Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Scottish Office calls on SPADAC for skill test model

4th July, 2013 by admin

The apprenticeship scheme run by the Scottish Painting and Decorating Apprenticeship Council (SPADAC) has been asked to share best practice with the Scottish Office.

Ian Rogers, SPADAC’s Employers’ Secretary, met Fiona Farr of the Youth Employability & Skills Division at the Scottish Office last week to discuss the skills test system.

Apprentices in Scotland must pass a skills test towards the end of their fourth year in order to qualify with a Modern Apprenticeship.

Currently, apprentices studying in England do not sit a skills test to prove their competence.

The UK Government’s Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) requested the meeting as a result of The Richard Review, an independent report into the future of apprenticeships in England published last year.

Ian Rogers, who is also Chief Executive of the Scottish Decorators’ Federation which administer the scheme, said:

“This is a vote of confidence in the Scottish apprenticeship system and we’re delighted that SPADAC is being recognised as a model scheme.”

As a partner of the SPADAC scheme, CITB’s Stephen Sheridan, Recruitment and Careers Manager, was invited by Mr Rogers to attend the meeting.

Further meetings are to be arranged with BIS directly.

UA launches £500,000 fund for new entrant farmers

18th June, 2013 by admin

United Auctions (UA) are launching their own loan scheme to help young farmers start up in livestock farming today (Tuesday, June 18th 2013).

Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers have secured the £500,000 fund as part of their long-standing livestock financing arrangement with Bank of Scotland.

It will address one of the key barriers to entry to agriculture by providing the chance for new entrants to access much-needed finance at start-up for purchasing livestock.

The loan can then be repaid with the sale of the animals.

UA’s initiative was inspired by and intends to complement the Scottish Government’s new entrants’ scheme, which aims to work with industry to lower barriers to entry and get more young people working in the food and farming sectors.

And the company has already provided support for two new entrants who were successful in gaining starter farm tenancies through the Forestry Commission Scotland’s Starter Unit Initiative.

David Leggat, Executive Chairman of UA, said: “It’s crucial to invest in the next generation of farmers as a priority. This new fund allows us to play our part in making it easier for talented, young people to gain access to capital and start a career in livestock farming.”

Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead MSP, said: “New and young farmers are key to the future of the industry in Scotland. We need their enthusiasm, new ideas and fresh approach to compliment the great work that already goes on within the sector.

“The rural economy is crucial to Scotland and the Scottish Government is committed to attracting more young people into agriculture. I welcome United Auctions’ announcement, they are clearly backing up their words with action. I hope this encourages other businesses to do the same. This funding will complement the £2 million package of support that I have provided and will help new entrants establish a sound footing in the industry.”

George Lyon MEP said: “Securing support for new entrants and young farmers has been at the centre of our negotiations on the future CAP in Brussels over the last six weeks and we are making good progress in securing a substantive package of financial support to help get more young people into our industry.

“United Auctions are to be congratulated on their new scheme, which will provide a financial leg up to young farmers trying to buy breeding stock.”

He continued: “Ensuring that new entrants get access to vital financial support such as this is essential to the future of Scotland’s farming industry.”

Nigel Miller, President of NFU Scotland said: UA’s bold initiative has broken through one of the growing barriers that lock new entrants out of farming. The finance package for funding livestock creates an exciting new opportunity for our future farmers to establish and grow and can breathe new life into the sector.”



Issued on behalf of United Auctions by JK Consultancy. For further information please contact:

Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 or

United Auctions

United Auctions (UA) are Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists and operate a network of different auction markets across Scotland, including Stirling, Huntly, Lairg, Dalmally, Tiree, Islay, South Uist and an area office and lairage facility at Oban. The company conducts auctions of both commercial and pedigree livestock, including the world-famous Stirling Bull Sales (previously known as the Perth Bull Sales) and provides farm-to-farm and farm-to-abattoir procurement services.

To find out more about United Auctions, follow us on Facebook.

The Scottish Decorators’ Federation gets an online re-decoration

30th January, 2013 by admin

2013 sees a brand new online look for the SDF as it launches its new website and embraces social media networking with a Facebook page and YouTube Channel.

