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Glasgow Business . 37


Kevin Chan of start-up business Smart Loyal happened to mention that he was looking for a member of staff when he joined Glasgow Chamber.

He had mainly joined looking for networking opportunities to promote his business which provides a mobile app for loyalty cards in various outlets across Scotland. But his mention that he was confused as to

where to begin in his search led to him being referred to Glasgow Chamber’s Workforce Solutions programme.

The Chamber staff immediately identified that

he could apply to the Commonwealth Graduate Fund (CGF) which could match 50 per cent of any new recruit’s salary. Kevin found Workforce Solutions extremely

helpful in simplifying the recruitment process. The CGF team quickly accepted his grant and the Chamber consultants helped Kevin with the appropriate paperwork to employ a new in-house web application developer, choosing a former intern as the successful candidate. So it was another win-win situation. Kevin

was able to hire a full-time member of staff and a 24-year-old recent graduate obtained a salaried job and his first step on the career ladder. Kevin said: “It was great to have access

to a one-stop shop for employment – simple and hassle free. Within a day of joining the


Kevin Chan and Deep Doradla, Smart Loyal

Chamber, Shona MacPherson, a Workforce Solutions Executive, contacted me and arranged a meeting. “She guided me through the programme and advised me which grant was most suitable and available to meet my needs.”

Tere’s a new buzz word in the office that’s atracting the atention of bosses across the UK – that word’s convergence. What’s creating this chater? Te prospect of employees working on any device, from any location, at any time of the day while still being connected to the office. Tat the virtual desk that’s been talked about for years is actually becoming a reality. Once upon a time, ‘going to work’

meant turning up at the office for a nine-to-five shiſt. But technology is altering the way we work. Te birth of smartphones and tablets has made it easier than ever before to work on the move and the number of businesses doing this is only going to increase. A converged network brings all your


Gillian Kyle Ltd, a small family-run textile business, took on its first graduate employee, thanks to help and advice provided by Workforce Solutions. The company, which makes T-shirts, tea

towels and mugs featuring familiar Scottish images, was looking to recruit but was concerned that bringing in the wrong person could unsettle the business. Gillian Kyle, who runs the business with her

cousin Katrina Mather, wasn’t sure where to turn – she knew there was some public assistance on offer, but didn’t know where to access it before the Chamber stepped in. “We had heard that there might be some funding available and someone pointed us in the direction of the Chamber,” Gillian said. “The whole thing took less than a month,

which was excellent as we had a pressing need. The Chamber helped us to find somewhere to conduct the interviews and run the process. “It was obvious that Selina Hales, our

consultant at the Chamber, had wide experience in recruitment and she was able to guide and mentor us in our selection process. From the word go, she worked with us and adapted to our needs almost as though she were part of our team.” The business took on Katherine Brown, 26, as an Administration Manager who had been

working in a series of part-time admin posts before landing the full-time job with Gillian Kyle. As a graduate from the Glasgow School of Art with a Masters in textiles and fashion, she was highly suitable for the post. Gillian said: “It is really important in a small team

to get the right person and Katherine is a perfect fit. She is very organised and has also been helping us out in some graphic design projects.”

Gillian Kyle

IT into one place, and for the user that means that you can use your office system, no mater where you’re working. It’s like firing up your computer at work, whether that’s at home on your laptop or on the move via a smartphone or tablet. Whenever or wherever you need to work, and on whatever you want to work on – now you can. With the right, secure, connection,

employees can be working in the snowy mountains of Austria, making a phone call to the UK on their computer, accessing voicemail through email soſtware, and condensing every possible communications tool – from email to instant messaging and voice – into a single easy-to-use device. So it’s goodbye to managing a different supplier for each system – which can cost a fortune. Crucially, underpinning all of this is

connectivity – whether that’s fixed or mobile infrastructure. And the good news is these connections are geting beter by the day. We’re already able to check-in with the office everywhere we go. Times are changing and remote

working will open a world of opportunity for both employers and employees. Technology’s providing the right tools for the job, the safe and secure networks are in place – so there’s litle doubt this way of working will soon be the norm.

Tony Grace, Managing Director, Virgin Media Business


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