Alec’s Utopian vision is a winner

first_img14 Apr 2016 Alec’s Utopian vision is a winner Golf club owner Alec Fernihough doubled his membership with a Utopian scheme – and his vision has won a top England Golf award. Alec, of Gaudet Luce Golf Club in Worcestershire, was presented with the Membership Award at a gala dinner last night at the England Golf annual conference, which celebrated the golfers and golf clubs who make the game great and inspire others to play. The award recognises Alec’s innovation in introducing Utopian Golf, a flexible membership package which is based on a points system, but has no annual fee.  “I am delighted to receive this award,” said Alec. “The way that people live their lives has changed hugely over the past few years and I believe that golf club memberships need to reflect this. “We wanted to make sure that our flexible membership was as flexible as possible for our customers. We believe that Utopian membership provides this.” The scheme offers full membership benefits and has had widespread appeal, attracting newcomers to the game as well as time-challenged 20-40-year-olds, juniors and older players who want to continue their membership but are reluctant to pay full seven or five-day fees. In the two years since it was introduced the club membership has doubled from around 400 to just over 800. Utopian members include new father Mike Hyde who said: “I joined early last year just after the birth of my first child and it was the perfect solution. I play mostly off-peak and it’s great to have membership options that allow people in my situation to carry on playing the game they love.” Mark Laing, the England Golf County Development Officer for Hereford and Worcestershire, commented: “It’s crucial that we have clubs like Gaudet Luce, creating lots of new members, year on year. Utopian membership has played a major part in their success.” Alec’s initiative supports the England Golf’s strategic plan, ‘Raising Our Game’ which calls on all who care about the sport to work together to create a brighter future for the game, including more members, more players and stronger clubs. Alec Fernihough (left) receives his award from Morten Backhausen, Danish Golf Union Chief Executive (Image © Leaderboard Photography).last_img read more

See More

Zaidi to clash with Bochy? Dodgers manager says that’s ‘unfair’

first_imgLAS VEGAS–No manager in the big leagues boasts a résumé that compares with Bruce Bochy.The three-time World Series champion is entering his 25th season at the helm of a major league club and his 13th in San Francisco.Though the Giants elected to part ways with former general manager Bobby Evans at the end of a disappointing 2018 season, team CEO Larry Baer provided Bochy with the assurance that he would return for the final year of his contract regardless of who the Giants hired to replace …last_img

