Train – or risk losing grants, warns SAMB

first_imgBakers are being urged to make training a priority or face losing out on valuable grants, after changes to government funding kick in this spring. The Learning and Skills Council, which currently handles funding for adult skills-based education in England, is being disbanded at the end of March to make way for new bodies the Chief Executive of Skills Funding and The Young People’s Learning Agency.The Scottish Association of Master Bakers, which is now England’s leading trainer in on-the-job baking, said it had received “positive signs” that funding would continue under the new regimes. However, SAMB head of skills training Arthur Rayer warned that more needed to be done to build on the 104 learners currently on its books taking NVQ Levels 2 and 3 tuition in craft bakery, process bakery, retail and service, and distribution.”We still need more bakers to get more funding,” said Rayer. “If we don’t get more applications, then training contracts could start to shrink, which wouldn’t benefit anyone.”last_img read more

News story: UK farmers given support for seasonal labour with new pilot scheme

first_img We have listened to the powerful arguments from farmers about the need for seasonal labour to keep the horticulture industry productive and profitable. A two-year pilot to support UK farmers by allowing non-EU migrant workers to work on farms, then return after six months, has been announced by the Home Secretary and Environment Secretary.Welcoming the announcement, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: We have listened to the views of farmers in Scotland and across the UK. Many of Scotland’s farms, in particular our soft fruit growers, rely on seasonal workers. This pilot is a welcome first step in ensuring that Scottish farmers can continue to access the workers they need to grow and harvest their produce. This two year pilot will ease the workforce pressures faced by farmers during busy times of the year. We will review the pilot’s results as we look at how best to support the longer-term needs of industry outside the EU. This pilot will ensure farmers have access to the seasonal labour they need to remain productive and profitable during busy times of the year. I am committed to having an immigration system that reduces migration to sustainable levels, supports all industry and ensures we welcome those who benefit Britain. British farmers are vital to the UK’s economy – and the Government will look to support them in any way we can. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: From lettuce in East Anglia to strawberries in Scotland, we want to make sure that farmers can continue to grow, sell and export more great British food. Soft fruit production in the UK has grown dramatically, by 130% in the last 20 years. Fruit is grown particularly in the South East (Kent), Midlands (Hereford, Worcestershire and Shropshire) and in Scotland (Perthshire), while field vegetables are grown widely across the UK.In 2016 Scottish fruit and vegetables had an output value of £265.9m. In June 2016 Scotland had 22,000 hectares of land used for horticulture – 18,200 for vegetables, 1900 for fruit and 950 for flower and nursery stock.The Seasonal Workers pilot will be run by two scheme operators, who will oversee the placement of the workers. The arrangements for selecting the scheme operators will be announced in due course.To be eligible for the pilot workers must be aged at least 18 years old on the date of application and be from outside of the European Union.The pilot will commence in the spring of 2019, will run until the end of December 2020 and will be monitored closely by the Home Office and Defra.last_img read more

Under the skin

first_imgWhen Carmen Fields’ future husband asked her to meet his mother, Fields refused. “No way. I didn’t want to be the reason she opened up the front door and dropped the Easter ham,” she told a Harvard audience on Wednesday.An African-American whose spouse is white, Fields knows from experience that life in the United States holds unique challenges for mixed-race couples and their children.Fields and fellow panel members — among them College junior Eliza Nguyen — addressed some of those issues during a discussion called “American Masala: Race Mixing, the Spice of Life or Watering Down Cultures?” at the Student Organization Center at Hilles.“I didn’t want to be the reason she opened up the front door and dropped the Easter ham,” said Carmen Fields about meeting her future mother-in-law.Nguyen, president of the Harvard Half Asian People’s Association (HAPA), distinctly remembers the moment it dawned on her that she was neither white, like her mother, nor Vietnamese, like her father. “I was in the fourth grade, taking a standardized test. And they had that box you were supposed to check off.” There was no box for biracial, and she was instructed to check only one. Nguyen, perplexed, asked her teacher which box to check. She was the only nonwhite student in her school. “Asian, of course,” her teacher told her. “I was confused,” said Nguyen. “Who am I?”Questions of race and identity have intrigued Michael Fosberg since his early 30s, when he found out that his father was African-American. Fosberg, who grew up in a white family in a working-class suburb of Chicago, decided to track down his biological father after his mother and stepfather divorced. He had little notion of what lay in store. “I’m sure there are things your mother probably never told you,” Fosberg’s father told him by phone. “I’m black.”“From there, the door just flung open to my biraciality,” said Fosberg. “I immediately embraced my black family. And had all these amazing experiences with them … this family is part of who I am.” Fosberg travels the country performing his one-man play, “Incognito.” The play, along with a memoir of the same name published in 2011, attempts to open a dialogue on race relations and the meaning of racial identity.Despite the efforts of Fosberg and others, mixed-race couples and their children often face crises of personal identity and isolation — sometimes bigotry and the threat of violence.“It wasn’t that long ago that interracialism was dangerous,” said E. Dolores Johnson, a Harvard Business School grad who is writing a book about her parents’ experience in a biracial community in Buffalo.When Johnson’s white mother married her African-American father in Indiana in the 1940s, she boarded a train for Buffalo, never to return, fearing for her family’s safety.At the time there were anti-miscegenation laws on the books in most states, and Indiana’s Ku Klux Klan membership was among the highest in the country. “Ninety-six percent of people couldn’t abide by any race mixing at all,” said Johnson.But beyond this devastating racial history, there is hope. Nguyen finds that young people have the ability to talk openly about race. Fields views her daughter as a “bridge child,” who sees past differences among groups. “And we have an opportunity, as mixed-race people, to forge these bridges,” added Fosberg.The Faculty of Arts and Sciences Office of Diversity Relations sponsored the event. Fosberg performed “Incognito” earlier in the day, also at the Student Organization Center at Hilles.last_img read more

