Alex Salmond trip in bid to forge Norway energy link
Published: 13th May 2012 02:16:08
The Scottish first minister is to travel to Norway this week in a bid to forge closer links over green energy.
Alex Salmond said his visit would also focus on creating new jobs in the oil, gas and fish industries.
Norway is Scotland's sixth biggest export market, with Scottish exports to the country totalling £815m.
Mr Salmond will be the keynote speaker at a renewable energy conference in Bergen, hosted by Norwegian employers federation Norsk Industri.
He is expected to tell delegates about Scotland's "renewables revolution", as the country aims to reach a target of generating the equivalent of 100% of domestic electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020, while continuing as a net exporter of power.
Speaking ahead of the visit, the first minister said: "Scotland has strong historical, cultural and economic ties to Norway and it has become an increasingly important trading partner over the last four years, rising from our 10th largest export market in 2007 to sixth in 2010.
"At the same time, more than 130 Norwegian companies are operating around 280 subsidiaries in Scotland, with Aker Solutions and Marine Harvest among the major inward investors I will be meeting, to discuss their plans, this week.
"Clearly, our two nations have a shared interest in the energy industry - both in the oil and gas and renewables sectors - as well as in the aquaculture industry, and these are the focus of my engagements in Bergen and Oslo."
Anne MacColl, chief executive of industry body Scottish Development International, said: "Scotland and Norway have strong historical links, which have been cemented by shared expertise and success in areas such as oil and gas and renewables, as well as the seafood industry.
"This visit will play a critical role in ensuring we fully exploit this potential, and position Scotland firmly as an ideal place with which to do business."
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Alex Salmond trip in bid to forge Norway energy link [Online] (Updated 13th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1428187/Alex-Salmond-trip-in-bid-to-forge-Norway-energy-link [Accessed 11th Mar 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
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