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20/06/2017 - 16:50

With the recent election and the uncertainty of Brexit, it would be natural for the outlook of employment in Scotland to look grim.

However this is certainly not seen to be the case as Scotland identifies a rise in both permanent and temporary opportunities. With the demand for staff increasing amongst various sectors including banking and finance, Scotland have a very optimistic view on the economy and employment front.

“Scotland’s jobs optimism increased by 5 points since the first quarter, with those looking to hire staff outweighing those looking to shed jobs by a balance of +2.”

With this in mind, it is important to still remain cautious as fears grow over the consequences of a hard Brexit. “The simple truth is that some sectors will stall without skilled workers from overseas, which would result in the UK economy entering a tailspin.”

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09/06/2017 - 15:23

Cathcart Associates, a specialist IT recruitment firm headquartered in Edinburgh, was the exclusive recruitment partner at the recent Digit IT Leaders conference, which took place at Dynamic Earth this year.

The conference hosted a series of inspirational and informative speeches from key players in Scotland’s IT sector, including Polly Purvis, CEO of ScotlandIS, and Helen Marshall, head of technology transformation at Yodel, who spoke of driving innovation and business improvement through technology.

The event was geared towards senior IT and digital leaders and aimed to encourage people to share knowledge and information, learn about best practice, and collaborate in an open, friendly environment.

Determined to be part of the solution to the digital skills gap, Cathcart Associates recently urged employers to be more open minded when hiring for digital roles, encouraging them to look beyond a candidate’s technical ability and take into consideration wider background experience and possible transferable skills.

Gordon Kaye, managing director at Cathcart Associates, said: “It was an honour to be the exclusive recruitment partner for the Digit IT Leaders conference this year and to meet and mingle with industry to discuss innovation within the sector.

“Conferences like these are a brilliant opportunity for everyone to come together and learn from one another, find out what’s happening in the sector and also to discuss openly and honestly about the issues threatening the industry’s growth and what can be done. We had a fantastic time at the event and very much look forward to seeing everyone again next year.”

As well as focusing on the challenges that are facing IT and digital leaders, the event also looked into the likes of critical considerations of leadership and the digital industry’s poor reputation for ‘soft skills’ and how this can be improved.

Cathcart Associates are specialist IT recruiters focused on recruiting high calibre digital professionals into a wide range of exciting, fast-paced roles within the tech industry. Founded in 2009, the firm is headquartered in Edinburgh with offices in Manchester, Hamburg and Bangkok.

30/05/2017 - 16:34

Katie Gallagher, managing director of Manchester Digital highlights, “we know of cases where small firms have shut down because they have lost a key member of staff and are unable to replace them. They can’t afford to match what the bigger firms can offer.”

This is something that companies in Manchester are facing more and more of due to the amount of competition there is for the best talent. In particular, start ups are seeing the lack of diversity on the market and the negative impacts this in turn will have on their business.

Admittedly, there is not an easy solution to this problem however companies are being encouraged to review their recruitment strategies and seek professional advice. They must also look at their current benefits package and see what they can change to ensure their employees stay put and also encourage new employees to the team.

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22/05/2017 - 14:12

According to the Tech Nations 2017 Report, the number of digital enterprises in Scotland is increasing and is now in fact the fastest growing region outside of London. This is great news for the Scottish digital economy however concerns have been raised that Brexit may have huge implications on continual growth within the industry.

In particular the report found that Dundee, at 171%, has the highest turnover growth of any cluster. Dundee have a “thriving games sector” which is one of the main contributors to the city’s success. Abertay University puts a strong focus on Computer Games Education and can offer students degree-level qualifications in games developments.

However Brexit could have negative implications on this: “Scotland is already struggling with a digital skills gap, and Brexit could potentially exacerbate that, impending the growth of the digital economy. Digital businesses in Scotland will be concerned about any Brexit deal which makes recruiting talent harder than it already is.”

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12/05/2017 - 11:51
Last night we had another sold out MancML and personally my favourite event so far. It was great to see so many people from the previous two events, it’s really encouraging to see the enthusiasm for Machine Learning in Manchester. We had a few new faces in the audience as well and from the feedback I got, everyone seemed to have a great time.


A quick thank you to Auto Trader again for hosting, the event space was incredible and the food, well that was just amazing. We definitely undersold it pre-event, ‘nibbles’ is probably the understatement of the year - for those of you who missed out, we had: handmade pizzas, hot dogs, pomegranate salad and lots more!


Andrew from Auto Trader was up first in our line-up of speakers and although only 4 months into his role with the company, he delivered an accomplished presentation on how they approach some of the problems they face. It was interesting to hear the various ways the team at Auto Trader are approaching Data Science and how they apply that to accurately price the hundreds of thousands of vehicles on the site. Andrew also showed us a model using real Auto Trader data using Gaussian Process Regression, comparing that with a simpler Linear Regression model - which in this case worked much better.


Up next we had Dominic, Chief Data Scientist at INRIX. Dom gave us an in-depth look at how INRIX approach mapping out cities to make searching for a parking space much easier - ‘Mapping the face of the City: neighbourhood identification using PCA’. With a relaxed presentation style and ability to break down what they are doing even to the simplest of minds (that’s me …) it was very well received.


After a short break - in which we devoured the aforementioned ‘nibbles’ we got back into the swing of things with Steven from autosermo talking about Chatbots and how to implement them in the real world. Although we had a couple of technical difficulties we did get to see a real Chatbot working and everyone had a go at interacting with the bot. Steven talked about the potential for Chatbots in a variety of industries, with autosermo working closely with MEN to encourage people to register to vote using a bot. The big thing I took away from Steven’s talk was the potential use of bots in the Charity sector, where having someone available to talk to 24/7 could literally save lives.


Last but by no means was least MancML and’s own Erik Mathieson who delivered a funny, technical and insightful talk on Deep Learning. Erik did pre-warn everyone in the audience that some math would be coming our way - he was not lying. Fortunately for him, I was the only one who struggled to keep up, with everyone else seeming to really enjoy the more in-depth look at Neural Networks.


That concluded another packed session! Straight after the last talk we had people asking about the next meet-up which was lovely to hear. We don’t have anything set in stone, however, we will be back sometime in August - everything will be announced on our Twitter and website.


If you can’t wait until then we are expanding internationally (well Scotland …) with our first event in Edinburgh penciled in for July 6th and is being hosted by Amazon. Tickets for this will be extremely limited so again keep an eye on our social media for updates.


Thanks again to everyone who came along and of course the wonderful Auto Trader, & Cathcart Associates.


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