to avoid the climate crisis 3

By Vaughan Lindsay, CEO, ClimateCare

The parallels between the Coronavirus response and how we could all collaboratively tackle the climate crisis should not be overlooked. Tackling either problem, for instance, has changed our lifestyle in so many ways. In short, we have all have to make adaptations for a much longer-term gain. I also believe that the pandemic has highlighted to us all that we can live differently; indeed, that we are all incredibly adaptable.

We cannot isolate from the climate crisis.

Nevertheless, there are also some very important differences too; namely the speed in which we witness effects and how long we will all live with the impact. Covid-19 is more immediate, it’s on everyone’s minds (no matter how fatigued we all are by the topic after a year of living with it). Climate change, on the other hand, feels like a much longer-term threat which doesn’t invoke the same kind of unease or fear – or at least not enough for people to take immediate action. Yet, as Mark Carney so eloquently summed up recently, the world is heading for mortality rates equivalent to the Covid crisis every year by mid-century unless action is taken right now. “One of the biggest issues is you cannot self-isolate from climate,” he said. “That is not an option. We cannot retreat in and wait out climate change, it will just get worse.” Bill Gates also further highlighted the severity of the situation too when he recently commented that solving climate change would be “the most amazing thing humanity has ever done” and by comparison, ending the pandemic is “very, very easy”, the billionaire founder of Microsoft claimed.

Taking action.

Ultimately, the short-term imperative of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t alter the urgency of dealing with the climate crisis. And certainly, there is currently no ‘silver bullet’ for solving either the pandemic or climate change. However, there are a set of agreed actions that every business and individual can (and should) take to help tackle these issues. To tackle Covid-19 we lockdown, we work from home, we continue social distancing, washing our hands and wearing masks to protect one another and the NHS. And of course, we continue to roll out the vaccines and treatments for longer term protection.

On the other hand, we cannot lockdown to tackle the climate crisis. Rather for climate change, it’s about understanding and taking responsibility for our climate impact, both by changing our behaviour to reduce our carbon footprint and by decarbonising many of our business models and lifestyles. .

Vaughan Lindsay

Vaughan Lindsay

Now is the time to build back better.

To ‘build back better’ then we need to work towards a sustainable low or zero carbon recovery, and this needs to be done with realism and integrity. Not only does this mean that we need to work together to create integrated and robust climate strategies, but we also need to take action to decarbonise sooner rather than later and while we make these structural changes, we need to ensure that we are compensating for all residual emissions as part of everyday business too.

Taking action (over pledges).

Despite the pandemic, it was encouraging last year to see the ever-increasing number of corporates committing to achieve Net Zero status. However, whilst it is great to see firms working hard to measure their footprint and set reduction targets, many firms still admitted to us that they are waiting to get this right before they take action to reduce and compensate for their emissions. This remains a concern. Because, whilst these plans and long-term targets are commendable, they do little for the environmental damage that is being done right now. There is a risk of action hiding behind plans.

Ultimately, we need to more than halve emissions by 2030; this is equivalent to reducing the current emissions of China, India, the EU and the US combined. It’s a mammoth task. To tackle it we need to drive actions simultaneously and at pace, and then modify and adjusting moving forward. In simple terms, there really isn’t time to take things one step at a time anymore. We need to take action right away. As such – and as we continue through this coming year – we need to see more of these ambitious plans and statements put into practice, as companies continue to turn their plans (and pledges) into action.

Time to raise the bar.

The issue of climate change is now central to nearly all forward-thinking corporates and we are now witnessing one of most encouraging environments for them to act on this. It’s vital to ensure that the role of the voluntary carbon market delivers real additional emission reductions on the ground and at scale.

Never before has there been a better time to raise the bar and our own ambitions about what positive corporate action looks like. Because the climate will not respond to targets and pledges. Only action counts.

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