Author Archives: Sarah Carvill

  1. January Breakfast Briefing – Capability dismissal

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    Catch up with January’s Breakfast Briefing – Capability dismissal

    In our first Breakfast Briefing of 2022, Kevin Duffy from our Legal and HR team gives an overview on capability dismissal. This can be a complex area of law, so Kevin provides some practical tips on how to navigate a capability process. This topic will be one of great importance to HR managers and operational managers.


    For a summary of the points discussed in this session: Click here to view this session’s slides.



    Please look out for details of forthcoming Breakfast Briefings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 08:00-08:30. If you have any questions on this Breakfast Briefing or suggestions for future briefings, then please contact Kevin Duffy in the ScotEng legal team.

    Tel: 0141 221 3181




  2. Essentials of LEV (Local Exhaust Ventilation)

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    In this latest informative article, member company and industry leaders in dust and fume extraction Compliance LEV Ltd explain why LEV is so important to your business. 

    Compliance LEV are specialists in Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV), trusted by clients such as Rolls Royce, Tan International, and Historic Scotland to manage their LEV solutions and guide them on their compliance journey.

    I chose the company name for a reason. In my varied engineering career, I found that many client companies were not compliant, and that compliance was becoming a very hot HSE topic. As a new member of Scottish Engineering we are keen to share some knowledge on this health and safety-critical issue with the membership network: not just what it is or what it does, but on how to reduce costs and carbon footprint and also how to stay compliant.

    Below are a few initial pointers on this topic and we hope to do more blogs on LEV in the coming months. We hope you find this short paper insightful, engaging, and jargon-free.


    • Why is LEV so important?

    Simply put LEV avoids respiratory health issues and ultimately saves lives by removing harmful contaminants from the operator’s breathing zone. LEV can also reduce manufacturing costs if its well designed and thought out with the process owner or user.


    • Why is LEV so High on the HSE Agenda?

    For many years the UK has had a focus on improving safety and avoiding injuries and deaths in the workplace, and as a result, we all must continually strive to work more safely.

    However, the reality is that the greatest burden on our NHS is due to us not working healthily, and a key element of workplace health is air quality. If we can capture contaminants at source and stop people breathing them in, then we can dramatically reduce lost work days, reduce respiratory illness, and more importantly than ever, reduce the burden on our NHS in years to come so we can all enjoy a healthy future.


    • Is LEV a Legal requirement?

    Some aspects are, and some aspects are not. HSG 258 is a guidance document for best practice, however, LEV also ties in heavily with COSHH regulations which is CRIMINAL LAW.


    • How can I reduce costs in running LEV?

    There are various ways to reduce your costs and these can be simple or innovative depending on your systems set up and types. For instance, aftermarket filters can be as good as OEM but at a significantly lower cost. PIR sensors and floor pressure mats have a very fast payback as they can shut off the LEV system and associated fans, motors, and machinery when not in use, giving a fast reduction in running costs and creating a longer filter life.


    • Is LEV linked to my environmental or carbon footprint?

    Yes, it is. LEV uses power, and sometimes water, and moves and filters large volumes of air. Poorly designed systems will not take proper consideration of environmental factors or carbon footprint, or indeed cost efficiency. Lean Black Belt techniques can be used to reduce clients’ costs and environmental footprint, and we have included the following short case study to give you an idea of how LEV solutions can be applied in the most effective and cost-efficient manner.


    Return Air Case Study:

    A client with multiple LEV systems exhausted circa 72,000 cubic meters of air to external atmosphere per hour. The client had not considered that along with the air from the process, they also removed expensive warm air from the plant and sent that to external atmosphere as waste. They then had to bring in the same volume as make up air… but heat it and condition it first! Compliance LEV designed and fitted a set of after filters to each LEV system. This meant that the client gained 72.000 cubic meters of already warmed conditioned air back to the work place. The client reduced external emissions by the same value and no longer had to undertake expensive 6 monthly roof and stack inspections. Below is a similar system we completed recently – 

    The wet collectors below have return air filtration, no more atmospheric discharge


    The simple message is that if your LEV systems exhaust your emissions to the atmosphere, then you have the potential to dramatically reduce your heating bill and your site emissions, critical steps on the path to net zero.


    • Cost of running motors and fans in LEV:

    Many engineering companies use oil mist systems to remove the oil-air emissions from machining processes. For one client we removed 9 older style Oil Mist systems installed by a very well-known brand.

    The problem: The high cost of 6 monthly servicing, the high cost of replacement filters, and high energy costs given the size of motor needed to power the systems.

    The Solution: Modern Oil Mist LEV systems come with much smaller motors and, therefore, offer an instant reduction in running costs. The filters are washable and last 5 to 7 years, so there is no need for regular replacement filters, Also, more modern oil mist systems can be interlocked to the machine meaning they only run when the machine is on its cycle.

    Some solutions seem very simple but in a busy business, a busy machine shop, or a busy welding shop you seldom have the time to pause and look at potential cost reductions. Yet if you work smarter, you don’t need to work harder: taking care of LEV by good design and planned preventative maintenance saves thousands of hard-earned pounds as we have proven to our clients time and time again.


    • COSHH, LEV, and Compliance

    COSHH regulation 12(1) states – Every employer who undertakes work that is liable to expose an employee to a substance hazardous to health shall provide that employee with suitable and sufficient information, instruction, and training.

    Simple and inexpensive gauges are a great visual indicator for operators when accompanied by a relevant SOP. We use the traffic light system, Green Amber RED which is familiar to everyone when marking up gauges as shown below.

    Compliance LEV is the only BOHS (British Occupational Hygiene Society) fully endorsed ‘LEV Awareness Training’ provider in Scotland.


    • Conclusion

    We are here to offer guidance and support in achieving and maintaining LEV compliance – so that when HSE comes knocking you can be confident you are in a good place and also, critically, to help you reduce your costs year on year. If you would like to discuss further please contact us at the address below. We prefer to meet in person via a site visit. We offer an initial appraisal free of charge, through which we can discuss your needs and, if required, make a proposal.


    Kevin Simmonds

    MSc, P601, P602, W201, Lean Black Belt

    Direct Dial: 07939 550 943




    Guest Writer, Kevin Simmonds, founder of Compliance LEV



  3. Diversification Opportunity with Frog Bikes

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    Catch up with this informative webinar which provides an in-depth look at the typical manufacturing essentials and components Frog Bikes require from suppliers.

    The UK’s bike industry is worth over £2bn per annum and growing faster than any market as governments around the world look to decarbonise transport and clean up our towns and cities. The bike will play a growing role in this move to Net Zero, and Europe will soon be the world’s biggest cycling continent. If you can successfully supply Frog, the door is open to supply other European-based bike brands and we can help you. This session welcomes guest speakers from Frog Bike‘s senior management team for a short discussion on what they are looking for in their supply chain partners – specification of product, quality standards, volumes, growth ambitions. This recording will give you an idea of how you can get involved with Frog’s Scottish supply chain.




    Interested in becoming a Frog Bikes supplier? Fill out their Scottish Supplier Questionnaire to give Frog and ourselves an idea of your skills and expertise. We will be accepting questionnaire submissions until Monday, 20th December 2021. Once your answers are submitted, Scottish Engineering will be in touch to discuss your submission further, thank you.


  4. An inside look at Autonomous iOt

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    Autonomous iOt joined us at the recent Low Carbon Logistics event during COP26 to speak about their company and its capabilities in an SME in the spotlight slot. Unfortunately, as happens on occasion with live events, there was a technology challenge on the day and the five minutes allocated to Autonomous iOt were used up attempting to fix the problem. We thought it was only fair to share what would have been said on the day. Sincere apologies to the Autonomous team and thank you for being so understanding.



    Read more about Autonomous iOt company capabilities here. 

  5. HS2 opportunities for Scottish businesses

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    Rail Cluster HomeEvents | Member Directory | Add your company to the Directory

    Event description

    In our most recent Rail Cluster Builder webinar, we welcomed guest speakers Antony Steele, Supply Chain Manager and Robin Lapish, Senior Supply Chain Manager from HS2 Ltd. We also welcomed Craig Michel, founder and Managing Director, Zappshelter. This session provides an opportunity to find out how Scottish businesses can get involved and join the HS2 supply chain. Hear from the HS2 supply chain team about how you can take the first step, no matter what the size or sector of business.


    Interested in becoming a HS2 supplier? Contact the team at 

    Contact the team at Zappshelter at



  6. Member’s Briefing – Important Changes to GB Import Controls from Jan 1st 2022

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    Important Changes to GB Import Controls from Jan 1st, 2022

    Members are urged to ensure that they understand and are prepared as necessary for changes to GB import and customs controls that come into place from January 1st, 2022. These changes will have implications for engineering and manufacturing businesses that import components, sub-assemblies raw materials, or any other goods directly from suppliers in EU member states. Members are advised to consult the updated guidance from UK Government:

    Our summary of the key issues relating to these important changes is as follows, along with some useful links:

    • Importers will no longer be able to delay making their import customs declarations under the Staged Customs Controls rules that have applied during 2021. In most cases, they will have to make declarations and pay relevant tariffs at the point of import.
    • The operators of ports and other border locations will be required to control all goods moving from the EU to GB, and goods will not be released to the importer unless they have a valid declaration and have received customs clearance.

    There are two main customs models that can be used to control goods imported into GB, and ferry/port operators will typically determine which apply to specific import/export routes:

    1. The Temporary Storage model: Goods arriving in GB can be stored at the frontier (ie port or terminal) in a temporary storage facility for up to 90 days before the importer is required to make a full customs declaration and pay any relevant duties and taxes.
    2. The Pre-Lodgement model: Importers are required to submit a customs declaration in advance of goods boarding in the EU on the GVMS system (Goods Vehicle Movement System is the IT platform that supports pre-lodgement). HMRC will risk-assess the declarations whilst the goods are en-route, informing the person in control of the goods, eg the haulier, if the goods have been cleared or otherwise. The aim is to ensure that checks are only carried out where necessary leaving cleared goods to continue their onwards journey on arrival in GB. Goods that have not been cleared must be held at the frontier location until HMRC clears them. Where there is insufficient physical capacity to hold them at that location they will be moved to inland checking facilities for customs clearance. Reasonable steps for frontier operators using the pre-lodgement model to control goods from the EU into Great Britain – GOV.UK (

    Some businesses already use “simplified declaration authorisations” which avoid the requirements for a full customs declaration. It can, however, take up to 60 days to complete the required checks to be registered for such, and you would also need to have a Duty Deferment account in place. Apply to use simplified declarations for imports – GOV.UK (

    VAT-registered importers can continue to use Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) on all customs declarations that require import VAT to be paid. Check when you can account for import VAT on your VAT Return – GOV.UK (

    Finally, members should note that further changes will be introduced from July 2022, including requirements for full safety and security declarations for all imports. A further briefing will be provided in advance of those changes.

    In conclusion, all businesses affected should consider how they are going to submit customs declarations and pay any duties that are due. If you use an intermediary service such as a freight forwarder, courier, or customs agent then you must ensure the responsibility for making declarations is contractually clear, and that that you provide the required information to ensure that declarations are accurate and complete. Get someone to deal with customs for you – GOV.UK (



  7. December Breakfast Briefing – Employee conduct away from work 

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    Catch up with December’s Breakfast Briefing – Employee conduct away from work 

    In our final Breakfast Briefing of 2021, Dermot Cole from our HR and Legal Team covers the steps that an employer can take to deal with matters that happen away from work – such as Christmas nights out. Dermot explores the difficulties that social media can create for an employer, how to deal with arrests and criminal convictions, and how we can deal in general with conduct or behaviour that happens away from work, when and how we can act, and how to approach it.


    For a summary of the points discussed in this session, click here for slides.


    Please look out for details of forthcoming Breakfast Briefings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 08:00-08:30. If you have any questions on this Breakfast Briefing or suggestions for future briefings, then please contact Kevin Duffy in the ScotEng legal team.

    Tel: 0141 221 3181




  8. Legal support offer from full-service Law Firm Ledingham Chalmers

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    Scottish Engineering is delighted to announce a partnership with law firm, Ledingham Chalmers. Our partnership will give members access to a suite of benefits including a free initial telephone consultation, 15% discount on legal fees and free use of central meeting facilities.

    Ledingham Chalmers is a full service, independent Scottish law firm and is experienced in advising businesses of varying sizes from SMEs to multinationals across a diverse range of sectors that drive the national economy in commercial matters from structural corporate arrangements to acquisitions and disposals, litigation, construction and commercial property. The firm also acts for individuals and families advising on matters ranging from buying and selling their homes to preparing wills.

    The key benefits for member companies include:

    • Free first telephone consultation per issue per member company – members will be able to call Ledingham Chalmers for advice on a range of matters whatever the size or stage of the business, from growing the business, dealing with disputes or considering new structures or exit strategies. Please note that Ledingham Chalmers will only advise on employment enquiries with the consent of Scottish Engineering.
    • 15% discount on standard charge-out rates – members will benefit from a discount on any work undertaken by Ledingham Chalmers. Details of Ledingham Chalmers’ legal fees are available on request.
    • Free use of Ledingham Chalmers’ offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Stirling and Inverness – Ledingham Chalmers’ offices have capacity to hold various sizes and formats of meetings and presentations. Members will be able to use these facilities free of charge for their meetings, subject to availability.

    John Lee is a Partner at Ledingham Chalmers and will be dedicated first point of contact for all member companies. John knows Scottish Engineering and its members well, having worked with us for 2002 to 2008. John said, “I am delighted that Ledingham Chalmers has the opportunity to support Scottish Engineering’s member companies and we look forward to helping the sector continue to flourish in the no doubt interesting and challenging post-Brexit markets which lie ahead”.

    To find out more or to speak to the appropriate Ledingham Chalmers expert regarding any legal queries you may have, contact John Lee direct:
    John Lee, Partner and Solicitor Advocate
    Tel: 0131 200 1029


  9. Could your business use a free graduate? Webinar

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    Catch up with this informative webinar which explores a series of exciting opportunities for the SME community across Scotland.

    This session welcomes the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland’s (NMIS) Manufacturing Skills Academy for a webinar that highlights a series of exciting opportunities for the SME community across Scotland. Following receipt of funding from the Scottish Government’s National Transition Training Fund (NTTF), and the Advanced Manufacturing Challenge Fund (AMCF), NMIS has developed a number of initiatives designed to help companies who are finding it difficult to attract and retain talent and/or get on the digital manufacturing pathway.



    Thank you for watching our webinar exploring the Graduate funding opportunities through the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland’s (NMIS) Manufacturing Skills Academy. We hope you found the session interesting and informative. Some further information is available on the NMIS website and you can access their learning platform here.

    If you’d like to discuss the AMCF and NTTF programmes in more detail, contact the team at if you have any questions or would like to sign up for either programme.



  10. How a complete manufacturing services provider supports its customers’ growth opportunities

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    In this latest informative article, member company and market leader in electronic manufacturing CB Technology Ltd provide an insight into how a complete manufacturing services provider can support customers’ growth opportunities.


    Building printed circuit boards is the bread-and-butter of the Electronics Manufacturing Services industry and, in Scotland, many providers are extremely competent in this fundamental element. However, while there may be little to differentiate competing EMS companies, a complete Manufacturing Services provider can add value to a manufacturing partnership in a way that directly supports its customers’ growth ambitions.

    From assisting with the early concept design and developing the electronic components integral to its functionality, to building the high level assembly product and supporting the customer’s needs throughout the entire process, complete manufacturing services providers improve manufacturability, reduce cost and shorten time-to-market.


    • Experts in high level assembly

    During an engineering workshop at the outset of the manufacturing partnership, engineers will support the customer, analyse the design, reverse engineer the build process, flag potential issues and advise ways in which the development and manufacture of the part or product can be made more economical. Approaching the task with a lean philosophy – that is, cutting down on the number of types of parts used, opting for more readily available materials and eliminating unnecessary manufacturing processes – increases efficiency, cuts cost and mitigates risk.


    • Involving the supply base

    Involving supply chain partners in the evaluation of the product design is a key aspect of value-added services. This capitalises on the manufacturing services provider’s strong working relationships with its supply base. Inviting critique of the customer’s design from a design-for-manufacturing point of view can flag any number of possible improvements and efficiencies. Could we reduce the amount of plastic used? Is it possible to change the parameters to increase strength or rigidity? Does the tolerance of the assembled parts stack up? This evaluation can eliminate problems commonly encountered at the manufacturing stage, saving money and improving speed-to-market for the customer.


    • Designed for manufacturability

    A recent design workshop involved a customer developing a heavy duty piece of sensing technology for subsea monitoring. It was identified that the part under scrutiny had four different kinds of screws which were being put directly into plastic meaning that, if torqued incorrectly, there was a risk of stripping the plastic. It was recommended that, by using an insert, it would be possible to get an exact target and thereby reduce the risk of damaging the plastic part.

    Though we were working with a complex, high-compliance device, identifying and solving relatively simple issues at this stage would eliminate additional cost and potential hold-ups further down the production line.

    Engaging expert engineers, experienced in identifying areas for improvement, is vital for companies that view a successful manufacturing partnership as a valuable part of their growth strategy.


    • Repeatable manufacturing processes

    Many businesses start by building their products in-house, using their highly skilled, qualified engineers to develop this process. But these employees should be concentrating on their core competencies, making better use of their time in R&D, designing and developing new products; it is not usually cost-effective for them to spend time on the build process.

    Consequently, in-house manufacturing is a poor choice for companies looking to scale. Working with a high capability manufacturing services partner will provide a reliable, repeatable build of that product. By rewriting and reconstructing the assembly process for a product, a manufacturer can commit to de-skilling the build to a standard operator level, confident in the knowledge that it can be repeatedly built to the same high quality, over and over again. Utilising manufacturing expertise to make a product build repeatable brings cost efficiencies for the customer as well as the certainty that their products will be identical and will assist in getting them to market faster. Meanwhile, their in-house staff are free to progress their own areas of expertise and support the business’s growth ambitions.


