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Positive reaction to Home Bargains store plans

A Home Bargains lorry. Picture: Gary Anthony. A Home Bargains lorry.

Picture: Gary Anthony.

NEWS that a major national discount store has Dingwall on its shopping list has been welcomed locally. Home Bargains wants to build a new 20,000 sq ft store on a 2.5-acre site on land to the rear of St Clement's School on Tulloch Street. A planning application to Highland Council has been made by Forrest Developments Ltd.

The site is bounded by the Peffery, Lidl's store, St Clement's PS and Dingwall Community Centre, with residential properties and gardens to the east. The site already has an extensive planning history including three separate planning permissions for retail use, the most recent being granted in 2014. All three permissions have now expired.

Jack Shepherd, chairman of Dingwall Community Council: "This site is a piece of dead ground that has been un-developed for years, so it will be good to see it being used. "I canvassed the other members about the application and from their responses it seems there is a fair body of support for this development." Members of Highland Council do not usually comment on planning applications in advance of them being considered in committee.

Forrest Developments cited the good footpath network locally, but Mr Shepherd said that he hoped some money would be spent on path upgrading as soon as possible. The developer says a key consideration in the design was to create a high quality architectural development that is appropriate to the surrounding context and character of the Highland town setting. The single floor building would have cladding panels in inky black and grey hues, curtain wall glazing and "quality facing brickwork to bring warmth and soften the elevations with colour and tone to complement surrounding buildings".

Planning papers state: "The proposed plan envisages a pronounced entrance feature and processional colonnade adjacent to the access road and customer car park, providing a point of interest and presence that will orientate customers towards the store entrance.The colonnade will provide generous cover from rain and shade from solar gain along the southerly orientated frontage. " The company, started in Liverpool, employs 22,000 people and lays claim to being one of the UK's fastest growing discount retailers. Related news: Leading discount retailer Home Bargains eyes store opening in Dingwall


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Positive reaction to Home Bargains store plans

A Home Bargains lorry. Picture: Gary Anthony. A Home Bargains lorry.

Picture: Gary Anthony.

NEWS that a major national discount store has Dingwall on its shopping list has been welcomed locally. Home Bargains wants to build a new 20,000 sq ft store on a 2.5-acre site on land to the rear of St Clement's School on Tulloch Street. A planning application to Highland Council has been made by Forrest Developments Ltd.

The site is bounded by the Peffery, Lidl's store, St Clement's PS and Dingwall Community Centre, with residential properties and gardens to the east. The site already has an extensive planning history including three separate planning permissions for retail use, the most recent being granted in 2014. All three permissions have now expired.

Jack Shepherd, chairman of Dingwall Community Council: "This site is a piece of dead ground that has been un-developed for years, so it will be good to see it being used. "I canvassed the other members about the application and from their responses it seems there is a fair body of support for this development." Members of Highland Council do not usually comment on planning applications in advance of them being considered in committee.

Forrest Developments cited the good footpath network locally, but Mr Shepherd said that he hoped some money would be spent on path upgrading as soon as possible. The developer says a key consideration in the design was to create a high quality architectural development that is appropriate to the surrounding context and character of the Highland town setting. The single floor building would have cladding panels in inky black and grey hues, curtain wall glazing and "quality facing brickwork to bring warmth and soften the elevations with colour and tone to complement surrounding buildings".

Planning papers state: "The proposed plan envisages a pronounced entrance feature and processional colonnade adjacent to the access road and customer car park, providing a point of interest and presence that will orientate customers towards the store entrance.The colonnade will provide generous cover from rain and shade from solar gain along the southerly orientated frontage. " The company, started in Liverpool, employs 22,000 people and lays claim to being one of the UK's fastest growing discount retailers. Related news: Leading discount retailer Home Bargains eyes store opening in Dingwall


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New holiday voucher scheme on cards to boost struggling tourism industry

Holidaymakers could get a voucher to spend on staycations from September onwards, under plans being pushed by Fianna Fail politicians. t would replace last year's Stay and Spend scheme, which was later described by the chief executive of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation as a "complete flop". The tax credit had low uptake because it coincided with tighter Covid restrictions from last autumn onwards. The new voucher may be targeted at specific groups such as young people, retirees or those on low incomes.

