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  • Silicon Republic - 44,500 Predicted New Job Openings!

    Nov 04, 2013

    The following extract has been taken from Silicon Republic.

    Continued demand for people with ICT skills across the Irish economy could generate 44,500 new job openings over the next six years, according to Forfás and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.


    A new report Addressing Future Demand for High-Level ICT Skills forecasts the demand for high-level ICT skills up to 2018.


    In 2012, there were 68,280 ICT professionals working within the ICT sector and across other sectors of the economy. The report forecasts that there will be increased demand of, on average, 5pc per annum for these high-level ICT skills up to 2018, increasing the employment of ICT professionals to 91,000.


    In order to achieve the jobs potential, the report notes that all potential policy levers will need to continue to be utilised to increase high-level ICT skills supply.


    These include mainstream education and training, conversion and reskilling programmes, continuing professional development and attracting experienced international talent, including expatriate talent.




    The report recommends that additional iterations of the conversion programmes from 2014 and beyond will be essential to contribute to meeting the increasing demand. In just over one year, an investment of €10m by the Department of Education and Skills has delivered more than 1,500 places on industry-designed ICT conversion programmes.  These programmes provide graduates from other disciplines the opportunity to pursue new careers in ICT and provides industry access to a new pool of talented graduates with up-to-date ICT qualifications.


    The output of computer graduates in Ireland has increased by 25pc over the last two years and a doubling of graduate output is now expected to be achieved by 2015 - three years ahead of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs target of 2018. This comes as a result of the implementation of the Government ICT Skills Action Plan which is a collaboration between Government, Industry and the education system.


    “Just under two years ago, when Minister (for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard) Bruton and I launched theICT Skills Action Plan, it was estimated that the domestic supply of ICT talent was meeting about 45pc of the skills demand of industry,” said Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, TD.

    “As a result of the measures we have taken under the plan, it is now projected that the supply of graduates from the education system will meet 63pc of demand in 2014.


    “The implementation of key reforms at primary and secondary level, allied to the introduction of bonus points for maths, is also building the mathematical proficiency of students entering third level, which is critical to ensuring a strong supply of graduates for all STEM roles.  This is evident in the almost 60pc increase in the honours-level maths take up at Leaving Cert level, over the last three years.


    “This report provides a very timely input to the review of the ICT Action Plan, which my department is undertaking jointly with the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation,” Quinn said.


    Bruton added: “The ICT sector is of strategic importance to Ireland, both in terms of the numbers of jobs and its contribution to Ireland’s export performance, accounting for €70bn in exports per annum. ICT skills are already a key focus of the Action Plan for Jobs.


    “This report will further sustain the effort to ensure Ireland has the necessary skills to meet the opportunity that this sector offers for jobs and growth,” Bruton said.


  • Time Management for Project Managers and Success

    Nov 01, 2013

    The following article was published by Michelle Symonds over at Project Management Hut.

    Time management is one of the core functions of a project manager. A project manager, or management team, need to ensure that every job is carried out within a time scale for the project to be a success, and the sorts of areas they should be looking at are:

    - Deciding on priorities
    - Carrying out activities around those priorities
    - Reducing time spent on non priorities
    - Effectively scheduling the tasks
    - Match resources to workloads
    - Planning the amount of time spent on specific activities
    - Creating an environment for effectiveness

    The Dictionary

    The dictionary definition of time management says - The analysis of how working hours are spent and the prioritisation of tasks in order to maximise the efficiency of the workplace. The definition couldn’t be any clearer; that is exactly what time management is, and lack of it can prevent a business or project reaching its full potential.


    Many business owners are so disorgansied they will say they have no time to do any planning, but if only they managed their time, instead of letting their time manage them, they would be so much more effective as managers.


    Be Strong


    For any time management to be successful, you have to learn to say no - if it is your own project you are managing, or managing a project on behalf of someone else, you have to stick to the plan, it’s too easy to get sidetracked on something else and then suddenly your project starts to fall behind.


    The Tools


    The whole idea of time management is to increase effectiveness, efficiency and productivity, and there are tools and techniques to help. There are several standard methods that have been used for many years, such as:


    ABC analysis: In this method all tasks are put into groups marked A, B or C.

    A is for tasks that are urgent and important

    B is for tasks that are important but not urgent

    C is for tasks that are not urgent or important

    Each task is then grouped accordingly. The ABC method is often linked with the Pareto analysis.