    •  High compliance, intrinsically safe

    Companies producing industrial tools for use in harsh environments and hazardous conditions require a manufacturer that guarantees the reliability of the product. Achieving stringent compliance standards such as ensuring a product is intrinsically safe and meets Atex classification “Atmospheres Explosive”, for example, as required for down-hole tools that operate in high pressure, high vibration conditions, is vital for these companies. Tapping into the capabilities of a manufacturing solutions provider with the expertise to create a product that is ruggedised to withstand extreme environments, hermetically sealed, covered in conformal coating to reduce the risks of arching, and that puts products through extreme temperature burn-in and pressure testing is essential.

    High-end, complex productionised testing for electronic parts can also require stringent controls around downloading software, firmware and software licences, and generating unique identification for each product.


    • Added flexibility

    Over and above standard build and testing processes, customers might require their product to be built to a vanilla level and held by the manufacturer until the customer sends a CTO (configure to order) request. Unlike with a BTO (build to order), CTO sees the manufacturer configure the vanilla product with the requested input and output requirements, load, build, test and ship the order. An exceptional high level assembly business can see this process through from start to finish in 24-48 hours. Variations on the configuration are possible to meet different end uses, giving the customer exceptional flexibility.

    By shipping the CTO lot directly to the end buyer, with pretty packing optional, a complete manufacturing services provider reduces the product’s time-to-market considerably, and avoids their customer having to arrange storage and shipping of the product through their own business operations.


    • Delivering on growth

    It is clear that moving product-build from in-house to an external manufacturing partner brings a number of benefits to design and engineering companies looking to scale.

    Identifying a manufacturing services provider with high level capabilities and engaging them at an early stage will enhance design efficiencies, identify problems at the earliest opportunity, reduce risk and streamline the build. This leads directly to a better, more cost effective product, with intrinsic repeatability and reliability of the build process. Additionally, the customer can be confident in the ruggedisation and testing processes necessary for their products, whether they need to be intrinsically safe or finished to a Class A standard.

    With the flexibility of CTO and a service that stores and ships products directly to the end user, it is clear that the end-to-end service delivered by a complete manufacturing services provider delivers manufacturability, cost effectiveness and reduced time-to-market, thereby supporting its customers in achieving their business growth ambitions.


    By John Cameron, Managing Director at CB Technology


    CB Technology is Scotland’s largest independent electronics manufacturing services (EMS) company. From its base in Livingston, the company provides a full turnkey solution to a diverse mix of clients across a range of sectors including Energy, Industrial, Medical and Life Sciences, Communications, Instrumentation, Test & Measurement, and Space. CB Technology supports businesses with high complexity manufacturing needs. It is proud of its depth of expertise and extensive technical capability in sensing technology manufacturing and specialises in industrial and condition monitoring, ruggedisation, and extreme testing and burn-in. To find out how CB Technology can support your growth ambitions, contact us today.


  11. Understanding Net Zero Standards Webinar

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    Net Zero HomeEvents

    Event description

    In this session, our Net Zero Skills project lead, Dr. Eric Boinard guides us through the main standards available to develop and verify a net zero roadmap. At ScotEng, we understand that net zero can sometimes feel like a daunting prospect, that’s why we’re here to help break down the information into an easy-to-follow format to establish a better understanding. With so many standards to choose from, this session helps create a clearer picture of which standards are right for your business and where to start. This webinar is ideal for anyone working out how they will steer a path to net zero, but carries extra relevance to those who currently manage their organisation’s management systems and external accreditation


    You can also download our “Understanding Net Zero Standards” informative slide deck below.


    Watch our recent recording of “Understanding Net Zero Standards” webinar below.


    All of our net zero skills support sessions are available to view below. If you have any questions at all about the support we’re offering, then please contact Eric Boinard


  12. November Breakfast Briefing – TUPE: the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006

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    Catch up with November’s Breakfast Briefing – TUPE: the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006

    In our recent Breakfast Briefing, Kevin Duffy from our legal and HR team discusses TUPE: the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. This is a complex area of law that impacts business activities like mergers & acquisitions, or the outsourcing of services. Kevin presents an overview of the background to TUPE, along with a description of the key legal concepts and processes involved with TUPE.

    For a summary of the points discussed in this session, click here for slides.


    Please look out for details of forthcoming Breakfast Briefings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 08:00-08:30. If you have any questions on this Breakfast Briefing or suggestions for future briefings, then please contact Kevin Duffy in the ScotEng legal team.

    Tel: 0141 221 3181




  13. Herald Article October

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    ScotEng October Herald Article

    In our latest Herald article, we discuss the current energy crisis and to what extent should the UK Government step in to ease the impact on industry.

    Read the full article here.


    Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering

  14. An introduction to CAF – How to engage with the Spanish Global Manufacturer

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    Rail Cluster HomeEvents | Member Directory | Add your company to the Directory


    Event description

    In our most recent Rail Cluster Builder webinar, we welcomed CAF, a Spanish-based global manufacturer of specialist railway products, components and systems and has a factory in Newport in Wales building suburban and metro trains, high speed trains, and trams. In this session, Pablo Moreno, CAF’s UK Procurement Manager guides us through CAF, its products and services, the exciting projects it’s working on and how businesses might engage with CAF regarding work opportunities.


    Interested in becoming a CAF supplier? Find out more here.



  15. October Breakfast Briefing – Occupational Health Supporting Your Workforce During a Pandemic

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    Catch up with October’s Breakfast Briefing – Occupational Health Supporting Your Workforce During a Pandemic

    In our recent Breakfast Briefing, partner organisation MacOH build on their previous Breakfast Briefing on 6 January 2021 and discuss the support occupational health can give companies in these pandemic times. This session is presented by Professor Ewan Macdonald OBE, one of the foremost occupational physicians globally. He combines high-level experience in industry nationally and internationally with heading up a leading health and work academic research group.

    For a summary of the points discussed in this session, click here for slides.



    Please look out for details of forthcoming Breakfast Briefings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 08:00-08:30. If you have any questions on this Breakfast Briefing or suggestions for future briefings, then please contact Kevin Duffy in the ScotEng legal team.

    Tel: 0141 221 3181




  16. ScotEng Inclusive Engineering Session – September 2021

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    Event description

    Innovation, creativity, productivity, and resilience all thrive when we work together to encourage diversity and inclusion within our sector.

    STEM industries are currently facing diversity challenges and in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we must work together to ensure that we are tapping into all of the talent available to rebuild our economy. Better gender diversity, ethnic diversity, alongside representation from minority and low socio-economic backgrounds is needed to accurately reflect the UK’s diverse population. Without seeing yourself represented in the industry, would you really feel driven to pursue a career where you perceive you might not feel welcome? Through our Inclusive Engineering sessions, we aim to shine the spotlight on what a career in engineering looks like for groups in industry where we can achieve a better balance, and illustrate that “if you can see it, you can be it”.

    In our most recent Inclusive Engineering session, our three guest speakers will share their own personal journeys within engineering and STEM, providing us with an inside look into their careers and the steps they’re taking to create a more inclusive industry for all.



    Watch our recent Inclusive Engineering recording, where we welcome guest speakers Blair Cruikshank of ScottishPower, Michelle Ferguson of Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, and Pamela Scott of Pax & Iris Ltd. 


    Our Inclusive Engineering sessions run quarterly. If you’re interested, our next session will take place in early December. If you’d like to be involved in a future Inclusive Engineering session, then contact for more information.


  17. Session 6 – Land Use, Land Use Change & Forestry (LULUCF) and Agriculture

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    Net Zero HomeEvents

    Event description

    In this final webinar of our chapter series, we focus on the specific Chapters of LULUCF and Agriculture as defined in the Scottish Government Climate Change Plan. In this session, our project lead, Dr. Eric Boinard explains the possibilities these key Chapters offer, provides examples of innovation in Scotland and further afield, highlights the opportunities made available in Chapters 6 and 7 and guides you through the skills required to build your own roadmap.


    You can also download session 6 – Land Use, Land Use Change & Forestry (LULUCF) and Agriculture slide deck below.


    Watch our recent recording of Session 6 – Land Use, Land Use Change & Forestry (LULUCF) and Agriculture below.

    All of our Net-Zero skills support sessions are available to view below. If you have any questions at all about the support we’re offering, then please contact Eric Boinard


  18. New Member – Engineering Recruitment Specialists Ltd

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    New Member, Engineering Recruitment Specialists Ltd joined us recently. Below they’ve provided us with a short intro to what they do.

    Engineering Recruitment Specialists Ltd was founded and established by Keiran O’Connor who has identified a gap in the market and provides an honest, valuable and quality service to both the client and candidate market within the Engineering and Technical sectors.

    Having worked in recruitment for the last 10 years, Kieran has dedicated himself to improving and learning from every client, candidate and colleague he has worked with in that time recruiting for an enviable client base of leading local, UK & International organisations.  He has developed an in-depth understanding of complex sectors whilst gaining a reputation as a trusted recruitment partner by some of the Engineering Industry’s leading employers across:

    • Manufacturing
    • Precision Engineering
    • Facilities Management
    • HVAC
    • M&E Building Services

    Here at Engineering Recruitment Specialists, we tailor our approach to individual needs and draw on extensive sector knowledge to help candidates and clients excel, building long term relationships on the way.  It’s our passion and aim to provide first class service and to be regarded as one of Central Scotland’s leading engineering recruitment agencies within the industries we serve, for our experience, professionalism and reliability, continually exceeding candidates’ and clients’ expectations through dedication & delivery.”

    Keiran can be contacted by emailing


  19. ScotEng Mentoring Programme – Meet Our Mentors

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    Mentoring can inspire, support, and motivate people to realise their potential and to achieve their dreams. In our careers, as in life in general, we can sometimes come to a point where we are stuck, standing in the same spot, unsure of how to progress to the next stage, or just looking for that “spark”. This is where mentors come in. A mentor helps accelerate growth by providing unique perspectives, advice, and encouragement. Through reflecting on their own experiences, they can help their mentee avoid the same mistakes they have made and provide the confidence and courage to explore new ideas and ways of working.

    Our Mentoring Programme is open once again for new candidates who are building their careers. This Mentoring Programme is included in Membership, so there’s no additional cost to Member companies. All of our mentors are recently retired/semi-retired senior professionals from the engineering and manufacturing industry, and all boast a wealth of experience in professional engineering, project management, and leadership roles. The Mentors work on a volunteer basis and are extremely passionate about transferring their knowledge and experience to the next generation of professionals.

    If you would like to explore how our mentoring scheme could support your organisation, contact


    Meet our Mentors 


    Lorraine O’Reilly C.Eng B.Eng. Lorraine has 38 years’ experience working with The Ministry of Defence, she has worked across many of its sub-departments and held senior leadership roles in infrastructure management, programme management, facilities management, and standardization. Lorraine began her career as an apprentice and developed an early career anchor in electrical power engineering. Her career history stretches from Naval Base Clyde at Faslane to ten years spent in Germany supporting British Forces and allies, to Bristol where defence equipment is designed and procured, to Glasgow where she was the lead on equipment standardization and to Brussels as the UK rep to NATO’s Standardization Committee. Her final role in defence took her back full circle to Clyde, as the infrastructure lead. She has worked extensively in partnership with industry and is a strong advocate of positive stakeholder collaboration and engagement. Lorraine has taken advantage of the opportunity and retired early from the MOD. As one of our current ScotEng mentors, she is very keen to promote engineering as a great career opportunity for anyone and women in particular. Lorraine lives in Balloch with her husband Stuart and enjoys travel, music, art and photography.


    David Arnold. After a career spanning 32 years in the energy sector, David retired in early 2016, with more than half of his career spent in the renewable energy sector. He has a degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Strathclyde, and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University. 24 years of his career were spent with Scottish Power (the South of Scotland Electricity Board before privatisation). He joined the company through their two-year graduate programme within their Generation Business in 1984 and enjoyed a career that covered many firsts for the business. David’s career has seen him take on the role of Project Director with ScottishPower Renewables, where he was responsible for the development, consenting, construction, and operational performance of more than 1,000MW of wind projects. He also worked with Weir Power and Industrial, directing the development and delivery of a strategy that introduced Weir into the wind energy service sector. In late 2012 (until the end of 2014), David played an integral part in establishing The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult – an innovation-driven business tasked with cost reduction in the offshore sector through collaboration between industry, academia, and government. David’s career has been wide and varied, and he is certain that through sharing his experience and knowledge with ScotEng mentees, that he can help the next generation enjoy long and successful careers.


    Alister Miller. Alister has almost 40 years of experience as an enthusiastic, dedicated Engineer & Technical Sales professional. He started at grassroots as a Technical apprentice with Motherwell Bridge & Engineering Company, learning basic engineering skills, and later in his career gained a degree in Management from Heriot-Watt University. Alister has held various senior management roles within global companies, and has spent time as an independent consultant and company Director. Skilled in building strong relationships with both internal and external stakeholders Alister has a successful track record in business development (planning), forecasting (models), mergers, acquisitions and change management, contract estimation, planning and tendering, along with managing teams and promoting personal development. Now retired, Alister is focussing on helping & supporting others and embracing an altruistic future. He is also mentoring care-experienced/disadvantaged youngsters through MCR Pathways school program and is passionate about transferring his knowledge to those who can benefit from it most. He is married and lives in Lanarkshire, has two children, and has recently welcomed the addition of his first grandchild. His interests are quality family time/holidays, walking (Scotland’s scenic routes), and football.


    Iain McGachie. Iain has 40 years of experience in aerospace, marine, and nuclear sectors. Iain has held positions in a number of disciplines including engineering, procurement, quality, supply chain management, program management, business development, aftermarket, and customer services. Iain began his career as an apprentice with Rolls-Royce Plc at Hillington in Scotland, before working worldwide for the company based with airline customers. He progressed within the organization holding various management roles in UK and USA before taking on senior management roles in Procurement and Programme Management, and then global roles at executive board level as Senior Vice-President Customer Services and Executive Vice-President Corporate Quality. Iain has also worked for Emirates Airlines based in Dubai as General Manager – Technical, for their Aircraft fleet, Doosan Babcock in Renfrew as Business Development Director and most recently as an independent consultant working with aerospace companies, governments, councils, and general engineering businesses. He is now focusing on pursuing a life of leisure. Iain was born in Johnstone and is married with two grown-up daughters. Currently living in Largs, his interests include golf, offshore rowing, walking, and is a lifelong season ticket holder at Saint Mirren Football Club.


    Rehela Hussain. After completing a BSc degree in Physics in 1987, Rehela started working within manufacturing industries in Scotland (mainly electronics and medical devices). Rehela has held technical positions in Quality Assurance, Regulatory, and Health & Safety roles. Working within healthcare industries in the last 20 years, she has moved from working with established manufacturers to smaller start-up medical device companies that develop and commercialise novel medical devices. Within QA, Rehela has worked with a variety of medical device manufacturers, some of which have been early stage spin-out Scottish companies – A prosthetic hand with multi-articulating digits that has been designed and developed by Touch Bionics in Livingston, and a dental inter-oral camera for diagnostic purposes commercialised by Calcivis at Edinburgh BioQuarter. These products follow highly regulated design and manufacturing processes and undergo very rigorous compliance testing to quality and safety standards. Rehela has recently become involved in mentoring others in life sciences and engineering and is a STEM Ambassador, having a particular interest in improving the gender balance within STEM fields by being a positive role model. Rehela was raised in Glasgow but is now settled in Livingston, and enjoys walking and cycling around the local area, enjoys arts and crafts, and is a member of a community garden.


    Stuart Aitkenhead. Stuart graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Glasgow Caledonian University and retired in 2019 after a 35+ year career, holding a variety of technical and managerial positions across a diverse range of industry sectors including construction, Life Sciences and Nuclear Defence, the final 11 years as a Director of Babcock Marine (Clyde) Limited, the Ministry of Defence/Royal Navy Tier 1 Industrial Partner at HMNB (Clyde), Faslane, at which the UK submarine fleet and strategic deterrent are based and maintained. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE). Stuart’s other responsibilities have included serving as an IMechE Professional Review Interview Panel Chair and membership of several industry groups including the Scottish Engineering Executive Committee, the Skills Development Scotland Engineering Skills Leadership Group and the Developing Young Workforce Regional Board for Argyll & Bute. He is currently a Trustee and the Vice-Chair of the veterans’ charity, Erskine Hospital.


    Brian McNaught. Prior to his retirement, Brian had 35+ years within the electric power industry. In this time Brian gained experience across the full spectrum of the industry inclusive of engineering, sales & marketing, business development, construction & project management, and consultancy. Beginning his career as a project engineer with James Howden in Glasgow, Brian had spells with John Brown Engineering Ltd (Glasgow), Stone & Webster Engineering Consultancy Ltd. (Milton Keynes), and ended his full-time career as Head of Projects for Scottish Power’s electrical network business. Following on from this Brian took up project management consultancy within the petrochemical sector at Grangemouth and the off-shore wind power industry in Scotland. Throughout his career, Brian worked on projects in many different parts of the world including Japan, China, Malaysia, India, the USA, and Australia. Brian was born in Glasgow and is married with a grown-up son and is currently living in Paisley. His interests are football, travel, cooking, and skiing.


    Testimonials – 

    “Attending the Scottish Engineering Mentoring Scheme throughout the year helps me to recharge and focus on my goals of where I want to be in my profession.” Mentee, Xandor Automotive

    “The meetings with Brian are always relaxed and informative, as he has a wealth of experiences and advice to pass on.” Mentee, Xandor Automotive


  20. 2021 Annual Awards Winners

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    We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who supported our dinner this year and to our guests in attendance last night. With the pandemic significantly disrupting our usual way of celebrating, a return to last night’s physical dinner was most welcome!

    Massive congratulations to our 2021 award winners. In a year that has tested our resilience to the limit, the excellence demonstrated by our winning companies and young engineers is truly a testament to the strength of talent within our industry. The energy and enthusiasm displayed by all our winners never fails to fill us with optimism for the future of engineering in Scotland.


    View all images of our 2021 awards dinner here.