While an amount for the scheme has not yet been identified, it may be worth a couple of hundred euro and allow people to go on staycations in the off-peak autumn season. Fianna Fail TDs and senators will today launch the 'Aviation/Tourism/Hospitality Steering Committee' issues paper, which makes a number of suggestions for how the country can be helped to recover. One of these is an "incentive scheme", where the policy paper argues that there is merit in examining a "further voucher scheme".

Timmy Dooley

The voucher scheme would "incentivise spending" that would be "most useful for the shoulder season from September onwards".

"Further investigation of a point-of-sale voucher like the UK would be useful in terms of ease of use," reads the policy paper, seen by the Irish Independent ahead of its -publication. "The feasibility of such a voucher scheme being targeted at particular groups should be investigated (eg, low-income earners, young people, retirees)," it adds. It is understood that Tourism Minister Catherine Martin is examining options for "off--season" supports to encourage staycations in the autumn.

Junior Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne is one of the members of the aviation, tourism and hospitality steering committee within Fianna Fail. Other members include TDs Cathal Crowe, James Lawless, John McGuinness, Michael Moynihan, Christopher O'Sullivan and Senators Ollie Crowe, Timmy Dooley, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells and Erin McGreehan. It is understood Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath has seen the issues paper and plans for the voucher scheme.

A Government source last night suggested the proposal may not go ahead because there is enough demand within the hospitality sector at present. Mr Dooley said the voucher scheme would be a help to parents when their children return to school or for families who have not been able to afford a holiday. "We have to find an incentive to get people back out from September, October, early November," he said.

The issues paper also urges the return of travel to North America and that an agreement should be reached with the Biden administration to increase access for private jets to use Irish airports, especially Shannon, as a pre-clearance gateway to the US. This would develop Ireland as a "major hub for travel" to the US as part of the recovery of the aviation industry with "immediate and substantial investment". Fianna Fail will urge a multi--year recovery programme for aviation, needed "immediately", including tax incentives.

The document also calls for airports outside Dublin to be provided with a common fixed sum per passenger by the State to stimulate traffic and reduce airline airport charges.

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Fast-growing discount retailer plans Dingwall opening

Home Bargains hopes to be on the move to Dingwall. Home Bargains hopes to be on the move to Dingwall.

A FAST-growing discount store with 500 outlets across the UK is now turning its attentions to Ross-shire's county town. Home Bargains want to build a new 20,000 sq ft store on a 2.5-acre site on land to the rear of St Clement's School on Tulloch Street. A planning application to Highland Council has been made by Forrest Developments Ltd.

The site is bounded to the north by the Peffery, with a Lidl store adjacent to the immediate south. o the west is St Clement's Primary School and Dingwall Community Centre, with residential properties and gardens to the east. The developer says it is easily accessible for all modes of transport, in particular the existing pedestrian network. The site already has an extensive planning history including three separate planning permissions for retail use, the most recent being granted in 2014.

All three permissions have now expired. Forrest Developments says a key consideration in the design was to create a high quality architectural development that is appropriate to the surrounding context and character of the Highland town setting. The single floor building would have cladding panels in inky black and grey hues, curtain wall glazing and "quality facing brickwork to bring warmth and soften the elevations with colour and tone to complement surrounding buildings".

Planning papers state: "The proposed plan envisages a pronounced entrance feature and processional colonnade adjacent to the access road and customer car park, providing a point of interest and presence that will orientate customers towards the store entrance.The colonnade will provide generous cover from rain and shade from solar gain along the southerly orientated frontage. "

The company, started in Liverpool, employs 22,000 people and lays claim to being one of the UK's fastest growing discount retailers.


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Fast-growing discount retailer plans Dingwall opening

Home Bargains hopes to be on the move to Dingwall. Home Bargains hopes to be on the move to Dingwall.

A FAST-growing discount store with 500 outlets across the UK is now turning its attentions to Ross-shire's county town. Home Bargains want to build a new 20,000 sq ft store on a 2.5-acre site on land to the rear of St Clement's School on Tulloch Street. A planning application to Highland Council has been made by Forrest Developments Ltd.