    Pareto analysis: The basis of this method is that 80% of jobs can be done in 20% of the time, and the other 20% of jobs take 80% of the time. The tasks are sorted into one of the two parts, and the first category given higher priority.


    Other methods: As well as these two methods there are others used in the business world, such as:

    - The Eisenhower Method
    - POSEC Method
    - Implementation of Goals
    - Task List Organisation

    Most of these methods have been in use for many years, the Eisenhower Method being attributed to the American president of that name.


    Software Applications


    Modern time management has the use of several software options on the market; generally they use the task list application. Some have a built in hierarchy of tasks, which filters and puts them in order. Many of the products allow multi users, so management is able to pass tasks to other staff though the program.


    With all these tools, what works for you will not necessarily be what works for the project manager next to you. It’s up to you to identify which tools and methods you find useful and which only end up becoming a burden.


    Eliminate the Unnecessary


    Part of time management for project managers involves eliminating what doesn’t need to be done, often tasks that are carried out by tradition rather than need. Doing the tasks that do need doing and getting rid of the ones that don’t need doing, can free up time to plan for everything else and help you manage your time better.So remember time management is one of the core aspects of good project management and if done right will ensure that the project is a success.

  • World Facing Wine Shortage

    Nov 01, 2013

    The following extract has been taken from Supply Management.

    A global wine shortage could be approaching as worldwide production last year plummeted to its lowest level in 40 years.


    Researchers at Morgan Stanley said demand for wine exceeded supply by 300 million cases in 2012 and “data suggests there may be insufficient supply to meet demand in coming years”.


    In a report, the firm said global inventories have dropped by almost 700 million cases since 2006, as production has fallen back in the biggest wine producing countries of France, Italy and Spain, primarily due to poor weather conditions.


    The total global area under vine is also reducing by around 2.5 per cent a year, driven by vine removal in Europe, although China is expanding its vineyard footprint.


    The UK is the world’s second largest importer of wine by value, behind the US, but France continues to be the biggest consumer of wine, followed by the US.


    The report said: “In the short term, inventories will likely be reduced as current consumption continues to be predominantly supplied by previous vintages. As consumption turns to the 2012 vintage, we expect the current production shortfall to culminate in a significant increase in export demand, and higher prices for exports globally. Further growth in consumption, in the meantime, may exacerbate the shortage when it comes through.”


  • Apple Hires Burberry Chief to End Search for Retail Head

    Oct 23, 2013

    The following extract has been taken from Bloomberg.

    Apple Inc. (AAPL) hired Burberry Group Plc (BRBY) Chief Executive Officer Angela Ahrendts as head of retail operations, ending a yearlong search and adding the first woman to its 10-member executive team.


    Ahrendts, 53, will oversee more than 400 retail outlets and Apple’s online store, the Cupertino, California-based company said today. Apple is tapping an executive who more than doubled Burberry’s sales since 2006, rejuvenating the brand by expanding in China, as well as embracing the Web and social media.


    At Apple stores, started by co-founder Steve Jobs in 2001, hundreds of millions of visitors a year test the latest iPhones and iPads, giving it an advantage over Google Inc. (GOOG),Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Ahrendts’s tenure at Burberry will be useful for Apple, which is facing the challenge of growing outside the U.S. and maintaining its high-end appeal as products become more mainstream.

    “With iPhones being in more and more households, their brand is more of a mass-market brand than it has ever been and they can’t risk losing the aspirational aspect,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner Inc.


    Ahrendts will join Apple in the spring of 2014, reporting to CEOTim Cook. Apple, the world’s most valuable company, has been without a full-time retail chief since last October, when former retail head John Browett was ousted by Cook as part of a broader management shakeup.

  • Global Logistics Media To Launch Groundbreaking Online Video Series

    Oct 23, 2013

    The following extract has been taken from Scoop Independent News.

    In an industry first, Global Logistics Media (GLM) is producing an online video series focused on the logistics industry across the Asia Pacific Region.

    The online series launches on November 1st, with 36 highly impactive videos aimed at increasing industry capabilities of executives, business owners and logistics professionals alike.

    The extensive range of topics is relevant to businesses with a strong logistics function; these businesses may be looking to either, expand into emerging markets, adopt smarter supply chain practices or outsource their warehousing and distribution.

    The Series features no less than 31 highly respected, expert Contributors, who are regarded as thought-leaders within their own verticals of the logistics industry. They also represent the most influential and innovative companies in the world such as UPS, FedEx, Maersk, DHL, Microsoft, SSI Schaefer and more.