    Our 2021 Winners 

    2021 Scottish Engineering Company of the Year – Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd 

    The Scottish Engineering Company of the Year Award 2021 was awarded to Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd. Based in Edinburgh, IGS design and manufacture award winning agriculture technology that is at the heart of addressing the balanced challenges of feeding the planet, whilst avoiding further damage to it. David Farquhar, CEO stated, “IGS is thrilled and humbled to have been awarded the Scottish Engineering Company of the Year Award 2021. We are grateful to Paul Sheerin and the team for organising this event and to the judges for voting for IGS and our Vertical Farm system. The competition was of the highest quality, making this even more of an honour: congratulations to all the winners. Peer group recognition is always a powerful and rewarding accolade – our R&D and various engineering, supply chain and deployment teams pour their hearts and souls into the innovation, design, and implementation of these systems every day, so an award like this means a huge amount to them. It also sends a strong message to our investors, partners, and customers around the world about the quality of Scottish engineering and IGS’ leading place in the sector.”

    Scottish Engineering’s Chief Executive Paul Sheerin added: “IGS are an inspiring story of excellence in innovation meeting with genuine societal need to deliver an environmentally sustainable agriculture system. For the equipment they design and manufacture, the range and scale of technology employed will never cease to impress, and they have applied the same sustainable principles to an astonishing growth curve for both staff and business development throughout. As a more than ninety percent export business, they are the latest in a long line that ensures that engineering in
    Scotland remains a byword for quality and innovation around the world.”


    2021 Scottish Engineering President’s Award – RUA Medical Devices Ltd 

    The 2021 President’s Award was presented to RUA Medical Devices Ltd. Caroline Stretton, CEO said, “We are delighted that the extraordinary team at RUA has been recognised by Scottish Engineering. During a challenging year for all businesses, we delivered outstanding achievements to secure our future growth. Our Investment in Growth programme led to successful partnerships with world-leading Med-Tech companies to provide technologically innovative products. And we have embraced the employee experience through our Employee Engagement programme – by directly investing in the skills, development, health and wellbeing of our employees, we have a more productive and innovative business since we have a happier, motivated and loyal workforce.”


    2021 Scottish Engineering Excellence Award –  Gray Fabrication Ltd

    The 2021 Engineering Excellence Award was awarded to Gray Fabrication Ltd. Matt Shaw, Managing Director quoted, “Gray Fabrication is both thrilled and humbled to have won the Scottish Engineering Excellence Award. It means so much to be recognized for our contribution to Scotland’s Engineering pedigree, especially at such a crucial and exciting time for our company as the Energy Transition starts to gather momentum. This award is testament to the skill and experience of our workforce and their close attention to detail and I would like to personally thank them all for their pivotal role in receiving this accolade.”


    2021 Scottish Engineering Skills, Diversity & Inclusion Award –  Diodes Semiconductors GB Ltd

    The 2021 Skills, Diversity & Inclusion Award was presented to Diodes Semiconductors GB Ltd. Gerry McCarthy, Managing Director stated, “We are honoured to be receiving this award and truly proud for our work in this area to have been recognised by Scottish Engineering. It exemplifies both our goal of ensuring we are building a highly skilled, diverse, and inclusive workforce of engineers, operators, and support staff and our continued commitment to invest in talent development: from training programmes to graduate and apprentice schemes.”


    2021 Scottish Engineering Innovation Award –  Spirit AeroSystems (Europe) Ltd

    The 2021 Innovation Award was awarded to Spirit AeroSystems (Europe) Ltd. Scott McLarty, SVP Airbus Programs quoted, “Spirit is extremely honored to receive this award for innovation in aerospace research and technology and the recognition of our results from continued investment in our people and processes. Our ambition is to remain as a leader of the aerospace industry through continually developing new innovative technologies that support the development of future aircraft platforms required to deliver a more sustainable aerospace industry and help meet the UK’s net-zero goals”.


    2021 Scottish Engineering Sustainable Development Award –  BayWa r.e. UK Ltd 

    The 2021 Sustainable Development Award was presented to BayWa r.e. UK Ltd. Gordon MacDougall, Managing Director said, “All of us at BayWa r.e. are honoured to receive the award for Sustainable Development in what has been an extraordinary few years. We’ve been fortunate to be able to work remotely throughout and are grateful for the support of Scottish Engineering in providing help and guidance to ourselves and the industry during this time. BayWa r.e.’s commitment to sustainable development runs through our entire company and reflects how we act and operate as a business, and how we work with our customers and partners. If ever there was a time to recognise that we are stronger together and can achieve incredible things when we support each other, then these past years have demonstrated that in spades! We are also very proud to be receiving this award in Glasgow, in the year the city plays host to the world with COP26. At BayWa r.e., we are on a journey to r.e. think energy for the future of our planet. This decade will prove crucial to that future, and we are more determined than ever to play our part in driving forward the renewable transition, creating long-term investment and job opportunities, and ensuring a sustainable future for us all.


    2021 Scottish Engineering Manufacturing Excellence Award –  Carron Bathrooms Ltd  

    The 2021 Manufacturing Excellence Award was awarded to Carron Bathrooms Ltd. James McMorrine, Managing Director quoted, “Carron Bathrooms are honoured to receive a Scottish Engineering Manufacturing Excellence Award. Given the remarkable social and economic conditions surrounding the last year, it is testament to our workforce that we have been able to continuously make progress in our strategic objectives for the future against unprecedented challenges. That performance has allowed Carron to commit to record investment in automation within our plant over the next 12 months.”


    2021 Scottish Engineering Business Transformation Award –  MacIntyre Chocolate Systems Ltd 

    The 2021 Business Transformation Award was presented to MacIntyre Chocolate Systems Ltd. Günter Simon, Chief Executive officer of the HDM Group within the Probat Group of Companies stated, “We are very proud and deeply honoured by Scottish Engineering awarding our Scottish Group Member, the MacIntyre Chocolate Systems Ltd with this prestigious award. MacIntyre has been a part of the Probat Group of companies since 2013 and since then the company followed a course of continuous improvement and success. We highly appreciate not only the strong commitment and leadership of our management team under our Managing Director Joseph Gorman but also the skills, the reliability, and the enthusiasm of the whole Arbroath based work crew. With that, Macintyre has reached a very strong market position with its unique technology to produce world class chocolate, so we are, every day, making the world a little sweeter with Scottish technology. Our heartfelt thanks go to Scottish Engineering, the award committee, and last but not least to all our colleagues in Scotland for their outstanding achievement.”


    2021 Scottish Engineering Business & Community Engagement Award – Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association

    The 2021 Business & Community Engagement Award was awarded to Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association. Colin Vooght, Head of Engagement quoted, “Scottish Engineering and many of its members have been alongside Defence since the publication of the White paper, Future Reserves 2020. It is a partnership that we are honoured to be a part of and thoroughly enjoy. We are delighted to have been given this award and thank Scottish Engineering for making it.”




    2021 Young Engineer of the Year Award (YEYA21) in partnership with The Incorporation of Hammermen of Glasgow Alana Harrison of BAE Systems 

    Our 2021 Young Engineer of the Year Award (YEYA21) in partnership with The Incorporation of Hammermen of Glasgow was presented to Alana Harrison of BAE Systems for her leadership in T26 Global Combat Ship powertrain alignment modelling. The YEYA21 runner up trophy was awarded to Edward Massey of Volvo CE Haulers Ltd, for his project which designed and developed a digitally enabled on-board weighing system for their articulated hauler vehicles. Andrew Young, Deacon of The Incorporation of Hammermen of Glasgow quoted, “In a year featuring many excellent engineering submissions, the presentation from Alana Harrison stood out as being the one which not only met and surmounted all engineering challenges encountered but also for what Alana has achieved within BAE Systems. An expert in her field at such a young age is a story which should be truly inspiring to all young engineers.”


    2021 Runner Up for Young Engineer of the Year Award (YEYA21) in partnership with The Incorporation of Hammermen of Glasgow Edward Massey of Volvo CE Haulers Ltd 



    This year’s images are available to purchase should you wish through this online gallery. We’d like to extend our thanks to our fantastic photographer Guy Hinks for his work last night. The password to access the online gallery is “hilton”. Thank you.

    A huge thank you to our event sponsors 


  21. September Breakfast Briefing – Autism Works! How to be an Autism Confident Employer 

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    Catch up with September’s Breakfast Briefing – Autism Works! How to be an Autism Confident Employer 

    In our recent Breakfast Briefing, member company Into Work share some key points from their highly successful ‘How to be an Autism Confident Employer’ course. Suzanne Dyson and Tanya Milligan from the Into Work team present this taster session, providing you with a deeper understanding of how to harness Autistic employees’ unique talents and strengths.



    For a summary of the points discussed in this session, click here for slides.




    Please look out for details of forthcoming Breakfast Briefings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 08:00-08:30. If you have any questions on this Breakfast Briefing or suggestions for future briefings, then please contact Kevin Duffy in the ScotEng legal team.

    Tel: 0141 221 3181




  22. Annual Awards Dinner – Award Nominee Booklet

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    With only a few days until our 2021 Awards Dinner, we are thrilled to announce this year’s Award nominees in our attached booklet. The aim of our annual awards is to recognise both inspiring individuals and exceptional organisations, who are the epitome of Scottish excellence. Contained within this booklet are the organisations and young engineers who truly demonstrate excellence within our industry.

    View 2021 Award Nominee Booklet


    With COP26 on the horizon, printing an awards booklet feels out of step with a wider drive to net-zero, so for this year’s awards we’ve presented our dinner booklet to you digitally to make a carbon saving. Producing 1kg of paper results in approximately 1kg of CO2, so we can save over 30kg equivalent by eliminating this paper use, and although that’s a small amount, it all adds up.


    Attending our dinner? Download this year’s dinner app and have all our dinner details conveniently at your fingertips. Scan our QR code to download the app straight to your phone.



    For full information, including our lineup of guest speakers, entertainment and cost, visit our Annual Dinner webpage.

  23. Annual Awards Dinner – Important Information

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    The date of our annual awards dinner is nearly with us and Scottish Engineering is looking forward to welcoming everyone to our event. Amongst the excitement, we want to help everyone stay safe and therefore we suggest some additional requirements for the safety of you and your guests:

    • Please invite your guests to take a lateral flow test within 24 hours prior to attending the event if possible.
    • Please ask guests to ensure they have a mask with them, as they will be asked to wear this when not seated at a table within the hotel

    We recognise that some guests may wish to avoid busy areas such as the bar area during the drinks reception, and for that reason, the Hilton has agreed to open the main dining and event area allowing guests to take their drinks to their table and generally allow more space for social distancing where possible.

    We do understand that there may be last-minute changes to your guest list, and we will be able to accommodate this up to a certain point of the day on Thursday 2 September, however as we have already submitted numbers to the Hilton Hotel, if guests are unable to attend and you have no reserve guests, we will be unable to provide refunds as the Hilton Hotel has notified that no refunds will be available to us.

    We plan and look forward to all our guests having an enjoyable evening, and ask for these considerations only to ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone attending. Our sincere thanks for sharing these requests with your guests to enable this.

    For full information, including our lineup of guest speakers, entertainment and cost, visit our Annual Dinner webpage.

  24. Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scottish Government Update On COVID Information

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    COVID-19: Scotland’s move to beyond level 0 (employment implications)

    The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 (SSI 2021/277) came into force on 9 August 2021, revoking Scotland’s protection levels system and allowing all businesses and venues (including those required to remain closed at level 0) to open, with no curfews, gathering limits or physical requirements.

    The Scottish Government has substantially updated its guidance to reflect the removal of restrictions and support businesses in adopting measures to mitigate risk. New Precautionary measures guidance, revised Safer businesses and workplaces guidance, and Returning to offices guidance emphasise the need for businesses to take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Although social distancing is no longer required, it is still recommended. Masks must be worn in some places and are recommended in workplaces where it is hard to maintain a safe distance. Homeworking is still advised for the current time, but hybrid working will be encouraged in the long term. Advice for people at highest risk guidance advises that those at highest risk can go to their workplace if desired or if required by their employer.

    New self-isolation rules for close contacts came into effect on 9 August 2021. Contact tracing guidance states that close contacts who are fully vaccinated, have a negative PCR test result, and no symptoms do not need to self-isolate.


    Scottish Government Update On Covid Information

    Organisations with ten or more employees can now sign up for asymptomatic workplace testing as part of an enhanced drive to identify emerging COVID-19 cases and break chains of transmission.

    The workplace testing offer will initially be until the end of September 2021, in line with the universal testing offer. It will include formal volunteers from third sector organisations. More information is available here.

    The Scottish Government has also launched a Beyond Level 0 campaign in line with Scotland’s move past local levels. The campaign encourages everyone to ‘Keep Scotland on track’ during this time by getting two doses of the vaccine, continuing with safe behaviours, and testing regularly. It acts as a reminder that everyone should continue to play their part in keeping Scotland safe.

    The Beyond Level 0 toolkit attached includes assets for the overarching campaign and the following pillars:

    You can download all Beyond Level 0 Assets here.

    Guidance for businesses and workplaces on reducing the risk of COVID-19 and supporting staff and customers has been published.

  25. Session 5 – Building, Transport and Industry

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    Net Zero HomeEvents

    Event description

    This webinar is hosted by our project lead, Dr. Eric Boinard, and covers Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Scottish Government Climate Change Plan focusing on “Building, Transport, and Industry”. Eric explains the prospects these key Chapters offer, provides examples of innovation in Scotland and further afield, highlights the possibilities made available in Chapters 2, 3, and 4, and guides you through the skills required to build your own roadmap.


    You can also download session 5 – Building, Transport, and Industry slides below.


    Watch our recent recording of Session 5 – Building, Transport, and Industry below.

    All of our Net-Zero skills support sessions are available to view below. If you have any questions at all about the support we’re offering, then please contact Eric Boinard


  26. Digital allies in the battle against supply chain disruption

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    In this latest Member’s Briefing article, Member company and Innovation Funding specialists ABGI-UK give a fantastic insight into what can be achieved when manufacturing businesses adopt digital tools available to them.  


    Make UK’s Q2 Manufacturing Outlook painted a very encouraging picture for post-Covid recovery with many companies reporting higher numbers of both UK and export orders, a trend which is forecast to continue through into the autumn. This welcome increase in demand is producing a compound effect, driving output growth and demand for raw materials and components. This is however likely to put extra pressure on already fragile international supply chains, as discussed in our first article.


    Coping with unpredictable conditions

    Many manufacturers are still reporting disruptions to raw materials supplies including metals, plastics, and composites, while others complain of unpredictable component supplies, to the point where reports of counterfeit components finding their way into supply chains is not unusual!

    More and more companies are now under pressure to develop strategies to help them cope with unpredictable disruptions, such as:­

    • finding alternative raw materials,
    • redesigning products to eliminate or substitute problematic components
    • and in some instances replacing suppliers to address a bottleneck.


    Some tools to manage the disruption

    The use of CAD (computer-aided design) and PLM (product lifecycle management) packages can significantly aid the speed of response in managing unpredictable conditions. Particularly when dealing with complex challenges such as substituting materials or components not readily available. The use of a CAD package can assist the design and testing of new solutions for impact on functionality and performance, or simply when experimenting with the geometry. While a PLM package allows a company considering changes in designs and materials, to assess the full impact that making those changes might have on each member in their supply chain.

    At its most basic level, CAD allows users to assess whether a new material meets performance requirements, such as:

    • strength,
    • impact on overall weight of the finished product,
    • the functional lifespan of the material and by extension, the final product.

    A CAD package can also be put to good use in planning effective alterations to the geometry of a product, such as:

    • slimming down a design to reduce raw material requirements and maintain the strength and robustness of the finished product;
    • or identifying whether changing the design might create new unforeseen product performance or manufacturing challenges.


    Collaboration to accelerate innovation across the supply chain

     As well as allowing companies to experiment with variable designs and components, these packages give them the opportunity to share design iterations with suppliers and collaborators, gaining wider feedback on ideas, improving the quality of decisions and the speed of innovation. Additionally, the capability to automatically generate updated bills of materials and manufacturing documentation ensures that all members are kept abreast of the impact of proposed design changes within their own part in the value chain.

    If a bottleneck unexpectedly develops within the supply chain, such as a supplier facing an unplanned forced closure – as many have experienced over the last 18 months – or struggling  as a result of capacity within the global freight system, a CAD package combined with product lifecycle management software can help companies to quickly understand the impact of changing one component across the whole value chain, allowing all involved to:

    • understand how many other components might be affected,
    • what documentation needs to be updated and,
    • which stakeholders need to be notified of changes.


    Understanding the true scope of the proposed change and its impact across the full supply chain makes it much easier to respond quickly, and effectively address unpredictable bottlenecks.

    Finally, using CAD and PLM software together creates a documented history of design revisions and iterations, providing full traceability of changes in designs, bills of materials and manufacturing documentation. Meaning that, when raw materials or components become available again, the supply chain will make the switch back to manufacturing earlier iterations of a design much more easily, giving all members within the value chain the flexibility they need in times of volatility and turbulence.

    This is just one example of what can be achieved when manufacturing businesses adopt the digital tools available to them. In our next article, we will explore how the use of digital simulation applications can aid the development process and reduce the need for costly and time-consuming physical prototyping.

    To find out more about CAD/CAM, and to kickstart your own digital transformation journey,  please contact Sandy Findlay on 07807 739033 or email

    ABGI is a global consultancy with over 30 years’ experience helping some of the world’s best known brands accelerate innovation and business expansion by capitalising on their R&D activities, in compliance with all rules and regulations. They have extensive experience helping companies leverage valuable funding back into their business through government-backed incentives such as grant funding, R&D tax relief, Capital allowances, or Patent Box.


  27. August Breakfast Briefing – How to engage with the University of Strathclyde

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    Catch up with August’s Breakfast Briefing – How to engage with the University of Strathclyde

    In our recent Breakfast Briefing, Sheena McKenzie of the Engineering Faculty, University of Strathclyde talks you through how you can engage with Strathclyde. This short session provides a brief overview of student internships, KTPs, and other approaches that the university offer. If you want to expand your in-house R&D and access University of Strathclyde expertise, facilities, and equipment, this Briefing will explain how.

    For a summary of the points discussed in this session, click here.



    Strathclyde would be more than happy to discuss any of the points covered from today in more detail. Contact to discuss how best you can engage with them.