The new-look website – at the same address: – has been completely re-designed to be as clear, clean and user-friendly as possible.

The navigation is simplified with a new kiosk-style format so users can instantly find the information they want.

And there is more colour and images that reflect the Federation’s visual industry.

Customers looking to contact an SDF member can access the updated search function in the  ‘Find A Decorator’ section while prospective members can review all the membership benefits and apply online through the ‘Join the SDF’ kiosk.

Members will need a username and password to access the members’ area control panel that includes important, regularly updated information on education & training, apprenticeships, law & legislation, events, and resources such as the SDF newsletter, Decorating Matters Magazine and the SDF app.

Social media

The SDF is embracing social media as a new way to engage with their members, the industry and interest groups in different ways. Users can read the latest SDF-related and industry news, find out about new products and SDF offers as well as discover the range of the SDF’s activities and how members can get involved and make a difference to the industry.

Take a look at and ‘like’ the new Facebook page –

The SDF’s dedicated YouTube Channel will host their online videos via the Facebook page and website.

Ian Rogers, Chief Executive of the SDF, said: “After receiving a number of creative proposals, the board plumped for vibrant, Glasgow-based company Pocapoc Creative who just got what we were looking for. Our PR consultant Jenny Kumar of JK Consultancy managed the project and since their appointment in August, we’ve been working hard on our online presence to make sure it’s fit for purpose and appeals to our different audiences.

“We’re embarking on a new and exciting online journey and hope you’ll support us by giving constructive feedback and spreading the word.”

Any members wishing to contribute images for the website of interesting projects should send jpegs no larger than 1mb to and include the project details in the email.


Britain’s Lost Routes with Griff Rhys Jones, tonight, BBC1 @ 8pm

31st May, 2012 by admin

(L-R) Neil McLean, UA's Joint Group MD, Griff Rhys Jones looking the part with UA's Executive Chairman David Leggat.

Griff Rhys Jones’ brand new prime-time series kicks off tonight on BBC One at 8pm with Royal Progress.

Made by Modern TV, this new four-parter retraces the often hazardous routes people took across the country.

United Auctions feature in episode three – Highland Cattle Drove - in which the adventurous Mr Rhys Jones droves a small herd of highland cattle from Skye to Falkirk and sells them at the Stirling Agricultural Centre. Tune in on Thurs 14th June at 8pm.

Here’s the full series line-up.

Stirling Agricultural Centre – record price of 90,000gns

5th August, 2011 by admin

Suffolk Ram Lamb sold for new record price of 90,000gns.

United Auctions’ Stirling Agricultural Centre hosted the Suffolk Sheep Society Northern Area show and sale last week (Friday, July 29th 2011).

200 pedigree Suffolk ram lambs consigned from the UK and the Republic of Ireland were forward. Buyers travelled from all over the UK, Republic of Ireland and mainland Europe.

The show and sale was a highly successful event with a record price of 90,000gns (£94,500) being achieved for a ram lamb consigned by Mr Dan Tynan, Beechill Farm, Doon, Mountrath, Co Laois, Republic of Ireland and purchased by Mr M A Evans, Tan-Yr-Accar, Llanrhaeadr, Denbigh, North Wales.

164 lambs sold to average £2225.43.

The Suffolk Sheep Society also held their annual dinner and prize giving at Stirling Agricultural Centre.

David Leggat MBE, executive chairman of United Auctions said: “We were pleased that this very important event has moved to Stirling Agricultural Centre. The event attracted a huge crowd of customers from a wide radius, many of whom stayed at hotels and guest houses in the Stirling area.

“The central location and excellent facilities at Stirling Agricultural Centre was one of the factors in the event being staged here.

“We were elated with the outcome of the sale, the feature being a record price, which eclipsed the previous record by 15,000gns.

“The fact that 164 lambs were sold was also very satisfying.

“We already have confirmation that the event is to be staged at Stirling Agricultural Centre next year, which we are absolutely delighted about.”