    GLM CEO, Nigel Lewis says,

    “If we are going to increase the capabilities of executives, business owners and logistics professionals then we must engage with companies and industry executives who are leading the way. This is why we have bought together a power packed line-up of expert contributors who will share their experiences, insight and knowledge across a wide range of topics.”

    In a recent industry survey, Global Logistics Media asked 500 logistics executives what was most important to them when engaging with a potential service provider. Overwhelmingly, their response came down to three key areas; 1. Collaboration, 2. Partnership, and 3. Trust.

    These three key areas have been woven in to this online video series. It will demonstrate how logistics companies collaborate with prospective clients to understand their business objectives, partner in delivering the business solution, then develop trust through ongoing support.

    The Global Logistics Media online video series landing page will launch on the 1st of November.

    About Global Logistics Media

    Global Logistics Media is an online media organization focused on providing critical industry information to thousands of business owners, executives and logistics professionals around the world.

    With an integrated business directory, jobs board and product listings, GLM is the premier online resource and information centre for all logistics professionals, whether logistics is your business or an important element of your business.

    For more information visit 
    To view the full line-up of video topics and executives featuring in the Global Logistics Media Online Video series visit:

  • Eco-Innovation: Greener Business Through Smart Solutions

    Oct 23, 2013

    Launched in 2008, the Eco-innovation initiative is part of the EU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP), set up to support innovation among SMEs and to improve their competitiveness. It is included in the EIP’s annual work programmes.


    This brochure [pdf. 2.44MB] presents a collection of projects that have successfully managed to change the way we consume, produce, build and recycle: from using CO2 to grow algae to convert into vital nutrients to turning old TVs into hardwearing, decorative tiles.


    Healthy food from greener production methods

    1. Turning CO2 into high quality nutrition
    Construction and operation of an innovative photo-bioreactor (PBR) for the production of micro algae comprising high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (PHOBIOR)
    2. Cutting back on food wasted during transportation
    Environmental benefits through the reduction of loss and waste in food products (ENBED)
    3. Making beer production more environmentally friendly
    Full-scale implementation of an innovative CO2 recovery plant for use in breweries (FICOB)
    4. Using bamboo to clean up wastewater
    Market replication of bamboo remediation of food industry effluent grey water for re-use (BRITER-WATER)


     Building a greener construction industry

    5. Giving old bricks a new life
    Market uptake of an automated technology for reusing old bricks (REBRICK)
    6. Plastics recycling for construction
    High performance, lightweight aggregate for concrete from the recycling of urban waste (NUMIX)
    7. Taking straw bales mainstream as viable building material
    EU market development of MODCELL: a prefabricated eco-building system utilising renewable materials (EUROCELL)
    8. Low cost solutions for low energy housing
    Enhanced insulation in timber-frame housing using recycled materials (INSULATFH)


    Innovative green businesses

    9. Shoes that are comfortable for the wearer and the planet
    Ecofriendly Leather Tanned with Titanium (TiLEATHER)
    10. A system for identifying responsible recyclers
    European Certification of Plastics Recyclers (EUCERTPLAST)
    11. Reliable labelling for compostable packaging
    Improvement on green labels for packaging (ECOPACK)
    12. Reducing footwear’s environmental footprint
    Plastics from renewable sources applied in footwear (ecoTPU)
    13. Helping to green-up industrial parks
    Eco-Industrial Park Environmental Support System (EPESUS)


    Making less go further through recycling

    14. Purifying by-waste in car windscreen recycling
    Design and construction of a windscreen recycling line (WS-REC)
    15. Ensuring the proper treatment of electrical waste
    Full Traceability of the management of WEEE (WEEE TRACE)
    16. Recycling TVs into tiles
    Glass Plus
    17. Putting waste lime to good use
    Integrated technology for recycling of smelting gases and sustainable production of frits and enamels (Frit-Rec)
    18. From used shoe mountain to useful recycled material
    Post-used shoes recovery in footwear industry and other applications (NATURALISTA)
    19. Giving used textiles a new lease of life
    Textiles for Textiles (T4T)
    20. Making carpet manufacturing more environmentally friendly
    Towards closed loop chains in Europe (EUROC2C Carpetchains)