    Please look out for details of forthcoming Breakfast Briefings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 08:00-08:30. If you have any questions on this Breakfast Briefing or suggestions for future briefings, then please contact Kevin Duffy in the ScotEng legal team.

    Tel: 0141 221 3181




  28. Self-Isolation Exemptions for Essential Business

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    Changes are being made to self-isolation rules for close contacts of COVID cases, allowing essential staff in critical roles to return to work to maintain lifeline services and critical national infrastructure.

    It will be possible to apply to exempt those who work in critical roles where staff shortages are in danger of putting essential services, such as health and social care, transport and the provision of food supplies at risk.

    Exemption will only be granted in respect of members of staff who voluntarily agree not to self-isolate, and the employers’ duty of care to all their employees must be respected.

    Strict conditions will apply – staff must be double-vaccinated and in receipt of their second dose at least two weeks previously. They will also require to have a negative PCR test and to agree to undertake daily lateral flow tests. Exemptions will be made on a temporary basis and last only for as long as there is an immediate risk to business or service continuity.

    Applications can be made via the Scottish Government website.

    If you have any questions please contact us on 0141 221 3181 or by email and we will be happy to help.

  29. Scottish Engineering appointed as new project lead for the Forth and Tay Offshore Cluster

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    Scottish Engineering is delighted to have been awarded the position of project manager for the Forth and Tay Offshore (FTO) cluster, promoting and supporting the growth of the offshore wind supply chain on the East of Scotland. The Forth and Tay Region cluster was established in 2019 and is home to a number of major offshore wind developments as well as a significant infrastructure base. With the support and leadership from developers and local organisations the cluster has already built a strong and diverse membership base and made solid progress in raising awareness and creating access to supply chain opportunities.


    Scottish Engineering, newly appointed as cluster manager, aims to build on the positive progress to date by working with the key stakeholders to deliver a range of activities designed to raise awareness of the market opportunity for local businesses, and stimulate innovation and collaboration. Our primary focus will be on supporting the major offshore renewable projects and associated infrastructure developments in the Forth and Tay coastal areas, aiming to secure local supply chain content and create employment opportunities in the region. We will also look at wider offshore opportunities in the drive towards a stronger, internationally competitive Scottish offshore wind supply chain, helping to support the development of a net zero economy.


    Paul Sheerin, Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering said: “We are really looking forward to working closely with our partners in the FTO cluster project and its members.  A significant proportion of our Scottish Engineering membership is SME based and so we are very familiar with the support and needs of SMEs.  We also have experience in delivering other cluster projects; the rail cluster project and the net zero skills project both of which are focused on the key climate change agenda driven by the Scottish and UK Governments. The Forth and Tay Offshore cluster project is a fantastic opportunity to broaden our market sector support with renewable energy being a key factor in achieving the ambitious climate change targets we support.”


    David Webster, Senior Port Manager Forth Ports and Chair of the Forth and Tay Offshore cluster said: “The Forth and Tay cluster represents the most populated areas in Scotland, covering over seven local authority areas. The cluster has the highest concentration of port and industrial infrastructure in Scotland, coupled with the largest offshore wind developments. The cluster strives to promote economic activity within our communities and is there to support supply chain and provide a link and support to this industry. The national targets for offshore wind deployment are ambitious but collectively we can do it and the transition to net zero is very much in sight. The Scottish Engineering appointment will bring a high level of focus to our cluster and allow the strategic goals to be achieved and our local supply chain to be further supported.”


    Shona Clive, project lead for the FTO said: “We have a strong team at Scottish Engineering supporting this project with expertise in the renewables sector and so while I may be the project lead, the project team will work together to make sure that we deliver value and benefit across the FTO community. Our immediate priority is to introduce ourselves to the key stakeholders and understand their priorities so that we can plan how best to provide support.  This is an activity that has started in earnest now.  From our previous experience we know that collaboration is key in cluster projects so we also look forward to collaborating with DeepWind, the Offshore Wind Cluster Builder, Scottish Renewables and SOWEC (Scottish Offshore Wind Council).”


    To get in touch to find out more, please contact: or visit our the FTO website. You can also sign up to the FTO mailing list by clicking here.


  30. Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland’s move to level 0

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    No doubt you will already be aware that, yesterday, the First Minister confirmed that all parts of Scotland will move to Level 0 on 19 July, but with certain modifications to the original indicative plans as a result of the challenges posed by the Delta variant. A summary of the main changes which are likely to affect the manufacturing sector, and which come into force from 00:01 on Monday 19 July, are below:

    • Physical distancing indoors will reduce to 1 metre
    • 15 people from 15 different households can meet outdoors and will no longer be required to distance from each other – however, each group of 15 people will be required to maintain 1 metre distance from different groups
    • Phased return to offices will be delayed until the ‘Gateway condition’ is met (conditional on all adults over 40 protected with two doses of the vaccination and a review of the epidemic being carried out ahead of the date for that move).
    • Employers are being asked to continue to support homeworking where possible until we move beyond Level 0

    In addition, from 04:00 Monday 19 July, fully vaccinated travellers arriving into Scotland from Amber list countries will no longer be required to self-isolate and take a test on day eight. Adults (and children over 12) will still take tests before travelling and on day two after arrival. Anyone testing positive or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will still require to self-isolate for 10 days.

    There are no changes to the requirements to wear a face covering or the need to self-isolate for those who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, who have tested positive, or who are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

    The First Minister will provide a further update to Parliament the week before the next review date on 9 August.

    Further information on what Level 0 means for all sectors is available here and the First Minister’s full speech can be found here.

    ScotGov is in the process of updating the COVID-19 Manufacturing Guidance and Operational Checklist. The updated version is due for publication on the Scottish Government website on 19 July.

    As always, if you have any questions you can contact us 0141 221 3181, thank you.

  31. July Breakfast Briefing – Secure Leadership Online

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    Catch up with July’s Breakfast Briefing – Secure Leadership Online

    In our latest Breakfast Briefing, Fiona Dewar, Founder of Pragmatic Leadership, and Scott Tees, Founder of Decode Cyber Solutions deliver an introduction to their Secure Leadership Online programme. Aimed at leaders and managers within organisations, the course is packed with practical tools for participants to take away and use. The aim is to raise awareness in businesses and help identify potential areas of cyber weakness, while also supporting leaders to embed a culture of “business as usual” when it comes to cybersecurity.


    Below you will find a summary of the points discussed in the session slides.

    • The session’s slides can be viewed here.
    • View online programme details here.


    Please look out for details of forthcoming Breakfast Briefings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 08:00-08:30. If you have any questions on this Breakfast Briefing or suggestions for future briefings, then please contact Kevin Duffy in the ScotEng legal team.

    Tel: 0141 221 3181




  32. Coronavirus (COVID-19): right to work checks

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    The Home Office has announced that the adjustments to right to work checks introduced during the pandemic have been extended until 31 August 2021.

    Home Office guidance has been updated and can be found here.

    From 1 September employers must revert to face to face and physical document checks as set out in legislation and guidance. This will ensure employers have sufficient notice to put measures in place to enable face-to-face document checks.

    As always, if you have any questions you can contact us 0141 221 3181, thank you.

  33. Updated Manufacturing Sector Guidance (28th June 2021)

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    The Scottish Government has updated their coronavirus manufacturing sector guidance, and a link to the updated Guidance and Operational Checklist can be found here.

    The following sections have been updated:

    • Overview, Where We Are Now, Ventilation, Information for People on the Shielding List, Working from Home, Test & Protect, Vaccination, Outbreak Management, Enhanced Hygiene, Face Coverings, Work Cohorts/ Bubbles, Communal Areas and Congestion Points, Car & Vehicle Sharing.

    The updates reflect the changing guidance as Scotland starts to move down the COVID-19 Protection levels, re-enforcing best practice and includes new sections with additional guidance worth noting on:

    • Ventilation – the provision of fresh air into indoor environments to prevent the spread of COVID-19
    • Vaccination – encouraging employers to support workers to attend for vaccination when advised to do so, without any financial detriment.

    As always, if you have any questions, you can contact the team on 0141 221 3181, thank you.

  34. Digital solutions for VUCA markets

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    In this latest Member’s Briefing article, Member company ABGI-UK provide detail on how digital solutions can help manufacturers in dealing with the volatile global market conditions being experienced at the moment. 


    It looks like the disruption created by the last 15 months of pandemic isn’t over. In fact, if anything, the opening up of our economy may just be the beginning of renewed trials for manufacturers.


    As recent events demonstrated, a single incident, such as the running aground of just one container ship can have significant knock-on problems for global freight. Granted, this was the world’s largest container ship, with 20,000 containers on-bord, creating a queue of over 370 additional freightliners, but it’s still a good example of how easy it is to create supply chain chaos on a global scale.


    In a similar vein, the disruption to mining activity in a number of countries has resulted in a global shortage of copper, in turn impacting on the supply of brass and other copper-based alloys. While China’s swing to being a net importer of steel resulted in similar shortages in the global steel market.


    What do these events have in common?


    These unforeseen events have acted together to create a level of volatility businesses haven’t seen in a generation and is projected to stay with us for the next 12 months or more.


    While British companies are powerless to change the market conditions causing the volatility, they can develop strategies to allow them to survive and exploit the situation to their advantage.


    At its most basic level, companies need to learn how to become more flexible and responsive.


    Given the complexity of today’s supply chains, it’s not an easy task. Making your own company more responsive is hard enough, but every business within your supply chain then doubles the complexity of maintaining responsiveness, making it extra challenging to react quickly and efficiently in turbulent times.


    These challenges include:

    • Identifying new solutions to changing market conditions
    • Evaluating and selecting the most appropriate option
    • Validating required changes to components and products
    • Designing the revised product for manufacture
    • Communicating all changes and implications through every link in the supply chain


    The good news is the adoption of digital tools within the supply chain can help companies make significant advances in improving responsiveness in volatile situations.


    How can digitalisation help with crisis management?


    The first stage is revising your designs and specifications for the product, addressing the specific issue confronting the supply chain.


    A CAD/CAM package allows you to quickly review a range of alternative design revisions to find the most effective solution and translate the new design into a bill of materials and validate manufacturing processes, to share with collaborators in the supply chain.


    Digital simulation tools allow manufacturers to validate the performance of alternative materials and designs, while proving the functionality of the finished product. This could allow companies to replace one raw material, temporarily unavailable or in short supply, with another and improve its responsiveness to unpredictable market conditions. Similarly, simulation tools then allow users to swiftly complete the design for manufacture process.


    Finally, built-in data sharing tools allow these design modifications to be pushed to all members of the supply chain, ensuring everyone involved is aware of changes and the implications to their own sourcing and manufacturing processes.


    This is just a small part of what can be achieved when manufacturing businesses adopt the digital tools available to them. Over the next three articles we will explore the use of digital solutions in improving business robustness and resilience.


    To find out more about digital solutions for manufacturing please contact Sandy Findlay on 07807 739033 or email


    ABGI is a global consultancy with over 30 years’ experience helping some of the world’s best known brands accelerate innovation and business expansion by capitalising on their R&D activities, in compliance with all rules and regulations. They have extensive experience helping companies leverage valuable funding back into their business through government-backed incentives such as grant funding, R&D tax relief, Capital allowances or Patent Box.


  35. Skills for Growth – Fully funded for Scottish SMEs – Supported by Remarkable

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    View our most recent Rail Cluster session, hosted by Julie Begbie, and Ste​phen McQuillan of Remarkable.  

    Event description

    Our “Skills for Growth” session on Wednesday 23rd June, was delivered by Ste​phen McQuillan and Julie Begbie of Remarkable, who provided an introduction to Skills for Growth, a hugely valuable programme delivered by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with Remarkable.

    The programme works to help you understand your business challenges, identify skills gaps and provides detailed recommendations to help organisations create an even better place to work. Skills for Growth is a fully-funded opportunity for business consultancy from an SDS adviser and a specialist consultant. Based on the recommendations, the programme will also try to minimise the cost to you of further support, by providing advice on how to maximise any public sector funding available.

    If you are looking to grow and would like to find out more about how Skills for Growth can support you, contact the team at Remarkable to have a chat.

    Julie Begbie

    Stevie McQuillan

    Find out more about Skills for Growth here.

  36. Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2021 – In Partnership with Women in Rail Scotland

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    Above you can view the recording of our recent INWED21 Celebration session, hosted by Sarah Carvill of Scottish Engineering and Shona Clive, Chair of Women in Rail Scotland.

    Event description

    This session, in partnership with Women in Rail Scotland, celebrates International Women in Engineering Day 2021, and we’ve teamed up with 3 amazing guest speakers to focus our attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls within our exciting industries. We are confident that together, we can encourage more women and girls to consider engineering and rail as a profession for all.


    Our Guest Speakers –


    Heather Waugh. Heather joined the railway as a Train Driver with Scotrail in August 2006, having previously been an Operational Manager with Royal Mail for 10 years. In January 2019 Heather became Freightliner’s first-ever female train driver in Scotland and, indeed, the only female freight train driver at all in Scotland. She is passionate about issues around mental health, equality, diversity, and inclusion and believes strongly in breaking down barriers, both mental and physical, which prevent women from excelling in areas that are still heavily male-dominated within the rail industry. She recently won ‘Highly Commended’ at the Women in Rail Awards 2020 in the category of ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’.

    Shannon Todd. Shannon’s TechnipFMC journey started at age 16 through the Career Ready program where she participated in a summer internship with the business rotating around multiple departments. During the rotations she developed a newfound passion for health and safety, and knew she wanted it to be her career choice. She graduated Career Ready as Fife’s Regional Student of the Year with two acceptances to university to study social work, but when the opportunity for an apprenticeship with TechnipFMC presented itself, she knew she had to take it. Now entering the third year of her apprenticeship specialising in HSE while studying a HNC in Manufacturing Engineering and preparing for her NEBOSH Certificate, Shannon’s overall goal is to show women that the engineering industry needs them.

    Lorraine O’Reilly. Lorraine is a retired Civil Servant, she is a Chartered Engineer with a long and successful career working with the Ministry of Defence. Lorraine began her career with a traditional apprenticeship, her early career anchor is electrical power engineering. She developed her skills and experience through a variety of roles working alongside industry in operations, facilities management, infrastructure and programme management which enabled her ultimate success as a leader in Defence. Lorraine is currently a mentor with Scottish Engineering, she is keen to promote engineering as a great career option for everyone and women in particular.


    • Find out more about our Scottish Engineering Mentoring Scheme here.
    • If you’d like to know more about the Career Ready Programme, visit their website here.


  37. Mediation In The Workplace Webinar

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    Above you can view the recording of our recent “Mediation in the workplace” session, hosted by Bill Porterfield: People Development Director at Aurellien HR and Charlie Irvine: Director and Course Leader at Strathclyde University Mediation Clinic.

    Click here for session slides

    Event description

    This session was delivered by fully accredited and experienced mediators, Bill Porterfield: People Development Director at Aurellien HR and Charlie Irvine: Director and Course Leader at Strathclyde University Mediation Clinic, who have a great deal of experience in the areas of civil, commercial, and workplace mediation between them. The event is open to Senior HR Managers and decision makers.


  38. Session 4 – Electricity and Negative Emission Technologies (NETs)

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    Net Zero HomeEvents


    Event description

    In session 4 of our “Path to Net-Zero” sessions, our project lead, Dr. Eric Boinard explains the definition of NETs, provides examples of innovation in Scotland, highlights the opportunities available in Chapters 1 and 8, and guides you through the skills required to build your own roadmap.


    Below you can download our informative slides from Session 4 – Electricity and Negative Emission Technologies (NETs)


    Above you can view the recording of Session 4 – Electricity and Negative Emission Technologies (NETs). Our skills support sessions are aimed at supporting SMEs to ensure that they are ready to play a role in Scotland’s green recovery.


    All of our previous sessions can be viewed below. If you have any questions about our Net-Zero Skills support, then please contact Eric Boinard



  39. Session 3 – Waste and the Circular Economy 

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    Net Zero HomeEvents


    Above you can view the recording of Session 3 – Waste and the Circular Economy. Our skills support sessions are aimed at supporting SMEs to ensure that they are ready to play a role in Scotland’s green recovery.

    The Path to Net-Zero – Waste and the Circular Economy – Session 3 slides

    Event description

    In session 3 of our “Path to Net-Zero” sessions, our project lead, Dr. Eric Boinard explains the definition of The Circular Economy clearly, provides examples of innovation in Scotland, highlights the opportunities available in this Chapter, and guides you through the skills required to build your own roadmap.


  40. Updates to our Employment Guide

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    With sustainability and our commitment to net-zero by 2030 at the forefront of our minds, we made the decision in 2020 to move our Employment Guide to a digital format and cut down our carbon footprint by reducing our paper use.

    Our Employment Guide is one of the most valuable resources we offer to all of our members. The guide contains valuable information on many areas of employment law. To help you stay compliant, the guide is regularly updated by our legal team and our partners at Harper McLeod to reflect changes in the law.

    It’s easy to access the Employment Guide. As a member, you have access to the guide through the members portal. Here are some easy steps to view the Employment Guide.

    • Firstly, you’ll need to log in to the website. You’ll find our login section at the top right-hand corner of our homepage.
    • If you don’t have login details or can’t remember your details, please contact for help.
    • Once logged in, on the top bar of the page you’ll see “Member Hub”, click this and scroll down to “Membership Dashboard”.
    • Once on this page, on the left-hand side under “Services Hub” scroll down and you will find “Employment Guides” highlighted in blue, next to a large +

    As always, if you have any questions you can call the team on 0141 221 3181.

  41. Green Jobs Funding Call

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    Dear Member,

    Through our Net-Zero Programme, we are supporting SMEs to take full advantage of opportunities for strengthening their sustainability. Scottish Enterprise has announced a new series of funding rounds to help businesses create jobs that contribute to improving the environment and achieving net-zero emissions. The first call is now open until 12 noon on Thursday 24 June 2021. We have provided this short list of how you can get involved below.