Forestalling food waste

first_img Food that’s better for all of us and the planet Summit looks at production, health, sustainability, and social justice Related Food programs grow as Harvard cooks up new ideas Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic steps up its efforts in time of pandemic Each year, about 40 percent of all food in the U.S. goes uneaten. That means Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food that could been used to make more than 58 billion meals, according to the National Resource Defense Council.A team of Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences students tackled this complex problem as their project in “Engineering Problem Solving and Design Project” (ES 96), and this time came up with an answer to the always head-scratching supermarket and kitchen question: How do you know when an avocado is ripe?The course routinely challenges students to use engineering design skills to create a solution for a real-world client. They partnered with Savormetrics, a predictive food safety startup, to develop a product that could help reduce food waste. The juniors in the course, who represent all five engineering concentrations, collaborated to design and drive the project.After studying the supply chain, the students chose to focus on food waste at the retail level. Grocery stores and distributors are responsible for about 13 percent of all food waste, with produce comprising an outsized portion, the council reports. Overstocking is one reason so much produce is wasted in grocery stores. Consumers are drawn to abundant displays of produce, but since the appearance of that produce declines as it becomes overripe, much is discarded before it can be purchased.“In order to prevent produce from being discarded, what we need is metrics in order to know which produce are going to ripen faster,” said project co-lead Mark Meneses ’21, an engineering sciences concentrator. “How can we use metrics to drive retailer action in reducing food loss and waste?”,To generate those metrics, the students developed a multi-sensing device that could predict when produce would ripen. They focused on avocados, since the fruits have a high price and high market value — about $2.28 billion per year in the U.S. — with about a 10 percent annual growth rate in the market.“Saving just a few avocados could help justify the price of our device,” said Joseph Sanchez ’21, a mechanical engineering concentrator.The device they developed incorporates sensors to measure certain chemical properties of an avocado. Information from these sensors is incorporated into a machine-learning model the students developed to predict when an avocado will be ripe. The model’s output is displayed through an app that shows the estimated date of ripeness and the number of days until each tested avocado will be ripe.The app also allows users to view batch stats on avocados that were scanned together, providing information on the average days until avocados in that group will be ripe, and also a graph that shows the count of avocados at each of five stages, from hard to overripe.,“Ripeness prediction is really difficult for avocados, and because they are so valuable, it is really a critical point for retailers,” said Juliet Nwagwu Ume-Ezeoke ’21, a mechanical engineering concentrator. “We hope this information would allow retailers to take very decisive actions.”For instance, retailers could advertise the ripeness states of avocados so consumers can make more informed produce purchasing decisions. Retailers could also set different prices for different levels of ripeness, or change store displays so the ripest avocados are at the front.The biggest challenge the students faced resulted from the University’s transition to remote instruction in mid-March — right in the middle of their project. After they left campus, the members of the sensor development team were forced to individually assemble sensors and then ship them to teammate John Schmidt ’21, a mechanical engineering concentrator, who faced the burden of assembling the device and testing 80 avocados on his own, said project co-lead Jonas LaPier ’21, an environmental engineering concentrator.And a sudden sensor malfunction during testing threatened to derail the entire project, but the students were able to get a new part shipped the next day.Despite those challenges, the students created an effective prototype — 60 percent of the estimates were accurate to within one day, with an additional 30 percent accurate within two days. “Because [avocados] are so valuable, it is really a critical point for retailers. We hope this information would allow retailers to take very decisive actions.” — Juliet Nwagwu Ume-Ezeok Students turn dining hall surplus into frozen meals for the hungry Waste not, want not “The predictive model worked fairly well, which was great to see because we really weren’t sure with all of the moving parts in our project. The success of the modeling was contingent on our sensing approach and our avocado testing procedure which were both difficult to implement,” said LaPier. “I was consistently surprised by the hard work and exceptional skills that my fellow engineers brought to our team. There was never a point where we couldn’t count on someone to finish a task and move us all forward.”Instructor Nabil Harfoush, visiting associate professor, was impressed by the determination the students showed to complete the project, even in the face of the unprecedented challenges they faced during the spring term.“My hope is that students learned how to dwell more in the problem space before jumping to solutions, how to engage collectively with a complex problem, and what aspects and perspectives must be considered beyond technology in a real-world project,” he said.Harjeet Bajaj, president and CEO of Savormetrics, was also impressed by the students’ work.“Savormetrics will be polishing this off and bringing this product into market. I am very surprised at the efficacy of the students on our project,” he said. “Kudos to Dr. Harfoush and Dr. [Fawwaz] Habbal. We are planning on presenting a stock option opportunity to the students to bring this product to market, by providing them access to our office in Boston and other resources.”last_img read more