The site is bounded to the north by the Peffery, with a Lidl store adjacent to the immediate south. o the west is St Clement's Primary School and Dingwall Community Centre, with residential properties and gardens to the east. The developer says it is easily accessible for all modes of transport, in particular the existing pedestrian network. The site already has an extensive planning history including three separate planning permissions for retail use, the most recent being granted in 2014.

All three permissions have now expired. Forrest Developments says a key consideration in the design was to create a high quality architectural development that is appropriate to the surrounding context and character of the Highland town setting. The single floor building would have cladding panels in inky black and grey hues, curtain wall glazing and "quality facing brickwork to bring warmth and soften the elevations with colour and tone to complement surrounding buildings".

Planning papers state: "The proposed plan envisages a pronounced entrance feature and processional colonnade adjacent to the access road and customer car park, providing a point of interest and presence that will orientate customers towards the store entrance.The colonnade will provide generous cover from rain and shade from solar gain along the southerly orientated frontage. "

The company, started in Liverpool, employs 22,000 people and lays claim to being one of the UK's fastest growing discount retailers.


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Fast-growing discount retailer plans Dingwall opening

Home Bargains hopes to be on the move to Dingwall. Home Bargains hopes to be on the move to Dingwall.

A FAST-growing discount store with 500 outlets across the UK is now turning its attentions to Ross-shire's county town. Home Bargains want to build a new 20,000 sq ft store on a 2.5-acre site on land to the rear of St Clement's School on Tulloch Street. A planning application to Highland Council has been made by Forrest Developments Ltd.

The site is bounded to the north by the Peffery, with a Lidl store adjacent to the immediate south. o the west is St Clement's Primary School and Dingwall Community Centre, with residential properties and gardens to the east. The developer says it is easily accessible for all modes of transport, in particular the existing pedestrian network. The site already has an extensive planning history including three separate planning permissions for retail use, the most recent being granted in 2014.

All three permissions have now expired. Forrest Developments says a key consideration in the design was to create a high quality architectural development that is appropriate to the surrounding context and character of the Highland town setting. The single floor building would have cladding panels in inky black and grey hues, curtain wall glazing and "quality facing brickwork to bring warmth and soften the elevations with colour and tone to complement surrounding buildings".

Planning papers state: "The proposed plan envisages a pronounced entrance feature and processional colonnade adjacent to the access road and customer car park, providing a point of interest and presence that will orientate customers towards the store entrance.The colonnade will provide generous cover from rain and shade from solar gain along the southerly orientated frontage. "

The company, started in Liverpool, employs 22,000 people and lays claim to being one of the UK's fastest growing discount retailers.


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CCCG Becomes First to Offer Tuition-Free Coding Courses in the UK With Guaranteed Jobs

Capital City College Group (@capitalcitycg) has teamed up with Founders Forum to launch the first tuition-free coding school in the UK to improve diversity in tech and bridge the digital skills gap. 01 Founders is an innovative free coding school that is unusual because it does not feature teachers. Instead, students will be taught by 01 Edu software, solving gamified projects at their own pace while learning from their peers. Students completing the two-year course will also be guaranteed a job at the end of the course as part of 01 Founders' commitment to train 100,000 software engineers by 2030. 01 Founders is now accepting applications for its first London cohort of 250 students to start in October 2021.

CCCG is London's largest college group and comprises City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College, the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London and Capital CIty College Training. Roy O'Shaughnessy, CEO of CCCG, said: "Capital City College Group is delighted to be a partner in this exciting new educational venture - a first for the UK. "We were the pioneers of free further education courses in London and 01 Founders' new coding school takes this concept to the next level.

It will give anyone, regardless of their background, previous experience, or educational level the key coding and digital skills they will need to transform their career chances and their lives. The school is a real innovation in education and we are thrilled to be a part of it."

01 Founders was co-founded by Brent Hobermann, the face behind online brands including lastminute.com and Made.com, and is backed by entrepreneurs, tech firms and educationalists. The course is powered by 01 Edu, an internationally acclaimed pedagogy co-founded by Nicolas Sadiric, which has built similar coding schools with an alumni of more than 25,000 globally. Students complete core coding training for 18 months and then choose a specialism for the final six months from game development, artificial intelligence and augmented reality. Joysy John, CEO of 01 Founders:

"We believe that digital skills give you the ability to shape the world around you. But, for too long, women, ethnic minorities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds have been underrepresented in technology. 01 Founders is starting a nationwide movement that removes the barriers to job-ready technical training. It's a coding school for ambitious individuals from every background, regardless of experience."