    The green jobs funding is being delivered as competitive funding calls, which are rounds of funding that open and close periodically for fixed amounts of time and from which the best projects will be chosen for support. The green jobs call aims to support businesses to create and maintain jobs that improve the environment, and to support projects that align with the Scottish Government net-zero policies. By ‘net zero’, we mean the Scottish Government’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

    ​​​​​The first call is aimed at supporting businesses to:

    • Create green jobs (these are new jobs that relate directly to the transition to net-zero) or facilitate the transition of a job from non-green to green
    • Minimise environmental impacts by developing sustainable low carbon products or services

    Important info:

    • Applications are open until 12 noon on 24th June 2021.
    • Scottish Enterprise has created a helpful guidance video to help you with your application. View here. 
    • Final results will be announced by 31st August 2021.

    For full information, including the amount of funding available, eligibility, and the application process, you can visit the green jobs webpage here.

    If you would like any guidance on this please feel free to contact or call 0141 221 3181.

  42. Latest on COVID-19 Testing

    Leave a Comment With restrictions easing and infection rates a concern in many areas, COVID-19 testing is more important than ever, The Scottish […]
    This post is only available to members.
  43. June Breakfast Briefing – Unfair Dismissal

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    Catch up with June’s Breakfast Briefing – Unfair Dismissal 


    Terminating the employment of an employee can be one of the most complicated and/or stressful tasks a manager has to undertake. Getting it wrong could make the dismissal unfair. Kevin Duffy from the ScotEng legal team presents our June Breakfast Briefing webinar and discusses the legal concepts behind Unfair Dismissal, with some guidance on how to avoid the common pitfalls when dismissing.


    Below you will find a summary of the points discussed in the session slides.

    • The session’s slides can be viewed here.


    Please look out for details of forthcoming Breakfast Briefings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 08:00-08:30. If you have any questions on this Breakfast Briefing or suggestions for future briefings, then please contact Kevin Duffy in the ScotEng legal team.

    Tel: 0141 221 3181




  44. Work Winning Safety, Competence and Training Session

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    A working lunch with Alex Hynes, MD Scotland’s Railway

    Event description

    This event aims to engage and educate SMEs about what is happening across Scotland’s Railway and will highlight important projects on the horizon and what Scotland will need from the supply chain. With an emphasis on safe, reliable and quality workmanship delivered by people who are highly trained and competent in their specialist areas, this event is perfect for SMEs who would like to hear more about supply chain opportunities.


  45. Herald Article May 2021

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    Social distancing could deepen UK productivity woe

    With the majority of Scotland moving to level two restrictions today, we are surely just a spell of decent weather away from confirming the return of that precious commodity, optimism.

    Aside from those personal easements in what we can do in our spare time and with family and friends, the business barometer is looking better than expected at least for most. The Bank of England outlook earlier this month significantly improved its GDP forecast for the year by over 2 percent from February’s look forward, and for our manufacturing industry cited a higher projection for business investment with its welcome accompanying boost to productivity.

    This picture matches the conversations we are having with member companies, who are in the main feeling a pick-up in business traffic, in some cases evidenced by increased meaningful order enquiries, all the way through to genuinely flat out busy. The observation that the expected sharp increase in unemployment this year is waning also holds true for our sector, with companies reporting it is generally no easier to find skilled staff than pre-pandemic, linked in part to the likelihood that many of those impacted by redundancy in the last year are now retirees, with no intention to return.

    Against a scenario of increasing demand, capacity to keep up is already an issue for some, and a potential (and somewhat welcome) issue for many more, so where will engineering firms look for levers to help? The baseline priority for the foreseeable future is keeping the staff producing physical work at work, not at home self-isolating or worse, so continued focus on maintaining the excellent performance of the sector in applying effective control measures from continuous risk assessment will continue. No doubt Covid levels will change as movements inevitably increase and restrictions decrease, so keeping staff healthy and able to work is the number one way to hold capacity up.

    If demand rises, yet access to available skilled staff remains low, then we must return to productivity increases for additional gains to aid capacity, and here we need to look at the levels of social distancing currently advised in the workplace in line with wider changes as restrictions ease. Businesses continue to report up to 20% loss of productivity due to social distancing, and where companies who compete with ours – whether across the UK or around the world – are opened to a productivity boost from reductions in social distancing, we will be competitively disadvantaged if we are out of step with those.

    One more influence to consider is perhaps one with a less immediate impact on productivity, but no less crucial, nonetheless. Discussions on the long-term trajectory of what the balance might be for those who can work from home has been like a very slow ride on a rollercoaster. The early days of lockdown were full of concern that the likelihood of remote working en masse being a viable way to run a business was pie in the sky, teamed with hopeless optimism that it might be all back to normal by summer.

    A couple of months in, there was incredulity that it was in fact working and that urgent projects to migrate digital systems successfully had been achieved so quickly. Summer saw a rise in the new way of working enthusiast – “we will never go back!” – as those who had previously been highly sceptical had their own light bulb moments of its advantages to both business and individual. Late autumn and the start of winter brought a new sense of balance, one that recognised this way of working might enable an efficient organisation but not necessarily an effective one.

    Concern at the impact on colleagues of the sense of isolation and detachment was equally balanced with a sense that something was missing. The impromptu conversations at the end of a meeting or in passing that led to an idea that delivered continuous improvement or customer value weren’t happening nearly as often as before. The impact that has on continuous improvement is a real concern because when it comes to productivity, the UK has been at the wrong end of that league table for a decade before Covid arrived and cannot afford to slip further adrift.

    This doesn’t suggest for a minute that our future is a return to our past; the advantages of the flexible approach to working of the last year have been too clear, too compelling for that to happen. As ever it will find its balance, and for the sake of our sector’s productivity, I hope it’s weighted to working from work, not working from home.


    Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering

  46. Skills in the rail sector session – in partnership with Skills Development Scotland

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    Find out more about the skills support available from Skills Development Scotland.

    Event description

    Sustainable growth in Scotland’s Rail industry depends on attracting and retaining a highly skilled, talented, and well-led workforce. This means new skills and talent will be needed to help Scotland to meet the scope of work opportunities in the future. This event will be of interest to those considering diversifying in the rail sector, with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the skills support available to your business from Skills Development Scotland.

    This session explores two of the specialist programmes that SDS runs – the first being Skills for Growth and the second their Apprenticeship Programme.


    0800 783 6000


    Find out more about guest speaker Quest Precision Engineering’s operation here.

  47. Exploring Leadership Session

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    Catch up with our exploring leadership session 

    With Guest Speakers Kathleen Harkins and John Penman


    “Management vs Leadership”… “Are Leaders born or made?” These are age-old debates with many books written on the subject.


    Kathleen’s experience has shown that the journey to senior leader starts from an area of knowledge in a specific field, leading to a role in management, and then evolves into leadership. This pathway can take many different routes with many diversions along the way. So how do you know when you have reached your destination? Support and development for senior leaders can be wide and varied but at some point, there is a choice to make regarding what type of leader you want to be and how you will work on gaining the skills, knowledge, and experience to get you there.

    In this session, Kathleen and John Penman, MD of member company Fife Fabrications Ltd discuss John’s journey to leadership and share some of the ups and downs, along with what being a leader means to him. This session is a great opportunity to hear first-hand the personal steps taken and challenges overcome in the journey to becoming a confident and successful leader.



    Contact: Kathleen Harkins Consulting



  48. The inside track on Patent Box

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    In this latest Member’s Briefing article, Member company and Innovation Funding specialists ABGI-UK give a fantastic insight into how to make the most of the Patent Box for your business. 


    So what is Patent Box?

    Patent Box is a government scheme that gives companies the opportunity to pay a reduced corporation tax on all the profits arising from the commercialisation of a patent registered with the UK intellectual property office or the EU patent office. The aim of the scheme is to encourage UK based companies to invest in R&D and innovation and to commercialise on the resulting IP and maintain the resulting profits in the UK.

    The scheme gives companies a preferential corporation tax rate on ALL profits associated with the commercial exploitation of a patented invention. Those profits can come from the sale of the patented product itself, the sale of a larger product which incorporates the patent technology, the sale of licenses and associated royalties or even fines and damages paid as a result of someone infringing your patent!


    Is it only for companies with patents?

    No, the scheme is predominantly used by companies with patents BUT

    • If you hold an exclusive license and have responsibility for undertaking qualifying development work, maintaining and commercialising on the IP; or
    • If you hold medicinal or botanical rights;

    Then you can take advantage of the preferential corporation tax rates offered through Patent Box.


    How much benefit can I expect to receive?

    From 1st April 2017 all relevant profits your company earns from its patented inventions can benefit from a corporation tax rate of 10%. This is even more attractive given The Chancellor’s announcement at the last budget to raise the standard rate of corporation tax to 25% in 2023.


    What if we deliver a service using patented technology?

    Yes, you can still take advantage of Patent Box, although calculating the IP derived income can be a little more complicated with services than physical products, but the benefit is still 10% corporation tax on all associated profits.


    We only have a patent pending, can we still apply for Patent Box?

    Unfortunately, you can’t. A company can only benefit from the scheme once a patent is granted, however, you can elect into the scheme before the patent is granted. Then once the patent is granted you can make retrospective claims relating to profits or losses made between the date of your election into the scheme and the patent grant date.


    Can a company claim both R&D tax relief and Patent Box?

    Yes, they can. For companies who invest time and money on eligible R&D and also hold qualifying IP, exploiting both tax relief schemes together can be extremely beneficial.


    Is it possible to make a Patent Box loss?

    While the scheme is more beneficial for profitable companies with a high proportion of IP-related income, where profits are wiped out as a result of deducting routine expenditures, it is possible to make a “Patent Box loss.” This loss can be carried forward and used to reduce your tax liability in future years when the Patent Box account returns to profit.


    For more information on innovation incentives available to UK companies, contact Sandy Findlay on 07807 739033 or email


    ABGI is a global consultancy with over 30 years’ experience helping some of the world’s best known brands accelerate innovation and business expansion by capitalising on their R&D activities, in compliance with all rules and regulations. They have extensive experience helping companies leverage valuable funding back into their business through government-backed incentives such as grant funding, R&D tax relief, Capital allowances or Patent Box.


  49. May Breakfast Briefing – Financial Wellbeing in the Workplace

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    Catch up with our May Breakfast Briefing

    Financial Wellbeing in the Workplace


    ScotEng held its monthly Breakfast Briefing at 08:00 on Wednesday 5th May 2021. In this session, we welcome a representative of the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) who provides an introduction to MaPS and highlights some of their free, impartial guidance and resources to support financial wellbeing in the workplace.

    Below you will find a summary of the points discussed in the slides and a link to the recording of the briefing itself.


    • View May’s briefing recording here.
    • The session’s slides can be viewed here.


    Please look out for details of forthcoming Breakfast Briefings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 08:00-08:30. If you have any questions on this Breakfast Briefing or suggestions for future briefings, then please contact Kevin Duffy in the ScotEng legal team.

    Tel: 0141 221 3181




  50. Session 2 – The Path to Net-Zero 2

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    Net Zero HomeEvents

    Event description

    In this follow-up session, our project lead, Dr. Eric Boinard focusses on the skills many businesses will require for carbon reduction of their own operation, and explains the resources to help you set up your own processes.


    You can also download session 2 slide deck below.


    Watch our recent recording of Session 2 below.


    All of our Net-Zero skills support sessions are available to view below. If you have any questions at all about the support we’re offering, then please contact Eric Boinard


  51. Rail Opportunities in Scotland’s Zero Emission Ecosystem Event

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    Find out more about Scotland’s exciting first hydrogen train project and the opportunities it will present. 

    Event description

    Our Rail Opportunities in Scotland’s Zero Emission Ecosystem Event discusses Scotland’s exciting first hydrogen train project and the opportunities it will present. Our guest speakers also discuss the wider application of hydrogen across Scotland along with supply chain opportunities for Scottish businesses.


  52. Session 1 – The Path to Net-Zero

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    Net Zero HomeEvents

    Event description

    Scottish Engineering is delighted to announce the first of our Net-Zero Skills Support virtual events, presented by Dr. Eric Boinard and aimed at supporting SMEs to ensure that they are ready to play a role in Scotland’s green recovery.

    Our introductory sessions “The Path to Net-Zero” will be split into two sessions, with session 1 taking place on Tuesday 27th April and session 2 on Tuesday 4th May. Both events will begin at 8.30am and end at 10.00am, and are free and open to all.


    You can download “The Path to Net-Zero” Session 1 slide deck below.


    All of our Net-Zero skills support sessions are available to view below. If you have any questions at all about the support we’re offering, then please contact Eric Boinard



  53. Fuel Change Challenge – Now is the time for you to make a difference

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    Think you’ve got what it takes to help Scotland reach its #NetZero target?


    Next challenge starts 26 April 2021…It’s time to Fuel Change!

    Fuel Change is a platform for the next generation to take control of the climate crisis and drive Scotland towards Net-Zero. Through real challenges set by industry, apprentices will develop solutions designed for implementation and action.

    The Benefits:

    For Employers

    • Nurture talent within your organisation
    • Support the country’s net-zero targets
    • Enhance your companies profile nationally
    • Identify jobs of the future to develop your workforce
    • Reduce carbon emissions

    For Apprentices 

    • Flight climate change and potentially reshape Scotland’s economy
    • Opportunity to make a difference
    • Demonstrate skills and talent
    • Learn to collaborate and share ideas
    • Network and build connections

    Find out more here. 




    LinkedIn Page 


  54. Herald Article April 2021

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    We have the strength to make a difference in data technology

    Application of digital technologies and the effective and efficient use of data have long been talking points in my industry as it has for almost all others, but it feels like the last twelve months have seen an acceleration in that focus, with examples of its importance attached to every aspect of business planning.

    One contribution to that has been our own personal ‘digital sprint’ as we adopted the use of digital conferencing, VoIP telephony and cloud file sharing with our colleagues.

    In a matter of days, we enabled digital working that many of us had put off for years, attended or presented our very first webinar, and generally proved that when there is no alternative, we can truly be fast learners.

    Apart from remembering to unmute before speaking; for me anyway, apparently that’s just a step too far. That aside, there is no doubt this past year has changed our views on the way we communicate and share information and data, and our own digital skillset has been enhanced as a result.

    In our sector, we saw great examples of where a company’s forward thinking in how they support their customer paid dividends when lockdown landed. Howden Compressors in Renfrew had just installed a digital capability that allowed customers to not only virtually visit and conduct factory acceptance tests of their equipment from wherever they were in the world, but also use the recorded test data as a digital twin to compare over the lifetime of the equipment, monitoring performance to ensure optimum efficiency. A handy facility to have to keep your business running during pandemic travel restrictions.

    Adding to the feeling that digital capability is in every conversation is the discussion on a green recovery, and the ubiquitous importance of it in achieving ambitious net zero targets. Why is that, and what exactly makes data and digitalisation mission critical for de-carbonisation?

    Firstly, I think it’s about efficiency, as in future energy terms we simply have to do the same or more with less, and here we already have everyday examples of where sensor data coupled with basic machine learning brings efficiency such as smart heating systems in our homes.

    In industry, using digital sensory and Industrial IoT (internet of things) techniques improve quality, reduce waste, optimise maintenance and hence drive more efficient use of energy and materials, with resulting gains for competitiveness.

    In February this year the Head of Sustainability at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs stated that research had shown that digital technology alone can reduce 15% of global emissions, a much needed and welcome contribution to Net Zero targets that are no walk in the park.

    Secondly, it’s about doing things differently, and data and digital creativity are proving they are our most effective enabler across every aspects of the way we live.

    I am curious about the practicalities of owning a battery electric vehicle and so am keen to discuss with current owners how they manage range anxiety on longer journeys. What I hear in return is that you have to think differently, as the assumption we make when we jump in a diesel or petrol car is as long as you have wallet, that’s all you need.

    EV owners recognise they must plan ahead, looking at charging options on the way, at the destination, sometimes both, and digital technology helps them plan that, down to the location, availability and permutations of charging time and range.

    I had an example this week about how data can burst the bubble of opinion, allowing us to challenge our thinking for improvement. I was talking to our friends in the Primary Engineer organisation who help bring STEM education to early years, primary and secondary pupils across Scotland and the UK, and we were discussing their STATWARS Climate Change Challenge where pupils use data (as opposed to opinion) to identify the three things they would personally change to lower their carbon footprint.

    I asked if there were any interesting conclusions at the top of those lists, expecting maybe recycle more, or stop using plastic drinking straws. The answer I didn’t expect was that for one school their conclusion based on data was Palm oil, as in use of less of it. Apparently globally each person consumes an average of 8kg per year, and although it can be sustainably grown and harvested much is not, and it has been responsible for around 5% of tropical deforestation and 2.3% of global deforestation.

    A sobering tale lifted by the encouraging example of our future workforce getting comfortable with data as a decision maker, and also that it reflects the UK’s generally strong position in the use and adoption of digital and data technology.

    We were ranked thirteenth of sixty-three countries in the 2020 IMD World Digital Competitiveness table, improved two places from 2019, and whilst the aim will always be for further improvement, this capability is already a strength that our industry can play to


    Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering

  55. Breakfast Briefing – COVID-19 “The new normal”

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    Catch up with our April Breakfast Briefing

    COVID-19 “The new normal”


    ScotEng held its monthly Breakfast Briefing at 08:00 on Wednesday 7th April 2021. Below you will find a summary of the points discussed in the slides and a link to the recording of the briefing itself.


    • View April’s briefing recording here.
    • The session’s slides can be viewed here.


    Please look out for details of forthcoming Breakfast Briefings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 08:00-08:30. If you have any questions on this Breakfast Briefing or suggestions for future briefings, then please contact Kevin Duffy in the ScotEng legal team.

    Tel: 0141 221 3181




  56. Get into Rail 02: “Unlocking Innovation and Product Development”

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    Rail Cluster HomeEvents | Member Directory | Add your company to the Directory



    Find out more about how to get into the rail sector by rewatching our second event in our “Get into Rail” sessions.

    Event description

    The rail cluster project is pleased to announce the second event of the ‘Get into Rail’ series. This follows on from the Get into Rail – route to market session that took place on 18 March. During the 1-2-1 meetings that the rail cluster holds with our SME organisations, many of the questions are focused on how to get into the rail sector with SMEs wanting to understand the rail industry standards and approval processes. Both the Get into Rail event 1 and Get into Rail event 2 help to address these questions through useful hints and tips provided by our guest speakers.