3 fraud trends to watch for this holiday season

first_imgExpectations are high that holiday shopping will look quite different this year. Unfortunately, this uncertainty is allowing fraudsters to take advantage of consumers already on edge during a time of unprecedented change and upheaval.Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-store shopping at brick and mortar stores will be significantly curtailed. Already, 30 percent of Americans plan to avoid in-store shopping as much as possible due to health concerns, according to Kount’s “The 2020 Holiday eCommerce Guide.” Recognizing the risks associated with hosting massive crowds of shoppers during a pandemic, major retailers, including Target, Best Buy, Walmart and Kohl’s, have all announced they will be closed on Thanksgiving this year. In any event, the holiday season is already well underway, after kicking off unofficially with a hugely successful Amazon Prime Day (October 13-14), and is expected to last much longer than usual. Home Depot, for example, has announced a two-month Black Friday shopping season extending from November 1 through the end of the year, with holiday pricing available throughout that period. Fraudsters Capitalize on UncertaintyWith the promise of an extended holiday season and a strong push toward online shopping, credit union executives should keep a wary eye on three concerning fraud trends:1. Account Takeovers. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, eCommerce account takeover fraud (ATO) rates have jumped by 378 percent. Among victims of such fraud, 41 percent reported that payment details were stolen and used to make purchases, 37 percent had money taken directly out of their accounts and 37 percent had reward points or credits stolen and used to buy goods or services, according to Sift’s “Q3 2020 Digital Trust & Safety Index.” Credit unions are clearly worried, as evidenced by the 46 percent of surveyed participants in CO-OP Financial Services’ October 8 FraudBuzz webinar who responded they were most concerned with ATO this holiday season.2. Curbside Pickup. Another rising area of fraud targets “Buy Online, Pickup in Store,” or BOPIS. Retailers are increasingly offering curbside pickup. Criminals have identified this channel as a point of weakness, recognizing it as a new channel with loose in-person authentication protocols. 3. eGift Cards. The third area of risk expected to rise this holiday season is eGift card fraud. This is nothing new — fraudsters have long targeted gift cards due to their anonymity and difficulty in being traced, and each year scammers steal $950 million through this channel, according to Kount. Common methods include purchasing gift cards with stolen payment data or asking for return credit in form of a gift card instead of cash or exchange. Some of the bolder schemes have used account takeovers to buy gift cards in bulk or involved the hacking of merchant POS systems to steal batches of gift card numbers.How to Keep Your Members SafeOf course, consumers are not powerless while shopping in-store or online, and your credit union has an important role to play in helping your members protect themselves.Talk to your members about common-sense online security to help protect against ATO fraud, which starts with using unique, strong passwords across their various online shopping sites. Also encourage them to use multi-factor authentication when available on eCommerce sites. It requires an extra step before checking out, but offers an extra layer of protection, because a fraudster is unlikely to possess both the consumer’s passwords and their smart phone or another device.Lastly, urge your members to sign up for a password management system, which can protect all their unique codes and allow them to be used across various shopping websites securely and conveniently.It’s been an unusual year, to put it mildly. But your credit union can do its part to keep the Grinches at bay and help ensure the holiday spirit stays alive this shopping season. 55SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ashley Town Ashely Town is Director of Fraud Services for CO-OP Financial Services (, a provider of payments and financial technology to credit unions. She can be reached at ashley…. Web: Details This post is currently collecting data…center_img This is placeholder text last_img read more