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The @BordersCollege E-Learning team recently welcomed Jamie Rae on boaA new #ArtificialIntelligence and #Quantum computing centre has beenOn Wednesday 2 June, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Shirley-Anne

Students are pre-selected based on a short cognitive test followed by a month-long selection process over the summer.

Applicants must be over 18 by 1 September 2021. No previous experience or academic qualifications are required.

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Food voucher scheme caused ‘avoidable hardship’

Dr Gurpinder Lalli has had his work on food vouchers published and funded by a professional bodyDr Gurpinder Lalli has had his work on food vouchers published and funded by a professional body

The report from Wolverhampton University lecturer Dr Gurpinder Lalli, which looked at the free school meal voucher scheme and children's access to food during the Covid-19 crisis, has been funded and published by the British Educational Research Association.

At the beginning of the first national lockdown, the Department for Education implemented a shopping voucher scheme worth GBP15 per child per week in England, to provide support for children who would normally receive free school meals.

It came in response to a major campaign by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.

Dr Lalli said: "My report highlights that it caused avoidable hardship to young people and their families and created additional difficulties for schools amid a national crisis.

"The way in which schools responded varied, and it was only possible to capture what schools had done during this period by talking directly to them.

"This demonstrated the need to develop a wider network for school leaders so that schools' varied activities and approaches can be shared to ensure that schools learn from one another and develop consensus about what constitutes good practice."

Data revealed that there was a lack of training for staff and parents in the operation of the voucher scheme and that school resource not only varied in terms of financial resources and funding models, but also in knowledge, specialist skills and capacity.

Dr Lalli, senior lecturer in education and inclusion studies, identified barriers to the voucher scheme included a lack of understanding of how to access the voucher scheme, a lack of ICT skills, along with stigma attached to the vouchers.

He also identified that the vouchers did not provide a budget sufficient for families to feed their children on.

The research found providing families with cash funds, opposed to vouchers, was seen as a key recommendation by interviewees as it would ensure that families are able to feed their children immediately during such critical times.

The research was funded by BERA's Small Grants Fund (SGF), which was set up in 2020 to support research projects that investigate the impact that Covid-19 had, and continues to have, on important aspects of education and educational research.

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Students in England call for 30% Covid discount on tuition fees

Third year students on the Special Effects Model Making for Film and Television course wear face coverings to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, during class at the University of Bolton, in Bolton, northern England on October 7, 2020. - The University of Bolton has introduced numerous Covid-safety measures across its campus including: airport-style temperature scanners, socially distanced seating, perspex screens and visors for lecturers, a bicycle loan scheme for students, one-way routes throughout campus buildings and additional online resources for student learning.

Hundreds of thousands of students have begun a new academic year at universities across the UK. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

University students in England are offering to accept higher interest rates on their loans in exchange for an immediate GBP2,700 discount on their tuition fees as compensation for the disruption to their education caused by the Covid pandemic. A group of students unions led by the London School of Economics and the University of Sheffield have written to the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, and the universities minister, Michelle Donelan, to propose that the government funds a 30% tuition fee rebate for all students this year by increasing interest rates by 3% to 6.2%, meaning it would be repaid only by the highest earning graduates. The letter stated: "We are asking for immediate financial justice for Covid-affected cohorts of university students.

In an ideal world, education should be free; however, in a year when students are calling for compensation on their fees, we have created a fiscally neutral solution to adjust tuition fees, supporting students with a one-off payment." The student leaders, who are all from research universities in the Russell Group, based their calculations on modelling from the London Economics consultancy. It suggested that increasing the interest rate on student loans would mean that the GBP1bn cost of the 30% rebate would be paid for by high-earning graduates, because loans are written off after 30 years, rather than the taxpayer or graduates on low incomes.

Gallery: This is how much it costs to study in these countries (Espresso)

The average male graduate would pay GBP6,500 more in loan repayments over their lifetime, with the very highest earners paying up to GBP29,800 more, but female graduates on average salaries could repay the same amount because their lifetime earnings are lower. The pandemic meant most students were barred from their campuses from the end of the autumn term until 17 May, so they missed out on in-person teaching, access to facilities such as libraries, and social and extracurricular activities. Many were frustrated to find themselves unable to access rooms in halls of residence and flats they had already paid for.