  57. Scottish Engineering Mentoring Programme

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    Attending the Scottish Engineering Mentoring Scheme throughout the year helps me to recharge and focus on my goals of where I want to be in my profession. The meetings with Brian are always relaxed and informative, as he has a wealth of experiences and advice to pass on. Member company Mentee, Xandor Automotive

    Mentoring can inspire, support, and motivate people to realise their potential and to achieve their dreams. In our careers, as in life in general, we can sometimes come to a point where we are stuck, standing in the same spot, unsure of how to progress to the next stage. This is where mentors come in. A mentor helps accelerate growth by providing unique perspectives, advice, and encouragement. Through reflecting on their own experiences, they can help their mentee avoid the same mistakes they have made and provide the confidence and courage to explore new ideas and ways of working.

    We launched our Scottish Engineering Mentoring Programme in 2019 as part of our commitment to the development of a new generation of engineers and leaders in our industry. We are once again extending the opportunity for members to take full advantage of our free mentoring programme to develop the skills of their workforce. Our volunteer mentors bring a wealth of multi-functional experience in professional engineering, business management, and leadership and have a passion for sharing that knowledge with those building their careers in the sector.

    The landscape for the workplace today looks much different than in times past. Rocked by the effects of COVID-19, the next generation of workers require more support than ever to reach their potential. We are open to candidates from any age group, level of experience, or functional specialism. All we ask is that your candidates have a desire for personal and professional growth and a willingness to engage enthusiastically with the mentors. If you are interested in exploring how our mentoring programme could support your organisation, then contact Tel: 0141 221 3181 to find out more.

  58. Herald Article March 2021

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    Who wouldn’t want to join mission to save the world?

    If like me, you have been thinking recently about what exactly green skills are, then maybe also like me, you need to get out more – don’t we all? Even if you haven’t thought about this, you may have noticed the phrases ‘climate emergency’, ‘zero carbon and net zero among others are now commonplace, along with the question of what skills will we need to be part of the solution, rather than standing on the side-lines watching.

    At the end of last year, Skills Development Scotland undertook the task of rapidly developing a response to this question through their Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan (CESAP), and Scottish Engineering along with other stakeholders were happy to be asked for input. The insight we offered came from conversations with industry, especially those firmly operating in the green zone, with responses that maybe shouldn’t have surprised, but did. Those discussions pointed out that while the technology of a hydrogen fuel cell turning gas into electrical energy is a fairly tricky concept, as a physical machine it’s a high-pressure gas system with pipework, compressors, valves, instrumentation and controls. Similarly, whilst electric vehicles contain battery systems of much higher voltage than standard vehicle electrical systems, the motors, power distribution and protection still represent the principles and components found throughout electrical installations. And the gearbox and generator in a wind turbine may be designed for a harsh life and levels of reliability needed to make economic sense, but they are still a gearbox and generator, and we have skills in those, plus high-pressure gas systems and high voltage DC power too.

    It would be a lazy (and wrong) conclusion to surmise from this that we already have the necessary green skills, with the only question being do we have enough of them? (We don’t, but let’s come back to that.) What it does encouragingly illustrate is that we are certainly not starting from scratch and that in fact, we have an existing workforce already at varying stages of readiness. The core hands-on skills – whether that be hands-on a keyboard or hands-on equipment – exist and can be adapted for the specific system or product knowledge, so what else needs to be added?

    For a detailed answer, I’d recommend a read of the CESAP report I mentioned, but if like me your attention span is shorter, here’s the three things I would boil that down to. Firstly, you must have a grasp of the importance and principles of de-carbonisation, why it matters and therefore why we need to move away from the way we used to do things. Secondly, possessing digital skills is an enabler of a circular approach and at the heart of successfully making this transition, so if there is a gap, it needs to be closed. And thirdly, we need meta skills such as leadership, communication, critical thinking and agility of thought to go quickly, efficiently and effectively whilst ensuring that safety and reliability are never compromised.

    So, we need good hands-on skills, plus net zero understanding, digital skills and meta skills, and this is the point where I can ask: name me a sector that wouldn’t want that shopping list for its skillset? Why do green jobs need these particular skills any more than others? Perhaps the answer is that this isn’t a revolution or a re-invention, it’s a progressive adaptation of science and engineering to meet the climate challenge, and as in a pandemic, or other global crisis, the big difference is the urgency and scale of the challenge.

    On scale, if you have any doubt of the size of the challenge, take just one example based on de-carbonising Scotland’s passenger rail network by 2035, a task that will require nearly 60% of our current network to have an electrification solution in the next fourteen years. If that sounds like a lot, and it sounds expensive, then hopefully it also underlines why that will need innovative solutions to achieve it at a faster rate and lower cost than ever, and that can only be achieved by approaching the challenge with a very different mindset. Apply that scale of change to every other aspect of our consumption that needs to change – domestic gas boilers spring to mind – and think about the other side of the volume equation: skilled people in the necessary numbers to carry out all this change and maintain these new technologies.

    Countries that have a healthy cultural attitude to technology and engineering will be those who benefit most from de-carbonisation, those who don’t will always be trying to fit square pegs in round holes and wondering why the jobs went overseas. The Covid pandemic might have been the accelerator of net zero focus, but its economic impact has been counterproductive, with a 50% reduction in new engineering modern apprentices in Scotland since the start of the pandemic. More than ever, we need to pull school leavers to a STEM career pathway, alongside upskilling and reskilling greater numbers of those already in employment, and perhaps here we have an opportunity? Our sector has long wrung its hands in concern that our image as an attractive career could be better, but who wouldn’t want to join an industry that literally has the goal of saving the planet for future generations?


    Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering

  59. Celebrating International Women’s Day 2021

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    Every day is cause to celebrate the amazing women in our industry, but today on International Women’s Day, we shine the spotlight on LCpl Jade Hynds – Vehicle Mechanic of member company – The Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers – 153 Recovery Company

    International Women’s Day is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating equality.

    Member company 153 Recovery Company is celebrating IWD with a short brief on one of their “woman” soldiers, who they feel has achieved many life experiences whilst overcoming several challenges.


    LCpl Jade Hynds served 5 years in the Regular Army and is now in her 6th year with the Army Reserves. Jade left school with limited qualifications and was aware that her peer group was heading in a very different direction, something she hadn’t anticipated for herself. Looking locally at what she felt were her limited options, she decided she would try to join the British Army. She remembers clearly as an 18-year-old walking into the Army Recruiting office and her first engagement with the recruiting sergeant was being “brought down a peg or two” and being told she had an attitude problem. Scary as it seems, she realised that the British Army was her chance.

    Jade processed successfully through the recruiting phase and against all her expectations she became a Dental Nurse, serving 5 years in Germany. This was a very challenging and strange time for a 19-year-old. However, gaining additional experiences and qualifications, Jade planned her future. A career within the Police Force was in her sights. Joining the Army and the Reserves gave Jade all the relevant skills to successfully join Police Scotland, a job that she holds now and thoroughly loves.

    As a reservist and qualified Vehicle Mechanic LCpl Hynds has travelled to Kenya, Cyprus, and Germany. She continues to be an important member of our company and Regimental Recruit Mentoring Team, not only because she is a young inspirational woman but also because her life achievements are an example of living with our Values and Standards code.  Throughout her life, she has endeavoured to continually show Courage, Discipline, Respect for others, Integrity, Loyalty, and Selfless Commitment.


    Learn more about the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME)


  60. Breakfast Briefing – Mental Health and Well-Being: Supportive Conversations

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    Catch up with our March Breakfast Briefing

    Mental Health and Well-Being: Supportive Conversations


    ScotEng held its monthly Breakfast Briefing at 08:00 on Wednesday 3 March 2020 in conjunction with member company, Headtorch. Below you will find a summary of the points discussed in the slides and a link to the recording of the briefing itself.


    • View March’s briefing recording here. Please use access passcode: =0a@fuzO
    • Headtorch’s top tips to have a confident supportive conversation can be viewed here.


    Please look out for details of forthcoming Breakfast Briefings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 08:00-08:30. If you have any questions on this Breakfast Briefing or suggestions for future briefings, then please contact Kevin Duffy in the ScotEng legal team.

    Tel: 0141 221 3181





  61. Engineering our Future Skills Base: Can You Help?

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant effects on society, with unfortunately disproportionate impacts on particular groups within that. One of those that our industry should be particularly mindful of is young people, our future talent source for a sector with an age imbalanced workforce. All of us will be aware of the unfortunate trap that engineering graduates can fall into, where an academic qualification is not backed by industrial experience, and if that young person fails to get an engineering role within a reasonable time, they drift away from the sector and can be lost forever. The answer is placements to give experience, and lockdown and downturns mean that there has never been a more urgent time to get organised and make space to ensure the investment already made is supplemented then retained.

    Last year CENSIS, ScotlandIS, and Scottish Engineering teamed up to create internship opportunities for engineering students which would be fully visible to all via the e-Placement Scotland platform. Since then, the course of the pandemic has brought further lockdowns, and delay to recovery, making the need for these learning and experience opportunities greater than ever.

    If your company can make space to provide a placement for an undergraduate or graduate or has existing places still available, we would like to hear from you. e-Placement Scotland is a free to the employer, paid student placement programme and by getting in touch with us we will help get your opportunity listed, and then make sure Scotland’s wider industry network ensures it is visible to the young people whose careers may need it.

    Contact Marie McCormack to register interest and we will be in touch to progress.


  62. Herald Article February 2021

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    It was pointed out to me recently, by someone possibly who sees sport in raising my hackles, that this Brexit thing hasn’t been so bad after all, as there has been no sight of the much-feared queues of lorries on our motorways, in temporary truck parks in Kent, or even at the ports. Maybe, they continued, we can admit now that we were just naysayers and doom merchants, intent on only seeing the downsides of this opportunity for change?

    The lack of visibility of our engineering sector to the general public has long been a concern for those of us who worry about the impact that low-profile brings. It’s a thought that strikes me almost every time I visit a site in one of our many technology parks or industrial estates up and down the country and leave impressed and educated by the invention and formation of technology that I get to see.

    Whether that’s laser optronics or the substantial metal structure for a tidal turbine, I can’t help thinking of the vast majority of people who drive past these estates every day, sadly unaware of the innovation and creativity that the teams of people within are a part of, and maybe if more of them were, our sector would in turn be given the kind of priority in society that makes it such an economic powerhouse for other countries.

    On the impact of Brexit on our manufacturers, out of sight, out of mind is definitely the risk we run as a lack of chaos at the ports does not unfortunately translate into smooth sailing, and despite the absence of visible impact unfortunately it’s all there and logistics is the biggest headache.

    Companies report a general lack of capacity in both directions, meaning shortage and delay to raw materials and parts needed to build and manufacture, followed by huge problems to get finished goods out and into the hands of customers in a timeframe close to that originally promised. Business has moved supply chains on to airfreight at exorbitant cost to make up lost time, and despite this, workers have still had to be sent home due to lack of parts to build with.

    Shortage of capacity brings the inevitable consequence of the supply and demand curve resulting in up to six times normal costs to move outbound goods. Bear in mind that for many exporters to the European Union, this is new territory for them, and despite their efforts to prepare, technical areas like customs documentation, rules of origin, conformity and product-marking changes only add to that burden.

    The very real resulting costs of extra administration can be an up-to-tenfold increase in some cases, concluding you might think that the biggest single concern for these companies would be difficulties brought by the impact on profitability. In fact, the biggest concern cited every day is that their EU customers finally run out of patience with the delays they are experiencing in buying from the UK and look around for alternatives without the barriers we have chosen to initiate.

    This situation is serious, and it needs urgent help from the Government that took us into it, delivering on their promise of smooth trading with our single largest trading partner. As others have stated, training of customs agents to smooth the flow of goods at borders is needed now, alongside coordination of the activities of logistics supply and exporters, and well-meaning as it may be, the online government advice portals are not fit for purpose for the many, many businesses who themselves are on a steep learning curve for these changes.

    These are in truth first-aid measures, actions to stem the blood loss before it’s too late. Alongside that, we need the UK Government to see the trade agreement agreed in late December, and the end of transition on January 1, as merely the starting point of an improving and deepening trading relationship with the EU.

    Against the optimism cited that much of what industry is experiencing is merely teething problems, I would add I hope they are right, and then remind them that hope is not a good plan. Right now, the reason that manufacturers would tell you that there are no lorry queues at the ports, is because the queue is at the back door of their factory.


    Paul Sheerin

    Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering

  63. Members Briefing – Car & Vehicle Sharing

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    COVID-19: Updated Manufacturing Sector Guidance (8th February 2021)

    The Scottish Government has updated the Manufacturing Sector Guidance with an amendment to the advice on car and vehicle sharing and should just confirm the measures companies already have in place.

    The following link is to the Scottish Government Manufacturing Sector Guidance:

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): manufacturing sector guidance – (

    The main points are:
    Employees should be encouraged to avoid sharing a vehicle with anyone from another household unless they absolutely have to. In situations where sharing a vehicle is unavoidable, such as travelling to work:

    • all employees should be instructed not to use shared transport if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and should stay at home and follow government guidance on self-isolation. Encourage drivers or designated persons to check employees prior to boarding vehicles to ensure those who have suspected symptoms do not travel;
    • limit the number of people from another household, ideally no more than 2. This may result in organising more trips with fewer people;
    • where possible, restrict car-sharing to groups of people who use the same work area;
    • all employees should be advised to wear face coverings in shared vehicles (as required when using public transport, and provided it does not compromise driver safety in any way) and perform hand hygiene before and after leaving the vehicle;
    • vehicles should be well ventilated (i.e. by keeping the windows open), and passengers should sit as far apart as possible, with the passenger in the back seat, diagonally opposite the driver and aiming for 2-meter physical distancing between occupants;
    • shared vehicles, including minibuses, should be cleaned regularly using gloves, with particular emphasis on handles, buttons, seat belts, and other areas where passengers may touch surfaces.

    Full advice on car and vehicle sharing can be found on Transport Scotland website.

    The operational guide and checklist also asks to consider whether it is practical to keep a record of those who car share and provides further guidance on managing visitors to premises:

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): manufacturing sector guidance – (

    If you have any questions, you can call the team on 0141 221 3181.


  64. CJRS furlough update

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    The Treasury has issued a direction which formally extends the ongoing CJRS furlough period until the 30th April 2021, an extension of one month.

    It also clarifies that the reference period for establishing ‘normal’ pay as a basis for making a payment and claim for these periods should be the corresponding months in 2019, not 2020, as the likelihood is that employees may have been furloughed in March and April 2020.

    There are also changes to the claim time period, which is extended from the middle of the following month to the end of the following month.

    The full six-page direction can be found here.

    As always, if you have any questions you can contact the team on 0141 221 3181, thank you.

  65. Herald Article January 2021

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    Our new year is still in its infancy, but already there are no shortages of challenges. A new virus variant returns us to the toughest of lockdowns, the ripple in the carpet that is Brexit has reached the wall, and the conclusion of populist politics in the US leaves us with a sense of wariness. Determined to look for the positive at a time when it’s easy to feel despondent, my principal reason to be upbeat is that the public debate on climate change has become mainstream, and more importantly, generally well informed.

    No surprise then that my attention was caught eight days in by the decision by the Scottish Government to refuse the application to build a 30-wind-turbine development at Lowther Hills near Wanlockhead. Reading the detailed reasons for rejection, I can see that it had the potential to add 147 megawatts of generating capacity, that it was objected to by Dumfries and Galloway Council and NatureScot (Scottish Natural Heritage), with no objection recorded from SEPA and Historic Environment Scotland. Beyond those statutory consultees, there was a mix of objection, no objection and support for the installation, and the summary reason for refusal given is that the development “would give rise to unacceptable significant adverse landscape and visual impacts as well as adversely impact the historic setting of Wanlockhead.”

    Deployment of renewable energy is the most effective tool we have to effectively combat climate change whilst maintaining and growing living standards, fully justifying renewables pole position in our energy policy. For the island of Great Britain, renewable electricity generation topped 119TWh (terawatt hours) in 2019, a record high, representing almost 37% of demand. Wind power has been the main play in this renewable growth story, with December 19, 2020 recording a new all-time high of more than 40% clean power generation thanks to our blustery winter weather.

    Impressive as this is, much work remains to decarbonise our electricity supply, especially with an expected massive growth in demand as we switch our heating and transport requirements towards electricity in the drive toward zero carbon. Much of this growth will come from large offshore wind projects driving the balance of wind power developments to the seas around our coasts. However, onshore wind still has a key role to play, given the scale of the challenge, and its subsidy-free economics. Scotland’s abundance of natural wind resource focuses our renewable deployment, with industry body Scottish Renewables stating renewable source electricity accounted for 90% of the country’s electricity consumption in 2019, making it another record-breaking year and step towards our targets for energy decarbonisation.

    Scotland’s renewable electricity capacity saw a threefold growth in the last decade, with 12GW (gigawatts) of capacity now installed, and onshore wind is the biggest single technology, accounting for 70% of installed capacity, while offshore wind, hydro and solar represent the other major sources of renewable power. There is also 13.9GW of capacity in planning or consented, including 4.3GW of onshore wind consented and a further 4.1GW in planning. Wind power, including onshore, is both a major Scottish industrial success story and a key enabler in the zero-carbon route map – and I say that whilst acknowledging that policy here needs to drive a higher Scottish and UK manufacturing content.

    For Lowther Hills, an area classed as having potential for windfarm development, alongside the lost environmental benefits we can add around 280 job-years during construction, 40 full time jobs and more than £35 million of local investment lost over the project lifetime.

    With emotive subjects it is useful to remember your own lens through which you view decisions, and initially for wind generation I was sceptical, biased as I am to the value of base-load nuclear generation. Now, there is no debate; as a technology it has proven itself to be efficient and cost-effective at delivering carbon-free energy. Whether the right decision was made for the Lowther Hills application, I must be honest that I lack the subject knowledge to know either way. However comments such as those attributed to Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell that the scheme would have been “a blot on the landscape” give me cause for concern.