How Tioga County plans to attract and keep a talented workforce

first_img(WBNG) — As the Southern Tier tries to navigate uncertain economic times during the pandemic, one county is planning for the future. Woodburn told 12 News students will largely be the key to the county’s economic success. She said developing their skills and making them marketable to local companies will help keep talented people in Tioga County. The county’s 2020-2025 Workforce Development Strategy outlines four points of attack. Economic officials hope this plan will give the county the best chance at sustained economic success. First, to create skill development and training for students; secondly, to enhance collaboration between schools and local businesses. Third, attempt to clarify the county’s actual employers, not just the ones people know about; finally, celebrating Tioga County and everything it has to offer to people looking to live and work in the area. A new five year strategy aims to maximize Tioga County’s economic potential. “Start a conversation and acknowledge a change in dialogue to explore how the education sector can work more collaboratively, share resources among our school districts for our students, and support that talent demand,” said Brittany Woodburn, the deputy director of economic development and planning for the county.last_img read more

Meet K9 Mag, Owego’s newest furry officer

first_imgOWEGO (WBNG) — The Village of Owego Police Department added a new K9 to its ranks. In a news release, police say Mag had several homes before she came to the the Southern Tier Police Canine Association in Binghamton, via its “Homeless to Hero” program. They say she completed her K9 training with ease and excelled in narcotics detection. The department believes K9 “Mag” is a 3-year-old pitbull/Belgian malinois mix. She is trained in narcotics detection and tracking.center_img The association then donated Mag to the Owego Police Department. After completing handler school, Mag and her handler, Officer Andrew Pike, will begin serving the village.last_img

Shermie Heart Pullover Sweater Is an Amazon Bestseller

first_img– Advertisement – Get the Shermie Pullover Cute Heart Sweater for just $30 at Amazon with free shipping! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 11, 2020, but are subject to change.This sweater is available in six colors, all with contrasting heart designs. Your options are beige with a black heart, white with a red heart, navy with a white heart, grey with a white heart or one of the two black versions, one with a white heart and the other with a purple heart. You’ll notice that covers only half of the options available on the Amazon page, so make sure to check out the remaining six for different heart designs that are equally cute!This sweater is ready to go everywhere with you. Wear it over stretchy leggings for Thanksgiving dinner or with the front tucked into jeans for a walk around town as you step on all of the crunchy leaves. It’s ready to be gifted to someone else too — we know we’d love to unwrap one come holiday time! See it!Get the Shermie Pullover Cute Heart Sweater for just $30 at Amazon with free shipping! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 11, 2020, but are subject to change.Not your style? Check out more from Shermie here and shop other pullover sweaters here! Don’t forget to browse through all of Amazon’s Daily Deals for more great finds!Check out more of our picks and deals here!This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as face masks, self tanners, Lululemon-style leggings and all the best gifts for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at [email protected] Happy shopping! There is sometimes a fear with designs like hearts and stars that a piece can come across as juvenile, no matter how much you like the idea of it. Some brands lean a little too far into the whole childlike wonder thing, making everything a little cartoonish. This top-rated sweater on Amazon, however, will show you how to make a heart design so, so chic!Shermie Pullover Cute Heart SweaterAmazonSee it!Get the Shermie Pullover Cute Heart Sweater for just $30 at Amazon with free shipping! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 11, 2020, but are subject to change.- Advertisement – This fan-favorite Shermie sweater checks all of the boxes when it comes to a nice pullover sweater. It’s warm and comfy, it has a relaxed but not bulky fit, it’s lightweight and it has a ribbed neckline and hem, plus ribbed cuffs at the ends of the long sleeves. It has just the right length and thickness too where you can easily tuck it into your pants or leave it out for equally cute styling!That big heart detail in the center though? That’s the real stunner. It’s adorable and sophisticated at the same time, and when you take a closer look, it only gets better. The heart has a heavier knit pattern, really making it pop — and really making our own heart skip a beat!Shermie Pullover Cute Heart SweaterAmazonSee it!- Advertisement – Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.You know how some people say they wear their heart on their sleeve? Well, what about on the front of your sweater instead? We know it’s just a saying about being honest and vulnerable with your feelings, but really — do you own any sweaters with hearts on them? Because if we’re being honest, they can be pretty dang cute!- Advertisement –last_img read more

