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A Living Wage for Glasgow University at start of Living Wage Week



The University of Glasgow has been confirmed as a Living Wage employer at the start of Living Wage Week. The move follows a 40 pence increase in the Living Wage which will benefit thousands of employees at Living Wage-accredited organisations. The increase has been calculated independently and set by the Living Wage Foundation in partnership with the Poverty Alliance.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham and Poverty Alliance Director Peter Kelly were at the University to welcome the announce of the new rate of £8.25 at Glasgow, co-ordinated with events elsewhere in the UK.

To date more than 380 firms in Scotland have become accredited, with Living Wage Week 2015 expected to further raise awareness in the public, private and third sectors.

The University, which employs over 7,000 people has also confirmed it has signed the Scottish Business Pledge.

Ms Cunningham said: “I am really pleased to welcome the University of Glasgow’s accreditation and their signing of the business pledge. They are one of the city’s most significant employers and their involvement sends a strong signal to the university sector that accreditation is both achievable and desirable.

“This is an important landmark in our drive to have at least 500 accredited employers by March next year. With so many employers signing up in the last year alone, thousands of Scottish employees have received a pay rise, and the announcement of a new rate of £8.25 will be further welcome news.

“With around 100 firms gathering for the UK’s first Living Wage Expo in Edinburgh last month, awareness of the Living Wage and its benefits to employers – increased staff morale, reduced absenteeism and higher levels of productivity – is clearly on the rise.

“Scottish Ministers will be closely involved with Living Wage Week 2015 and plan to visit a number of firms with more accreditations to follow. I would urge all employers to consider the Living Wage to help both their business and its employees.”

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, added: “Today’s rate announcement represents a significant pay rise for thousands of employees across Scotland. There are now over 380 accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland, and we are confident that we will meet the target of 500 by March.

“It is important that we recognise those employers who have chosen to do the right thing and ensure that their staff earn a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. Low wages, combined with changes in the benefits system have trapped people in poverty for too long. We know there is a solution and paying the Living Wage is part of that.

“Well done to those employers who are already accredited. We hope that others will follow in your footsteps in the coming weeks and months.”

Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, also said: “We were delighted to welcome the Cabinet Secretary to the University of Glasgow and to host this significant event.

“We’re proud to confirm our commitment to the Living Wage and the Scottish Business Pledge. They form an important part of our ongoing actions to improve the working lives of our staff, who play such a vital role in making the University the inspiring place it is.

“We have paid our staff at this level for several years now, making the necessary adjustments to the national pay scales accordingly. From May this year we have taken steps to ensure that all casual workers we engage are paid at least the Living Wage, and we’re keen to remain an exemplar of good practice in the higher education sector.”


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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