    If this project is not going ahead principally because we do not want these in our back yards, then we have a problem. Any of the climate targets that will allow us to keep the rise of global temperatures under control will all demand change, and not change that all of us would individually choose. We are kidding ourselves if we think we are going to avert this emergency without significant individual compromise. Otherwise when we talk about blots on the landscape, we won’t be talking about wind turbines


    Paul Sheerin

    Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering



  66. UK-EU Future Relationship Agreement

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    The Brexit Transition Period ended at 11 pm on 31st December and the UK has now entered its new relationship with the EU under the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement which was finalised on the 24th December. A summary of the agreements and the full document can be found here, and the UK Government continues to update their Brexit Guidance which will also be useful to members.

    The EU has produced a summary of the new arrangements, and additional advice from the Scottish Government can be found in their resource with further detail available on

    The headline message is that that the UK and the EU have agreed to zero tariff and zero quota trade on goods, therefore businesses will not face costly tariffs, nor quota restrictions. This is of course welcome news for many in the manufacturing and engineering sector, however as we have previously briefed, there are now a range of additional requirements on businesses trading with the EU, including customs procedures, Rules of Origin requirements, and dual Conformity Assessments. All of these will place additional burdens of cost and complexity on UK Businesses.

    The agreement is both complex and detailed and we will be exploring the implications for our sector over the coming days and weeks. Meantime we highlight below some of the main issues arising under these new trading arrangements:

    • Customs Procedures – Customs declarations and associated paperwork will have to be completed accurately to allow the movement of goods either way between the UK and the EU, however, the Agreement does allow for streamlined procedures via Trusted Trader Schemes (Authorised Economic Operator). The UK Government has already introduced a phased approach to introducing the additional processes and checks required to import goods from the EU under the “Border Operating Model”, and detailed guidance on procedures for importing and exporting can be found here.
    • Rules of Origin – Goods produced by UK businesses will have to meet Rules of Origin requirements to qualify for zero tariffs and quotas. This means that businesses will have to identify the full origins of their products to prove they qualify as “local”. Advice on Rules of Origin can be found here.
    • Conformity Assessment: Businesses will have to undergo two sets of conformity assessments (UKCA and CE) if they are seeking to place a product on both the UK and EU markets, however, the agreement provides limited scope for mutual recognition and streamlining of conformity assessments in specific sectors including automotive, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Using the UKCA marking
    • Business Trips– The agreement allows for short term business/work-related trips without visas/work permits between the UK and EU for up to 90 days in any 180 day period, and for providing services on contracts lasting up to 12 months. However, some EU member states have their own specific immigration requirements, and these should be consulted before visiting, along with current COVD-19 specific restrictions.
    • Global trade agreements – The UK will no longer have access to EU Trade Agreements with global trading partners, however, the UK Government has secured roll-over agreements with a number of key trading partners including Switzerland, South Korea, Singapore, and Turkey. A number of other “rolled-over” agreements have been signed but not ratified as of 1st January, including Mexico and Canada. UK Government guidance on the full list of agreements is available here.

    Please let us know if any of these details raise concern for your business, if there are areas you would like us to seek further clarity from the UK Government on, or if there are issues that you have identified and would like us to share with other member companies.



  67. Looking back at 2020 – a year like no other

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    2020 has been a year like no other with significant impact to us all both individually and as companies. Despite these challenges, we have been inspired by the resilience our members and industry have shown through this most unprecedented time, in particular by the inspirational response and positive support of our member network to the PPE requirements early in 2020. It demonstrates not only the capability to rapidly deliver new or modified product but also the desire for our sector to have a positive impact on the wider community in which we exist.

    On that note, we want to commend our members; this year has at times been a monumental challenge for us, with more political engagement than ever before as we sought to ensure that the Scottish Government had a balanced view of the value and need of our manufacturing engineering sector even in the midst of a global pandemic. COVID-19 brought constant change and upheaval to working practices, challenging our HR and Legal Team, and our Health and Safety Service to deliver fast accurate answers, and the direct feedback from you was massively important for us in refining and improving our communications with you – we aim to maintain that positive improvement in 2021.

    You may know that Scottish Engineering is working with Scottish Enterprise alongside Transport Scotland to set up a Rail Cluster Builder for the rail sector in Scotland. The purpose of the cluster builder is to communicate and raise awareness of the opportunities in the rail sector in Scotland and to allow members and non-member companies to understand and benefit from ongoing investment in the rail sector. We have had great engagement and continue to connect companies with growth and diversification opportunities and are currently pursuing other diversification routes to support members in this way next year.

    We have also continued to support areas of improvement for the whole sector; offering opportunities for our members to boost their competitiveness by considering their approach to diversity. Whilst we lost the ability for most of the year to meet you face to face, we have continued where appropriate to visit. We have mostly moved our interaction online, with a number of webinars and short business breakfast sessions, and we will build on that for 2021 starting with our First Line Management training.

    COVID aside, other challenges required our attention, in particular Brexit. Although at this stage like you, we still don’t know what form it will take, we will continue to press Government on your behalf for clarity and to create the best possible opportunity for our members and sector to deal with the challenges. We continue to work to support the long term health of the sector, by supporting and driving programmes in areas such as apprentice programme support, our mentoring programme, our Future Leaders programme, and our work with the Young Person Guarantee and Developing Young Workforce initiatives.

    We’d like to wish you all a restful break, and send our thanks for your continued support in all that we do. Whilst we will continue to represent and support our members through 2021, the team will finish for a well-earned break on Christmas Eve and will return to the office on Tuesday 5th January 2021.


  68. Herald Article December 2020

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    Like most of us I suspect, the second half of December is a time to reflect on the ups and downs of the year nearly past and look ahead to the opportunities and challenges of the one coming.

    Of the uncertainties that this year has thrown up, the one I expected to be clear on by now was Brexit – after all, four-and-a-half years have passed and we have 10 days to go until what we were led to believe was the final, final, definitely this time, deadline. So, looking ahead I will start elsewhere, somewhere that there can be optimism that a path to recovery is not only possible but probable too.

    Six of these developed vaccines are now approved by countries, with a host of others in various stages of development coming behind. Manufacturing teams are rising to the challenge of how to scale up high volume production for a product that didn’t exist a few months ago, enabling the complex logistics of mass immunisation, and crucially a future easing of the restrictions that have been critical to public health whilst being deeply damaging to our economy.

    For many parts of the economy, and engineering and manufacturing especially, the recovery from this recession looks likely to be different from all others, in a way that many might regard as an accidental bonus of COVID-19.

    The focus on climate change and the actions that will take us to net zero, de-carbonisation, or a green economy has never been sharper, and this is before the building momentum that COP26 will bring as its delayed appearance in Glasgow next November now looks highly likely.

    Both the UK and Scottish governments’ policy focus for recovery has been firmly on enabling a move to technologies and skill sets that will contribute to meeting targets that increasingly carry a language of “sprinting” and “racing” that reflect the collective urgency.

    The Scottish Government’s own Manufacturing Recovery Plan is open for consultation now, having been built around the need for de-carbonisation based on input from a wide range of stakeholders including ourselves.

    In doing so we are confident we represent the views of our industry who have told us they recognise the climate emergency is real and requires an urgent response, and recognise that the infrastructure investment required in energy, transport, food production – every aspect of our lives – to meet this challenge presents substantial and real opportunity for diversification and growth.

    What it will also require, however, is a change of mindset to maximise the proportion of those solutions that are home-grown and manufactured, particularly in public procurement processes, and honestly, a better appetite for balanced risk.

    Every well-mentored engineer will have heard that if you don’t make mistakes you won’t make anything, and that means spending more energy in learning from those mistakes and rapidly moving on, than carrying out an endless post-mortem and remaining in stasis while the world moves on around us.

    In a final view forward, I cannot ignore Brexit, as much as you and I would like me to.

    In the last few weeks, talking with anxious companies struggling to ensure readiness for the first day of 2021, I almost convinced myself that a Trade deal was almost a secondary concern against the cost and delay that the additional administrative burdens of Brexit will bring, deal or no-deal.


    Paul Sheerin

    Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering



  69. Extension of Furlough Scheme Update 17/12/2020

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    Today the Chancellor has announced that the ongoing furlough scheme has been extended until the 30th April, and further, that there will be no reduction in the amount of wages which can be claimed as previously thought which will remain at 80% until that date. This change extends to all of the UK regardless of tiered status. There are further changes to payback arrangements for UK Government loans. It is likely that a full package of support to replace this scheme will be announced in the March 2021 budget.

    The full details of the announcement are available here.

    As always, if you have any questions or require COVID advice, you can contact the team on 0141 221 3181.


  70. Scottish Government Announces New Apprenticeship Support

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    Scottish Engineering has been urging the Scottish Government to clarify its announcement some months ago indicating support for employer incentives to ensure apprentice levels in industry. Yesterday First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced details on a key apprenticeship initiative that has been developed by Skills Development Scotland and will be available in January 2021.


    • The Apprenticeship Employer Grant will provide up to £5000 to employers recruiting new staff or upskilling existing employees through Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships. Members should note that funding will be available for eligible employers where the apprenticeship start date was on or after 1st December 2020. More information and application details on the Apprenticeship Employer Grant will be made available from early January 2021, and it should be noted that funding will only be available for starts until 25th March 2021 or until funding levels are exceeded, whichever comes first.


    Any apprentices impacted by redundancy this year will have support through the launch of the Apprentice Transition Plan service. Delivered in partnership with learning providers across the country, apprentices who have been made redundant will receive one to one help to achieve their qualification where possible, gain recognition for their learning and assistance to take the next step in their careers. A further programme aiming to help future skills provision are Pathway Apprenticeships for school leavers and young people up to 18-year-olds who are facing fewer opportunities to train and gain qualifications in sectors with long-term prospects. These are designed to enable a supply of future full modern apprentices when companies are able to restart apprentice programmes, with the advantage that the young person will have completed substantial portions of their ‘off-site’ learning under the pathway.


  71. Deadlines – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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    By way of reminder, the CJRS has been extended for all parts of the UK until 31 March 2021. The Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The terms of the scheme will be reviewed in January 2021. Employees do not need to have previously been furloughed to claim for periods from 1 November 2020 onwards.

    There are some deadlines to be aware of as follows:-

    • In respect of any claims for the period up to 31 October 2020, claims must be submitted on or before 30 November. Claims for that period will not be accepted after this date.
    • In respect of any claims up to 30 November 2020, these must be submitted no later than 14 December 2020 whether or not you have run your payroll by that date.
    • In general, claims must be submitted within 14 days of the end of the month they relate to.

    You should keep any records to support the amount of CJRS you can claim just in case HMRC later seeks to carry out an audit.

    For claim periods from 1 December 2020 you may not claim CJRS grants for any days that your employee is serving either contractual or statutory notice, including notice of retirement or the employee’s resignation.


  72. Opportunity to be involved with NMIS Smart Manufacturing Centres

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    Looking to start or accelerate your Industry 4.0 journey?

    NMIS (National Manufacturing Institute Scotland) is inviting manufacturers to get involved with new centres dedicated to industrial robotics and digital systems research. Scottish Engineering would like to highlight an opportunity that could benefit members looking to digitise and automate their production processes.

    NMIS and the wider Strathclyde University network are collaborating with other leading UK institutes in digital manufacturing systems and automation, to form new Centres aimed at enabling the UK manufacturing sector transition to Industry 4.0.

    The Centres will be applying for funding through EPSRC Manufacturing Made Smarter Research Centre challenge and are looking for potential industry partners to help shape research efforts and co-develop manufacturing solutions alongside the Centres’ technologists.

    Member companies looking to start or accelerate their Industry 4.0 journey could benefit greatly through engagement with this initiative. For more information contact (before 10th December 2020) Dr. Dzeti Zait at

    View full information here.


  73. COVID Travel Advice

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    With the imminent escalation of areas in Scotland to the 4th Tier of coronavirus restrictions, members will be aware that these also bring new travel restrictions making it illegal for people in level three or four areas to travel outside their own council area except for “certain essential purposes”, while people in other areas must not travel to level three or four regions.

    In respect of this change, Scottish Engineering advises that its view is that travel to work, where there is a justifiable reason for doing so meets the requirement for essential purposes. In doing so we refer to the helpful statement made this Tuesday by Scotland’s First Minister repeating the assertion that “those who can work from home should do so – though unlike lockdown earlier in the year, construction and manufacturing workplaces can remain open.”

    We would advise members to follow these guidelines in respect of this change:

    • Although construction and manufacturing are specifically mentioned above, other workplaces will have their reasons to be considered essential and businesses should make this evaluation
    • You may consider whether some employees can work from home for some or all of the period of enhanced restrictions
    • Consider issuing updated letters to staff who do have to travel to work from one local authority to another where these areas are subject to a level three or four restriction. Letter templates are available from Scottish Engineering for this, please reply to this email to request or phone our main number on 0141 221 3181


    As ever, we are here to advise members where we can, please contact us by phone or email and we will be happy to help.


  74. New COVID Treasury Direction

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    On 13 November 2020, HM Treasury published the Coronavirus Act 2020 Functions of HMRC (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) Direction. This is the fourth such direction issued by the Treasury and collectively they form the legal framework for the CJRS.


    The Direction does the following:

    • formally extends the CJRS from 1 November 2020 to 31 March 2021
    • sets out how the CJRS will operate between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 – the fifth direction covering February and March 2021 will be published in due course.
    • withdraws the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus.


    The main focus of the fourth direction is to address how the CJRS will operate from 1 November 2020 to the end of January 2021. The rules will cover a wide range including eligibility, furlough agreements, claim periods, reference salaries, calculating usual hours of work, permitted activities during furlough, business succession including TUPE, PAYE scheme reorganisations, limits for making claims and publication of CJRS claimants’ details.


    Some key points:

    • It is now a condition of making a claim that the employer accepts that HMRC will publish information about CJRS claims on the internet (including the name of the employer and a ‘reasonable indication’ of the amount claimed).
    • Furlough agreements must be in place before the start of the relevant claim period. While it may be sufficient to update an earlier agreement, this must be done before the employee is furloughed under this phase of the CJRS.
    • Importantly, claims may not be made for any period an employee is serving notice between 1 December 2020 and 31 January 2021 – the latest guidance states this covers both statutory notice and contractual notice periods.



  75. Herald Article 16th November 2020

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    Whatever opinion you may hold on 2020 as a year, it’s not been without its talking points. The last few weeks have added some more to the obvious suspects, with my own current favourite being which will come first: clarity on the US Presidential election, or clarity on the terms by which we will work and trade with our European friends from the 1st of January 2021? Currently the odds favour the Europe question, only because it doesn’t have an equivalent scenario of a toddler tantrum that can hold on to the furniture until the 20th January. Ours only have until the 31st December.


    One significant talking point for industry and the economy was much more of a surprise and, like most outright surprises, it is genuinely welcomed, with just a hint of unease alongside. To say that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the job retention or furlough scheme would be extended to March was unexpected would be an understatement. Time and again we were told that this was a blunt instrument, that not every job could be saved, but instead we were treated to a return to furlough without the sliding scales of diminishing ratio of support, at least until January when this will be reviewed. In fact, there was more good news, with removal of rules that eligibility would be based on the employee having been previously furloughed, and provision to re-employ staff made redundant after the 23rd September.


    Our reasons for welcoming this unexpected U-turn are easily understood. In our sector we share the continuing impact felt by every part of the economy associated to the absence of demand. In aerospace, oil and gas and many others the orders which were on hand in March when the initial public impact was felt have long been fulfilled, and future orders remain well below where they need to be. The extension of support allows partial but welcome financial relief, retention of key skills and a chance to see out what will be a difficult winter ahead, with the hope that spring will bring a natural reduction in cases, alongside an engineered reduction through the application – hopefully – of a vaccine. Retention of those key skills is a critical long-term benefit here, particularly considering the latest statistics for uptake of modern apprentices released by Skills Development Scotland last week. These showed a shortfall across all sectors of more than 10,000 new starts compared with the same period in 2019, and for the engineering sector, an 80% reduction resulting in more than 800 future skilled employees who are likely to be missing to the sector in four years’ time, a horizon by which even the most pessimistic might expect demand to have returned. This underlines, as if we were in any doubt, the disproportionate impact on young people that recessions invariably bring.


    So clearly the extension is not only welcomed, but also essential, so where is the unease? The first is the obvious one, the first rule of business and home finance: monies borrowed must be repaid, and the higher the level of debt the harder that becomes. The UK’s debt to gross domestic product ratio tipped past an eye watering 100% at the end of July, and it’s hard to imagine that the new extension will have driven that in anything other than a negative direction. This is not a new concern, it has been with us all year, and I rationalised that as concerning but without alternative at the time, but this leads to the second source of unease. When the furlough scheme was announced in March, it was we believe a response formed “on the hoof”, a pragmatic and rapid response to an unprecedented crisis, not perfect, but needed and timely. Seven months on after repeated assertions that this was a scheme that had its time and place, when the UK Government had to face difficult public health decisions to manage the increasing rate of the virus, what was the plan B for the economic support for a second lockdown? Well, basically it was plan A, the same scheme formed under immense time pressure, only with the parts least liked by businesses changed to match what they had asked for all along. Where was the use of seven months’ time to plan, of consideration of the merits of a sectoral approach, ideas to reduce the estimated 10% of fraudulent claims under the scheme? Nowhere to be seen, and that, given that unease at a mounting debt that we want to be sure is spent wisely, feels like an opportunity lost.


    Paul Sheerin

    Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering



  76. Engineering Fundamentals with University of Strathclyde

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    The Faculty of Engineering at Strathclyde is delighted to offer a newly developed module in Engineering Fundamentals which launched on 5 November 2020.

    The University of Strathclyde Engineering Fundamentals course is open for registrations once again.

    This online course provides an insight into studying engineering and an opportunity to develop skills relevant across different engineering disciplines. Combining online materials developed by the highly acclaimed departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Design Manufacturing and Engineering Management and Civil and Environmental Engineering the course aims to contextualise what it means to be an engineer, the impact engineers have on society and the environment around them and seeks to nurture and develop engineering habits of mind.

