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WE speak about remaining hopeful and planning ahead. However, amid a renewed rise in Covid infections and the need for the Scottish and UK governments to act to try to suppress this, it is difficult for businesses to look forward with much confidence or certainty.

Lockdowns and further restrictions are set to dent the fragile hopes of the past couple of months while the Chancellor’s refusal to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has by and large supported the majority of incomes of furloughed workers, is causing real concern across the board.

Unsurprisingly, hospitality businesses are worried, while the events sector, which contributes so much to the Scottish economy, is on its knees. In spite of this, there remains some optimism across the business spectrum. 

In this edition of Business HQ, we shine a spotlight on education and training and the organisations that are working hard to preserve labour and nurture talent through training and apprenticeships.

The journey ahead won’t be easy but we must still plan for the future.

Ian McConnell
Business Editor, The Herald

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6 Ian McConnell

The Herald’s Business Editor urges businesses not to put plans on hold, despite renewed lockdown restrictions

8 Scotland’s recovery 

Education will form the mainstay of our economic recovery post-pandemic

28 Technology is king

A review by former Skyscanner COO Mark Logan says technology and computer science must be at the heart of education   

33 The Future of Education 

A new Herald campaign exploring the way forward for education in Scotland set to spark much debate

42  Be bold in business 

Sir Tom Hunter is on a mission to support jobs and promote business growth 

44 Thirst for growth 

Ahead of next month’s Startup Summit, BrewDog entrepreneur James Watt talks about tapping into new markets abroad 

48 Working out 

Homeworking has opened up a new opportunity for employees and employers 

64 Love affair with reading

Cumbernauld-based Emma Frew has built her online bookselling business on 

the back of romance

80 Streaming for success

Scottish comedian Limmy is turning his back on TV to concentrate on the streaming platform Twitch

88 Countdown to COP26

Paul Winstanley of CENSIS, believes Scotland can be a global showcase for innovative, sustainable transport solutions

98 Network opportunities

Anthony Harrington looks at how 5G is opening up connectivity for firms at a crucial time

102 No limits 

Emily Bevan-Pritchard is making a success from upcycling old furniture 

106 Switch The Big Light On

Seasoned broadcasters Janice Forsyth and  Fiona White chose lockdown to launch Scotland’s first podcast network 

104 Taking control 

Communities across Scotland are showing how local ownership can empower people and be a force for good 

111 STEM

Our 12-page special focus on science, technology, engineering and maths