"Universities pitched themselves wrong in the summer of 2020. They were overzealous in their recruitment of students, which contributed to unrealistic expectations of what this academic year would look and feel like. It's led to a situation where students are extremely angry they're being charged extortionate prices for their education," said David Gordon, the general secretary of LSE students' union.

Some students have voiced their anger with universities this year through rent strikes, building occupations and socially-distanced protests. Gordon said the refund modelling was an attempt to find a constructive way to speak to the government about compensation after exhausting other avenues, including the Competition and Markets Authority, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, which handles student complaints, and the Office for Students, the higher education regulator for England. The letter was signed by 17 students' unions from LSE, UCL, King's College and Queen Mary in London, Queen's University in Belfast, and the universities of Exeter, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Leeds, York, Glasgow, Durham, Manchester, Cardiff, Sheffield and Bristol.

Students in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland signed the letter in a display of solidarity with unions in England.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "Universities have a strong track record in delivering excellent blended tuition, and we have been clear from the start of the pandemic that the quality and quantity should not drop.

"The Office for Students will be monitoring to ensure this is the case, and universities should be open about what students can expect."

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Temporary jobs promoted

As Covid 19 put paid to traditional work experience for many school leavers and graduates, a leading recruiter is pointing those looking for some on the job training to the burgeoning temporary jobs market.
The temporary jobs market is often seen by some as a last resort, but with data from the Office for National Statistics showing that people who have spent more time out of work are less likely to find a job, it seems that a temporary post could be the answer for many looking to add to their CV.
Acorn Recruitment is therefore urging job seekers at all levels not to discount the power of the temporary job as a returning or first-time route into employment, as Noel Hoare, director of operations at Acorn Recruitment, explained: "The UK jobs market remains in a strong position overall but for a certain type of job seeker there is still a great degree of uncertainty around what comes next. In fact, research shows 693,000 fewer people are on company payrolls since Covid-19**, so the competition is stiff. 
"For school or university graduates who've gone without vital work experience alongside their studies, or professionals who may have chosen or been forced into a change of direction by the effects of the pandemic, there could be a temptation to sit things out 'until things return to normal'."
"What we also know, however and the ONS data has shown, is that the longer a person remains out of a job, the worse their chances are of returning to work," Noel added.
"And with more people remaining out of work for 12 weeks or longer during the pandemic* we are urging people not to discount the power of accepting a temporary job as a stepping-stone to achieving wider career aims for the future."
Unemployment is expected to peak at 6.5% at the end of this year after the UK Government's furlough scheme ends, according to forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, the Treasury's economics watchdog**.
A recent ONS study also found that more than two fifths (41.4%) of people who had been out of work for up to three months returned to work within the next three months*. This reduced to 28.5% of people who had been out of work for up to six months, and 23.3% of people who had been out of a job for six to nine months, however.
Meanwhile, the post-Brexit temporary jobs market in the UK is stronger than ever.

Acorn Recruitment alone has more than 500 temporary vacancies waiting to be filled in various roles across the UK.
These include more than 400 manufacturing roles across Avonmouth, Thornbury, Weston, Bridgwater, Highbridge, Ilminster, Weymouth, Tiverton, Ilfracombe and Newquay, most of which are temporary and require no previous experience but come with the possibility of turning into permanent posts.
Over 150 temporary positions are also available in the north and in South Wales on a similar basis.
Noel said: "UK businesses working across the manufacturing, food, hospitality and many other industries are raring to go again as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, and trade negotiations continue in the wake of Brexit.
"This presents a significant opportunity for job seekers, school leavers and graduates who stand to benefit in various ways to get some worthwhile work experience under their belt, as well as earn some much-needed cash in their pockets."
"We would urge anyone who may be feeling 'at a loose end' this summer, or who may be tempted to wait it out until the world returns to normal again, not to underestimate the power of taking a temporary position in the meantime," Noel continued.
"For anyone willing to work hard and look beyond the present, the route into employment and ultimately getting a head-start on where they really want to be is there - they just have to be willing to take it."