    This course is funded Scottish Funding Council and is free to Scottish domiciled individuals. Click here to view full information on who the course is suitable for and details on how to apply. Have questions? Strathclyde have created some handy FAQs, which you can view here.



  77. STEM Ambassador Programme Business Breakfast

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    ​​​The STEM Ambassadors programme enables over 30,000 volunteers from more than 2,500 different employers across the UK to volunteer their time, enthusiasm and experiences to encourage and inspire young people to progress further in STEM subjects. There are 3 STEM Ambassador Hubs in Scotland who work with STEM Ambassadors in their local regions and provide support and advice to companies and individuals on delivering a consistent and effective volunteer programme.

    The Scottish Hubs are hosting an online Business Breakfast on Thursday 3rd December from 9:00-10:30am for employers to hear how they can structure an Ambassador programme within their company and find opportunities for their employees to be involved.

    For more information and to register, please click here.



  78. Solidworks 3D CAD Offer

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    Kickstart your Digital Transformation


    Member company ABGI UK are offering Scottish Engineering members up to three full suites of SolidWorks 3D CAD software, free for 12-months. 

    Why Digital Transformation?

    • Modernising manufacturing through digital transformation is the key to cutting costs from manufacturing processes AND making manufacturers more responsive and resilient in challenging market conditions
    • Conservative estimates indicate that applying digital technology and analytical tools can lead to efficiency gains in the range of 40% – 50%, with some companies reporting cost savings between 5% and 10%.

    How can this offer help?

    • For many the real blocker to embracing digital transformation is the gap between the upfront cost commitment and the realisation of the resulting benefit

    To help members test the waters of digital manufacturing and evidence the benefits for themselves, ABGI is offering:

    • up to three free 12-month subscriptions to the entire SolidWorks 3D CAD suite
    • user support
    • access to the SolidWorks user community

    This industry-leading 3D CAD software can manage all aspects of the design and manufacturing process from initial design, to costing, testing, proof-of-concept, direct 3D printing/manufacturing output, technical documentation and marketing materials.

    To qualify for this offer, your company:

    • should be designing and manufacturing physical products, and;
    • shouldn’t be a current Solidworks licence holder.

    To find out more about how you take advantage of this offer, and to kickstart your own digital transformation journey


  79. Additional UKG Coronavirus support

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    Dear Member,

    As you may have seen, the Chancellor has just made a further announcement on economic support for businesses and people across the UK over the winter months.

    Measures announced today which will be of interest to you include:

    • The furlough scheme will be extended until the end of March – see previous updates for more detail on this scheme. This is a flexible furlough scheme, to 80% of salary capped at £2500, and employees do not have to have been furloughed before;
    • There is a review point in January, which may have the capacity to reduce from 80% as the previous scheme did;
    • The Job Retention Bonus of £1000 per retained employee which would have paid out in January 2021 has been scrapped, though a new incentive may take its place next year;
    • Guaranteed funding for the devolved administrations is increasing from £14bn to £16bn (bringing the Scottish Government’s guaranteed funding to £8.2bn, on top of their Spring Budget 2020 funding).

    This is on top of previously announced support, which included the extension of existing loan schemes to the end of January, and an ability to top-up Bounce Back Loans.

    A factsheet with details of the package can be found here, and HMT’s press release can be found here. Fuller guidance will be issued on the 10th December which we will brief.



  80. Scottish Apprenticeship Awards 2020 – Nominations Open

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    Nominations for the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards 2020 are now open ​​​​

    Entries are being sought to showcase innovation of the learning providers who have worked with employers and apprentices to support their efforts in exceptional times.

    The awards will also highlight the resilience and hard work of Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprentices during 2020. They will shine a spotlight on individuals and employers across the country who have championed apprenticeships – and recognise businesses’ work to support equality and diversity.

    It’s never been more important to recognise the success of dedicated apprentices, the commitment of their employer and innovations shown by learning providers.
    Nominations close at noon on Wednesday, 25 November 2020 and winners will be revealed during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which takes place from 1-5 March 2021.

    For more information on the awards and how to make a nomination, please visit SDS awards webpage on


    The team at Skills Development Scotland will be holding a Scottish Apprenticeship Awards Nomination Webinar, on Wednesday 11 November 2020 | 11:30am – 12:30pm


    The short webinar session, will provide an overview of:

      • the streamlined Awards nomination process for 2020
      • some top tips for submitting your nominations
      • information on their new award category – Innovation in Learning Provision
      • an opportunity to ask any questions you have about nominating


    To sign up please email



  81. PPE Contacts List and the use of face coverings – Updated for November 2020

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    All of our member companies are having to address their responsibilities to provide as safe a working environment as possible in regard to COVID-19 as well as “normal business” hazards. PPE plays a key role in addressing these issues.


    We previously supplied a list of  companies who are manufacturing and/or supplying PPE. We have also added companies who are offering decontamination services, testing and a CPD certified COVID-19 course, branded face coverings and UV-C Air Sterilisation Products.


    • Click here for our updated list of PPE manufacturer/suppliers.
    • Click here to view further information about SWGR Decontamination services
    • Click here to view further information on Reactec SAFE-DISTANCE technology
    • Click here to view further information on Engineering Supply Co (Scotland) Ltd UV-C Air Sterilisation Products.


    We kindly ask that you contact these companies directly for further information on detailed specifications or availability. All these businesses are located in Scotland.


    The mandatory use of face coverings in canteens & communal areas of the workplace.

    Updated guidance from the Scottish Government is on its way. Generally it will require companies to identify areas of the workplace which are work areas, canteen, communal areas (passageways, stairs, training rooms, lift, changing rooms, entrances & any other area where people might gather).

    Then consider where face coverings are required to be worn i.e where measures to ensure 2m distancing is not possible.


    • whether it is practical or appropriate for employees to use their own face coverings in these workplace areas, or whether it is more practical or appropriate for you to supply face coverings for your employees.
    • whether these face coverings have to be stored in certain places when not in use, and where these will be stored
    • the logistics of employees having to retrieve face coverings, and the possibility of employees having to travel through communal areas, without their face covered, to retrieve these
    • how used face coverings will be disposed of or washed safely and hygienically
    • using signs which clearly identify each designated workplace area, the rules that apply regarding the wearing of face coverings in each of these areas, and at which point these should be worn


    The other addition to the guide will be with regard to temperature checks

    The guidance does not recommend the use of temperature checking employees as a means of testing for COVID-19 due to the low efficacy rate of this method.



  82. Scottish Engineering Mentoring Programme

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    We are very excited to announce that the Scottish Engineering Mentoring Programme is back up and running after a temporary break during lockdown and our mentors and mentees are meeting again, in line of course with H&S guidance.

    Over the course of lockdown we’ve been working away in the background, growing our amazing mentoring team and we are delighted to announce that we now have capacity to accept more mentees.

    So what are the benefits of mentoring to your mentee?

    • Gain practical advice, encouragement and support
    • Exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking
    • Learn from the experiences of others
    • Advice on developing strengths and overcoming weaknesses
    • Become more empowered to make decisions
    • Develop communication, study and personal skills
    • Develop strategies for dealing with both personal and academic issues
    • Guidance on professional development and enhancement


    Mentoring can be a powerful tool in nurturing personal and professional growth for the individual and in supporting the achievement of business goals. The scheme is open to all member companies at no cost, and interest and involvement has been strong. Our volunteer mentors bring a wealth of multi-functional experience in professional engineering, business management and leadership and have a passion for sharing that knowledge with those building their careers in the sector. We are open to candidates from any age group, level of experience, or functional specialism. All we ask is that your candidates have a desire for personal and professional growth and a willingness to engage enthusiastically with the mentors.


    Contact us for or more information


    Tel: 0141 221 3181.


    If you are not currently a member of Scottish Engineering, but are interested in our Mentoring Programme, then please feel free to contact us


    Tel: 0141 221 3181


  83. Update on the Job Support Scheme 23/10/2020

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    We sent a members brief with summary headlines relating to the new Job Support Scheme. Further details have been issued today (including some more new terminology to understand) which will clarify what scheme may be relevant to you. Click here for the updated policy paper

    The schemes will now be known as JSS Open for businesses who are maintaining operations at a reduced level due to the pandemic; JSS Closed for businesses that have been required to close under lockdown regulation.

    As we briefed yesterday, Under JSS Open, an employee will need to work at least 20% (no longer 33%) of their normal hours. They will receive normal pay for the hours they work, and two-thirds of pay (which is capped at those earning more than £3,125 a month) for the hours they do not work. For that two-thirds top-up, the government will pay 61.67% (i.e. up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month) and the employer will pay 5%, plus NI and pension contributions on the full amount. This reduces hugely the burden on the employer. As with furlough, there must be a written agreement between employer and employee agreeing to the proposal.

    Under JSS Closed, the position remains that the employee will receive two-thirds of their normal wages, funded by the government (again, with a cap biting against those who earn more than £3,125pm). The employer will have to pay the NI and pension contributions on that amount. Again, there must be a written agreement between employer and employee, agreeing to the changes. This is effectively the furlough arrangement as was previously understood, though at 66% of salary (i.e. up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month).

    Employers can top up wages beyond the amounts provided for in the scheme – the initial view was that employers could not. You are not required to top up beyond the requirements of the scheme. The scheme is focussed on employers with fewer than 250 employees, though larger companies can apply providing they can demonstrate financial hardship caused by the pandemic.

    Employers will claim in arrears for salary monies already paid.  The first claims can be made from 8 December 2020 (ie 5 weeks after the scheme opens on 1 November) via an online portal, similar to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Employers cannot claim for an employee who has been made redundant or is serving a contractual or statutory notice period during the claim period. Any roles claimed for need to be ‘viable’. In the absence of further guidance at this point we cannot be assured whether this will apply to notice pay not related to redundancy.

    To calculate the amount of pay: for employees who are paid a fixed salary, the ‘Reference Salary’ is the greater of:

    • the wages payable to the employee in the last pay period ending on or before 23 September 2020
    • the wages payable to the employee in the last pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020, this may be the same salary calculated under the CJRS scheme

    For those who receive variable pay, the ‘Reference Salary’ is the greater of:

    • the wages earned in the same calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020
    • the average wages payable in the tax year 2019 to 2020; or,
    • the average wages payable from 1 February 2020 (or the employee’s start date if later) until 23 September 2020

    Please see the updated guidance at the above hyperlink for the full detail regarding the Reference Salary. We will update further if and when Treasury guidance is of benefit to you. As always, please contact us with any queries on the above.



  84. Update on the Job Support Scheme 22/10/2020

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    The Government have today announced a significant change to employers benefit in relation to the Job Support Scheme, which will commence on the 1 November 2020.

    In summary the changes are:

    • Initially the qualifying criteria meant that employees had to work for a minimum of one third of the working week; that figure has changed to one fifth, which for most employers means having to find only one days work per week;
    • The make up of the payments has changed to increase the Government support, and to reduce the employers support.  The Government and the Employer previously paid 33% each of the lost wage, with the employee foregoing the remainder. Now, the Government will contribute 61.67%, with the employer contribution reduced to 5%. The Government contribution is capped at £1541.75 per month, with the Employer contribution capped at £125 per month.

    There is some detailed information on the enclosed fact sheet here.

    Please let our team know if you have any individual questions. Full guidance is expected imminently.



  85. Scottish Engineering Mentoring Programme

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    Last year we established the Scottish Engineering Mentoring Programme as part of our commitment to the development of a new generation of professionals and leaders in our industry. Mentoring can be a powerful tool in nurturing personal and professional growth for the individual and in supporting the achievement of business goals.

    The scheme is open to all member companies at no cost, and interest and involvement has been strong. Our volunteer mentors bring a wealth of multi-functional experience in professional engineering, business management and leadership and have a passion for sharing that knowledge with those building their careers in the sector.

    We are back up and running after a temporary break during lockdown and our mentors and mentees are meeting again, in line of course with H&S guidance. We are also delighted to announce that, with a growing mentor team, we have capacity to accept more mentees. We are open to candidates from any age group, level of experience, or functional specialism. All we ask is that your candidates have a desire for personal and professional growth and a willingness to engage enthusiastically with the mentors.

    If you know of an individual in your organisation who may benefit from having a mentor, or if you would simply like to find out more, please register your interest below and we will be in touch. Places are limited so don’t delay!


    If you’d like more information, please contact


  86. Virtual Awards Ceremony Video Release

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    Our sincere thanks to everyone who was able to join us live today on our virtual Awards Ceremony, and help us give recognition to all of our fantastic Award winners!

    In a year which has been hugely challenging for every manufacturing and engineering company, it has never been more important to celebrate excellence within our community. Every one of our winners has demonstrated resilience, innovation and a willingness to embrace change to drive their business forward, and we are especially pleased that our winners represent the diversity of engineering that Scotland enjoys.

    You can view our virtual ceremony here.

  87. Scottish Engineering Virtual Annual Awards – Award Nominees

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    Our thanks to those who have already registered for our upcoming Awards Ceremony, we can’t wait to welcome you to this exciting new virtual celebration!

    This time last year no one could have foreseen what lay ahead in 2020 with COVID-19 affecting our lives so much. Let’s press pause on the worry and uncertainty that this year has presented, and focus on celebrating emerging talent, inspiring individuals and companies who in 2019/2020 have stood out in their performance, growth and innovation.

    Without further delay, here are out fantastic Award nominees.

    View Here

  88. Apprenticeship Developments in Engineering

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    Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Scotland’s national skills body are seeking to develop new Engineering technician (SCQF level 8) apprenticeships, including Digital Manufacturing, and are now looking for employers to support the development.

    The development of new SCQF level 8 apprenticeships is key to ensuring that Scotland has an agile apprenticeship system that responds to demand for higher level and meta skills.
    These apprenticeships will be key to developing your technician workforce, delivering the skills employers need now and in the future. They also provide:

    • Progression for young people completing craft (SCQF level 6) apprenticeships or leaving school with level 6 qualifications (Foundation Apprenticeships or Highers).
    • A work-based learning pathway to more advanced Graduate Apprenticeships at degree level (SCQF levels 9,10 and 11).

    We are now actively seeking employers who can support Employee workshops and/or who can contribute to the Technical Expert Group. This is an exciting new opportunity for employers to shape the next generation of apprenticeships, and to ensure that these apprenticeships deliver the skills needed by industry.

    If you’d like to be involved, please register your interest here. In order for us to be able to contact you about this opportunity, please remember to click your consent to be contacted on our register form, thank you!

  89. On track for greener railways

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    Project to deliver opportunities for Scottish SMEs.

    Work is underway to make Scotland a world leader in creating net zero emissions railways.

    Scottish Enterprise is behind a series of projects designed to find more environmentally friendly train and track solutions, as well as bringing jobs and inward investment to Scotland’s manufacturing and engineering sectors.

    The agency, with support from Transport Scotland, has appointed Scottish Engineering to build an international rail cluster which will link Scottish SMEs with train manufacturers, contractors, academics, and research centres.

    Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said:

    “As we continue transition through the Scottish Government’s Routemap to Recovery it is clear we need to do all we can to boost the economy through green initiatives. This new rail cluster will make a significant impact to the rail industry and also Scottish businesses in the longer-term.

    “Last month I launched our Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan which sets out in detail how the Scottish Government will decarbonise Scotland’s rail services by 2035, in line with last year’s Programme for Government commitment, and contributing towards our commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

    “Together we have a once in a generation opportunity to not only stimulate innovation within the train manufacturing industry but also to create skilled, sustainable employment in Scotland through stable workbanks.  This has corresponding benefits for up skilling the workforce, for more apprenticeships, for the development of talent, and for long-term employment security.

    “Working together I am confident that Scotland can and will continue to lead the UK and global march to net-zero.”

    Scottish Enterprise Head of High Value Manufacturing David Leven added: “This is an exciting development in Scotland’s fight against the climate emergency, and in building a new field for jobs and investment.

    “The Cluster Builder will help to ensure that Scottish companies benefit from worldwide growth in the low carbon rail sector.

    “The project will connect Scottish businesses with the country’s top manufacturing innovators, as well as connecting up supply chain partners.

    “It will provide real opportunities for SMEs in Scotland, as well as contributing to our ambitions for more and better jobs and a green economic recovery.”

    The 18-month project to build the rail cluster will be delivered by Scottish Engineering, and will be led by Shona Clive, who joins Scottish Engineering from Babcock International Group, whilst continuing to lead Women in Rail Scotland.

    Project Leader Shona Clive said: “The Scottish Engineering team is well positioned to identify companies who are the right fit and can bring their own attributes to the table.

    “In the current circumstances, this will begin life as a digital project with a number of events bringing the parties together online in the initial months. But the ambition is there within Scottish Enterprise for this to develop into a physical cluster of businesses and research centres in Scotland, collaborating to deliver a world class manufacturing capability in low carbon rail transport.

    “It’s a real honour to be involved at this early stage in what promises to be a huge development for rail and engineering in Scotland, as well as creating more environmentally friendly railways for world markets.”

    Scottish Engineering Chief Executive Paul Sheerin stated: “This is an excellent opportunity for Scotland’s Engineering SME’s to add or grow rail sector involvement at a time when diversification is especially welcome, and all the more so given the target that the rail sector has set in Scotland to drive to zero carbon. This ambition marks this as a stand-out example of the sustainable manufacturing we are keen to grow, and we are also delighted to welcome Shona to lead this project, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and connections in this sector.”



  90. Update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 19/08/2020

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    Dear Member,


    There are changes happening to the CJRS as from 1 September 2020. As from that date, CJRS will pay 70% of normal wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month for the hours which furloughed employees do not work. Members still need to pay their furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work up to a cap of £2,500 per month, so you will need to top up the difference between this and the CJRS grant.

    Please note that the caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if your employee is furloughed for 25% of their usual hours in September you are entitled to claim 70% of the usual wages for the hours they do not work up to £546.88 (25% of the £2,187.50 cap). Members also have to fund furloughed employees national insurance contributions and pension contributions themselves.


    As always, if you have any questions you can contact the team on 0141 221 3181 – thank you.