GSF, Partners Call for Joint Action on Cargo Safety

first_imgFour industry organizations are calling for united front with regards to safety aspects of the way in which cargo is packed and transported in unit loads across the global supply chain. During a session of the Intermodal Europe Conference in Amsterdam on November 28, Global Shippers Forum (GSF), ICHCA International, TT Club and the World Shipping Council (WSC) drew attention to the responsibilities of container owners and operators in providing equipment that is fit for purpose and properly packed with cargo as set out in the CTU Code.The organizations have for some months now been working together to improve safety through a focus on cargo integrity. The specific aim has been to promote wider use of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) endorsed CTU Code for correct packing and securing of all cargo transport units (CTUs).Improved standards of declaration and handling of dangerous goods are also within the scope of the code, together with steps to prevent pest contamination, and the provision of containers and other equipment that comply with international rules and standards.The code calls for effective interaction between a shipper, who is responsible for specifying requirements for the type of equipment suitable for the cargo intended to be carried, and a container operator in providing units that satisfy such requirements, meet applicable safety and manufacturing standards, and are clean. Faulty and badly maintained units may have as serious ramifications as incorrect and deficient packing of cargo inside the units.The conference followed a meeting of the Container Owners Association (COA) earlier this week. At the meeting, Bill Brassington, representing ICHCA, stressed the importance of liaising with that group to ensure safe containers are provided. “While we wish to create greater awareness to the way in which cargo is correctly packed into units, we must also emphasise that those units are suitable. Our group and the COA are working together to advise operators of their responsibilities,” Brassington said.“Engagement with governments and industry groups representing the diverse mix of supply chain stakeholders is one of our primary goals,” Peregrine Storrs-Fox from TT Club, explained. “Through communication and understanding of the safety issues comes a wider implementation of the CTU Code and other best practices aimed at cargo and environmental safety. To this end we urge regulatory and advisory bodies as well as associations to unite with us in spreading the good word,” Storrs-Fox added.The group has been working with the IMO for some time, contributing to aspects of the CTU Code and other regulatory recommendations, but there remains an element of concern that governments may not effectively be communicating agreed IMO requirements and advisory information within their jurisdictions.“Although the IMO agreed to amend SOLAS to require a verified gross mass of packed containers as a condition for vessel loading, government enforcement of the regulation may be uneven. We want to make sure that governments as well as industry are promoting the CTU Code and its best practices to all parties in the CTU supply chain around the globe,” Lars Kjaer from the WSC pointed out.Those that pack the units are primarily responsible for cargo integrity and safety. These individuals act on behalf of a shipper or beneficial cargo owners.Chris Welsh as Secretary General of the GSF is representative of shippers within the group of four. He spoke in Amsterdam of the complexity of interaction between stakeholders in the supply chain and how this adds further to the need to engage all in promoting safety.“In many modern international supply chains there are multiple ‘hand-offs’ where cargo is passed variously from manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, warehouses, consolidators, forwarders and logistics operators to shipping lines. Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of the shipper as the party causing the transport of the CTU unit to demand and control compliance with proper packing standards, and to specify the type of equipment needed for the cargo. This is a responsibility clearly set out in the CTU Code. It cannot be negated or ignored irrespective of the complexity of the logistics chain,” he said.The challenge taken forward by this industry group is communication to all stakeholders. Through governmental and industry events, progress is being made in increasing awareness of the CTU Code and linking with other organizations which can assist in promoting its widespread adoption in order to deliver improved safety and sustainability in the international supply chain.last_img read more

IICA presents 2011-2014 plan for CARICOM countries

first_imgNewsRegional IICA presents 2011-2014 plan for CARICOM countries by: – June 21, 2011 10 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Sharecenter_img Share Photo credit: pdfc.clWASHINGTON, USA — The director general of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Víctor M. Villalobos, on Monday presented the institution’s 2011-2014 plan for the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in a meeting held at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC.Villalobos explained that said program has four principal objectives: to promote agricultural productivity; to improve the sanitary aspects of plants and animals; to support agribusinesses and agricultural tourism; and to face climate change and promote agricultural productivity for food safety.The head of IICA was accompanied by IICA’s associate deputy director and representative in the United States, David Hatch, and by the representatives of the delegations to CARICOM of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.Caribbean News Now Tweetlast_img read more