Waterstons, an innovative UK business and IT consultancy, has opened its first office in Scotland as it eyes further growth and expansion.
Waterstons, which has its UK headquarters in Durham and another office in London, opened the doors to its new office on the M8 corridor between Glasgow and Edinburgh last month (September).
For more than a decade, Waterstons has worked with a number of high profile clients in Scotland. The firm, which employs 130 people across the UK, has already made three key appointments and is currently in the process of recruiting more employees for its base at RegusEurocentral, Maxim Park, Motherwell.
Ricky Milliken has been appointed Regional Head – Scotland and will be leading the Waterstons team. Sally Edgar has been appointed as Senior Transformation Consultant and Cosmin Argatu has relocated from Waterstons’ HQ to take up a position as Bespoke Consultant in the new office. It is expected that a further four or five people will be based at the Scotland office initially, but it is hoped that this figure could grow to 30-50 within five years.
Waterstons has also partnered with Microsoft to run an education sector event later this month, and the company plans to host/co-host a series of business-focused and sector specific industry events in Scotland in 2018.
Ricky has more than 17 years’ experience in IT management, having previously worked at a number of technology companies, including Sx3, Northgate IS and Capita.
Ricky, who joined the company four months ago, said: “It’s the company values, capability and ambition of Waterstons that really resonated with me. We have a very efficient and professional business-focused outlook, offering technology as an enabler to maximise real business outcomes and benefits.
“We’ve been leading business transformation, solving business problems and helping clients to generate a real return on their technology investment right across the UK for 23 years. The move to open a dedicated office in Scotland demonstrates our commitment to our existing Scottish clients and provides a fantastic opportunity to grow both our business and our team.
“With an 80% client retention rate, we’ll be focusing on forging even deeper and wider links with our existing clients, while building upon our expertise in the higher education and manufacturing sector, including food and beverage.”
CEO Susan Bell said: “We have been in business for almost a quarter of a century, and these are very exciting times for Waterstons. We’re an ambitious company with a strong desire to use technology to ultimately improve their performance, and we’re hoping to be able to increase the number of employees significantly over the next few years by strengthening the relationships we already have and building new ones.
“As an IT consultancy with a keen business focus, technology is a huge part of our DNA, but ultimately it’s about putting people first and the pursuit of excellence. We have a strong culture of trust and transparency and our focus is making a real difference to our clients’ business.”
To find out more about Waterstons, or to register for The Student Journey – a Microsoft Education event in partnership with Waterstons, please visit www.waterstons.com.
Spain’s jobless hit four million for first time in five years as pandemic curbs bite
By Nathan Allen and Belén Carreño
MADRID (Reuters) – The number of jobless people in Spain rose above 4 million for the first time in five years in February, official data showed on Tuesday, as COVID-19 restrictions ravage the ailing economy.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Spain has lost more than 400,000 jobs, around two-thirds of them in the hospitality sector, which has struggled with limits on opening hours and capacity as well as an 80% slump in international tourism.
Jobless claims rose by 1.12% from a month earlier, or by 44,436 people to 4,008,789, Labour Ministry data showed, the fifth consecutive monthly increase in unemployment.
That number was 23.5% higher than in February 2020, the last month before the pandemic took hold in Spain.
“The rise in unemployment, caused by the third wave, is bad news, reflecting the structural flaws of the labour market that are accentuated by the pandemic,” Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz tweeted.
Restrictions vary sharply from region to region in Spain, with some shutting down all hospitality businesses, though Madrid has taken a particularly relaxed approach and kept bars and restaurants open.
A total of 30,211 positions were lost over the month, seasonally adjusted data from the Social Security Ministry showed. It was the first month more positions were closed than created since Spain emerged from its strict first-wave lockdown in May.
Still, the number of people supported by Spain’s ERTE furlough scheme across Spain fell by nearly 29,000 to 899,383 in February.
“These figures have remained more or less stable since September, indicating that the second and third waves of the pandemic have had a much smaller effect than the first in this regard,” the ministry said in a statement.
Hotels, bars and restaurants and air travel are the sectors with the highest proportion of furloughed workers, it added.
Tourism dependent regions like the Canary and Balearic Islands have been particularly hard hit, with the workforce contracting by more than 6% since last February in both archipelagos.
The last time the number of jobless in Spain hit 4 million was in April 2016.
(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska, Nathan Allen and Belén Carreño, Editing by Inti Landauro, Kirsten Donovan and Philippa Fletcher)
Pandemic ‘shecession’ reverses women’s workplace gains
By Anuradha Nagaraj
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The coronavirus pandemic reversed women’s workplace gains in many of the world’s wealthiest countries as the burden of childcare rose and female-dominated sectors shed jobs, according to research released on Tuesday.
Women were more likely than men to lose their jobs in 17 of the 24 rich countries where unemployment rose last year, according to the latest annual PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Women in Work Index.
Jobs in female-dominated sectors like marketing and communications were more likely to be lost than roles in finance, which are more likely to be held by men, said the report, calling the slowdown a “shecession”.
Meanwhile, women were spending on average 7.7 more hours a week than men on unpaid childcare, a “second shift” that is nearly the equivalent of a full-time job and risks forcing some out of paid work altogether, it found.
“Although jobs will return when economies bounce back, they will not necessarily be the same jobs,” said Larice Stielow, senior economist at PwC.
“If we don’t have policies in place to directly address the unequal burden of care, and to enable more women to enter jobs in growing sectors of the economy, women will return to fewer hours, lower-skilled, and lower paid jobs.”
The report, which looked at 33 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) club of rich nations, said progress towards gender equality at work would not begin to recover until 2022.
Even then, the pace of progress would need to double if rich countries were to make up the losses by 2030, it said, calling on governments and businesses to improve access to growth sectors such as artificial intelligence and renewable energy.
Laura Hinton, chief people officer at PwC, said it was “paramount that gender pay gap reporting is prioritised, with targeted action plans put in place as businesses focus on building back better and fairer”.
Britain has required employers with more than 250 staff to submit gender pay gap figures every year since 2017 in a bid to reduce pay disparities, but last year it suspended the requirement due to the coronavirus pandemic.
(Reporting by Anuradha Nagaraj @AnuraNagaraj; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
German January exports to UK fell 30% year-on-year as Brexit hit – Stats Office
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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