    Water innovation – think blue and go green

    21. Efficient management of wastewater treatment plants
    Efficient Management of Small and Medium Wastewater Treatment Plants (OptimEDAR)
    22. From biogas waste to fertilisers
    High Added Value Ecofertilisers from Anaerobic Digestion Effluent Wastes (WAVALUE)
    23. Advanced filtration system to boost water reuse
    Increased Water Efficiency with Ceramic membrane technology (IWEC)
    24. Cutting back on wasted drinking water
    Intervention for Curing Pipeline Leakage in Urban Water Mains (LEAKCURE)

    Extract taken from Environment & Energy Management.
  • Every Apple Competitor Bought iPad Twitter Ads Today

    Oct 23, 2013

    Apple's iPad Air reveal has easily been the business tech story of the day, and competitors were more than ready to attempt to brand-jack the news. Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, LG Mobile and Motorola are examples of head-to-head tablet rivals that bid on iPad-based keywords in what appeared to be an unusually busy Twitter ads marketplace.

    Brand-jacking via Twitter around news events is still a fairly new marketing practice and therefore largely unproven. Presidential candidates one year ago were notably testing out the idea during the parties' national conventions as well as during their debates.

    Look for more Promoted Tweets to target competitors' misfortunes rather than highlights such as the iPad announcement today. For instance, a source close to the situation recently told Adweek that Walmart last holidays season aggressively and successfully purchased Twitter ads around Best Buy's shipping and product-availability ills.

    Extract taken from Adweek.

  • Getting the Most out of your Project Resources

    Oct 23, 2013

    Article by Ian Collins, extract taken from ProjectSmart.

    There's a school of thought that when you are faced with 'Project Everest', you can climb it faster if you put more people to work on it. Of course, the Everest metaphor is a perfect example of why this approach is flawed. Although tempting, adding more people to a project in crisis is not necessarily going to help you get it back on track. Good resource management is about more than juggling your staff numbers. It is about understanding who your resources are and how to use them intelligently. It is appreciating that in many circumstances, quality is better for a project than quantity.

    Resources are commonly thought to mean people, but actually they can refer to many things: money, equipment, supplies. They all have something in common: they are assets to your project.

    Assets are a better description to use here as not all resources are equal in value. You might even think that experience, skill and intellect are assets in themselves. By thinking in this way, you can see straight away that different resources are going to have a different impact on your project.

    Tools such as Microsoft Project will have a function called 'levelling' resources which allows you to adjust your resourcing levels to suit your project. You simply take the sum total of you resource requirements and spread them evenly across the project, and then adjust according to the ebb and flow of when you can get people available to work on it. However, because resources vary in quality this mathematically-centred approach is not always suitable. A small team of highly experienced and skilled engineers may be able to provide much greater progress to a flailing project than a larger team of less experienced engineers.

    A more modern approach to resource management is to first think of your resources as assets:

    • What quality and quantity of assets are available to your project?
    • What are their strengths?
    • What skills and knowledge do they bring to the project?
    • Where can they add the most value?

    Quality resources with a highly suitable skill set are best assigned to the most difficult aspects of your project. So one of your first tasks when assigning resources to your project is to assess what major delivery points you have and how you are going to achieve them. In doing this, you also look at the complexity, and it is the complexity variant which many project managers may miss but which is vitally important; it gives you the likelihood of a task being problematic, risky or late. What are your most critical points on your project - your pinch points? Which parts of your project carry the most risks?

    This is where you can tackle the project with an intelligent resource management approach. You look at what resources you have and what you might be lacking. You take advantage of the strengths you have in your project team by assigning them to the areas where they will add the most value. And you use your knowledge about your resource to manage your risks. For example, if you have a complex task and a team that lack experience in this area, perhaps you can look at whether you can expand your team, or bring in an outsider with some specialist knowledge. This may cost money. But by carrying out this assessment so early on in your project, you can make a business case for why you need to do this.

    So how do you make an assessment of what value each of your resources (or 'assets') has on a project? There are several ways to do this. If you have worked with the team before, this is fairly straightforward, as you will have past experience that helps to assess strengths and weaknesses. If you have not worked with the team before, it may be a more difficult task. However, you can still look at past projects this team have completed: who was involved, how successful they were. You can also spend time early on talking to your team and finding out as much as you can about them. Finding out their worries, concerns and their past experiences will tell you a lot.

    Good resource management is about knowing your strengths and weaknesses on your project and facing them head on. It is a fine balancing act to assigning your resources where they really need to be, but if done well it may be the difference between achieving success, or managing a project that is fraught with problems.


  • The Horse Meat Scandal - A Call to Professionalise Supply Chain Management

    Oct 23, 2013



    The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply calls for a professional licence to practise to avert future crises and protect the public

    Monday, October 14, 2013

    The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply has today called for procurement and supply chain professionals to earn a licence to practise to protect the public. This call comes in the wake of recent supply chain and procurement failures which have seen food chain contamination and loss of lives, leading to a public outcry for change and improved accountability.

    CIPS, the leading international body representing purchasing and supply management professionals, has also published a policy statement setting out the guiding principles of the licence to be launched at their annual conference in London. The licence to practise would ensure that senior procurement and supply chain managers would be required to have a professionally recognised licence, in a manner akin to the licencing of the accountancy profession. The licence is seen as fundamental to the stability of the global economy as multinational companies are increasingly exposed to international risks which can cause seismic shocks to their earnings, reputation  and share prices when a supply malfunction occurs.

    Unprecedented events in recent years, from natural disasters such as the tsunami in Japan, to political unrest in the Middle East, not to mention fraud and modern slavery in corporate supply chains, underline the prevalence of risk in supply chains. Each new, emerging risk impacts consumers negatively in a different way. It is because of this, a licence to practise is so critical in ensuring trained and skilled professionals are in place as supply chain protectors.

    Calling for a licence to practise, David Noble, Global Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said:

    "Supply-side risk is getting out of control. There is an acute need for the procurement and supply profession to be formally licenced in order to protect the public. This was brought into sharp focus earlier this year with the horsemeat fiasco in the UK and the Bangladesh factory tragedy, which put a human price on the failure to understand and make provision for risk in the supply chain. The industry must now respond to these risks and ensure professionals managing supply chains are adequately trained to do so and ensure accountability which has been absent for too long. A licence for the profession gives it true professional standing and individuals the knowledge they are adhering to best practise."

    Trudy Salandiak, PR Manager, on 01780 761576 or 0755 4400 731 Edward Jones, H+K Strategies,, 020 7413 3217

    Survey Results

    The survey results were as follows:

    1. Are you taking supply chain risk more seriously following the horse meat scandal and the Rana Plaza factory disaster?

    Yes                                               67.5%
    No                                                 32.5%


    2. Which of these instances had the biggest impact on attitudes towards supply chain in your business?

    Horse meat scandal                      35.0%
    Rana Plaza factory disaster          29%
    Neither                                          36%

    3. Has your CEO and/or board taken a more proactive role engaging with your procurement team on supply chain risk?

    Yes                                                47.5%
    No                                                  52.5%

    4. Do you have a supply chain risk mitigation strategy all the way down your supply chain?

    Yes                                                 46%
    No                                                   54%

    5. In your opinion, have the horse meat and Bangladesh factory collapse issues changed treatment of suppliers (in your business or in the wider world)?

    Unchanged                                     45.0%
    Changed for the better                   52.5%
    Changed for the worse                   2.5%

    6. Do you think there should be more regulation of supply chains?

    Yes                                                 71%
    No                                                   29%

    7. Do you think a code of conduct would improve accountability in supply chains?

    Yes                                                 79%
    No                                                   21%

    NB: The survey is based on responses from 80 senior supply chain managers.


    This extract has been taken from the CIPS website. If you would like to read more you can access it here.

  • What Exactly is a Project Management Institute Certificate Worth?

    Sep 18, 2013

    PMI offers a comprehensive certification program for project practitioners of all education and skill levels. Currently consisting of six credentials, the program demonstrates both your commitment to the profession and your expertise through certifying education, experience and competency. Rigorously developed by project managers, PMI certifications ensure that you and your projects excel.

    As project management is one of the top skillsets demanded by organizations around the world, this is more important now than ever before. One-fifth of the world’s GDP, or more than $12 trillion, is spent on projects. And with many skilled practitioners leaving or scheduled to leave the workforce due to retirement — a trend the Society of Human Resources (SHRM) identifies as having a major strategic impact for 64% of organizations worldwide — there is a great demand for knowledgeable project managers.

    When these opportunities arise, certification helps make sure that you’ll be ready. There are already more than 460,000 PMI credential holders around the world and in every industry, from healthcare, telecommunications and finance to IT and construction.

    The 2012 PMI Pulse of the Profession study found that organizations with more than 35% PMP certified project managers had better project performance. And according to a 2007 PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, 80% of high-performing projects use a credentialed project manager. Make sure you’re one of them by earning a PMI certification.

    Extract taken from the Project Management Institute available here.