See More

South Africa in Davos: Zuma’s nine-point economic plan

first_imgAs the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos begins this week, South Africa will present a positive message of robust growth for the country, including details of the nine-point plan for economic recovery first disclosed in the 2015 State of the Nation address.A nine-point plan for economic recovery in South Africa forms part of the key message to the rest of the world at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, taking place between 20 and 23 January 2016. (Image: Brand South Africa)In February 2015, in his State of the Nation address for the year, President Jacob Zuma unveiled a nine-point plan for economic recovery and growth in South Africa. During the course of the year, progress reports from the various government departments detailing the development of the plan were presented.Now, these reports will form part of South Africa’s key message to the rest of the world at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. The annual international gathering is taking place between 20 and 23 January this year. The overriding message that South Africa wants to convey to thousands of business, finance and government leaders from around the world is that the country is open for business for manufacturing, investment and trade.The theme in Davos this year is “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, in an atmosphere of an increasingly challenging global economy.South Africa is determined to show the world that the country is serious about meeting those challenges, while sustaining a strong economic relationship with the rest of the world.As a country, it wants to achieve the critical targets set by its National Development Plan (NDP), namely: attaining a real gross domestic product growth of 5%, a crucial reduction of the unemployment rate from 25% to 6%, and the reduction of income inequality. These are all to be achieved by the year 2030.Resolving the energy challengeMuch has been happening in the energy sector. In December 2015, the Department of Energy published a determination on the nuclear programme, whereby 9 600 megawatts (MW) should be generated from nuclear energy.The Medupi Power Station Unit 6 went online in August 2015, producing an additional 794MW to the total installed grid capacity of 45 000MW.The R2-billion Coega Wind Farm project was officially opened in September 2015.Eskom has signed short-term power purchase agreements to secure additional electricity during peak periods, while a further 800MW will be added to the grid through co-generation.Energy-efficiency programmes have resulted in savings of 450MW.Various renewable energy projects under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) currently supply 1 800MW to the grid.In October 2015, the minister of energy announced the 10 preferred bidders in the small projects REIPPPP.The department’s State of Renewable Energy in South Africa report revealed that the renewables sector had attracted R192.6-billion in investment, had contributed more than 109 000 construction jobs and had cut the equivalent of 4.4 million tons of carbon dioxide.Revitalising agriculture and the agro-processing value chainSimilarly, work has been ongoing in agriculture, with 43 agri-park sites identified by August and one agri-park already launched in North West. The programme aims to create 300 000 new small-scale producers and 145 000 new agro-processing jobs by 2020.The number of jobs in agriculture increased by 183 000 between 2014 and 2015, reaching a total of 891 000.Through the Agricultural Policy Action Plan, 24 162 hectares and the commodities on these were acquired, which were allocated to smallholder farmers.Fruit production for the year to date increased by R685-million, adding 1 868 jobs.Aquaculture growth over the last five years resulted in production increasing fivefold, to 20 000 tons. Growth between 2013 and 2014 was 25%, exceeding the average global growth rate of 7%, and contributing almost R3-billion to the national economy.Advancing beneficiation or adding value to our mineral wealthRegarding mining, draft amendments to South Africa’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act which would give provisions to stimulate local beneficiation, are currently with Parliament for consideration.The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is developing a Mineral Beneficiation Action Plan, which will be incorporated into the general national Industrial Action Policy Plan (Ipap).In addition, the country’s rich platinum deposits are being used in the development of hydrogen fuel cells.More effective implementation of a higher impact IpapThe seventh iteration of Ipap, which is aimed at raising the impact of government interventions to support industrial development and re-industrialise the country, was launched in May 2015.The DTI has designated 16 sectors, subsectors and products for local procurement, including transformers, power-line hardware and structures, steel conveyance pipes, mining and construction vehicles, and building and construction. In 645 infrastructure projects across the country valued at R3.6-trillion, the state procures these products from local manufacturers.The Black Industrialist Programme, designed to transform the manufacturing sector and unlock the potential of black entrepreneurs, secured initial funding of R1- billion from the DTI for the 2015 financial year. A further R23-billion from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) will be made available for the programme over the next three financial years.The IDC established a new industries unit earlier in 2015, focused on supporting and funding the entire value chain of emerging innovative sectors.Rail and ship manufacturing is been revitalised with ships for the South African Navy and locomotives for long-haul rail transport being manufactured in South Africa.Encouraging private sector investmentA DTI investment clearing house was set up in August 2015 to support local and international investment. In addition to identifying process bottlenecks, removing administrative barriers and reducing regulatory inefficiencies, the function of the clearing house is also to set up norms and standards and improve turnaround times, as well as to co-ordinate and fast-track investment enquiries.In the past financial year, the DTI helped to facilitate an investment pipeline of more than R43-billion.As of August 2015, South Africa was handling 116 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects. South Africa registered an FDI inflow of R43.3-billion from January to July 2015, creating 5 037 jobs.Six industrial development zones around the country attracted R10-billion in investment during 2015.Regulations for special economic zones (SEZs) are being finalised. With an SEZ board and supporting secretariat being established and approved, the DTI is close to completing the feasibility studies for eight new SEZs.The Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill that clarifies investor protection and ensures more open foreign investment was tabled in Parliament in 2015.A feasibility study for an initiative aimed at supporting increased investment to meet the needs of the National Development Plan is currently in process.Moderating workplace conflictUnder the leadership of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a continuous and special dialogue between business and labour is under way to improve labour relations. Specialist research and exploration teams are currently working on the nature of labour disputes and on finding solutions to the issue of wage inequality.A consensus on a working definition of a national minimum wage has been reached at the National Economic Development and Labour Council.Unlocking the potential of SMMEs, co-operatives, and township and rural enterprisesThe Department of Small Business Development continues to pilot its informal sector support policy, including the provision of business training, grants and co- funding. The department’s partnership with municipalities is continuing to revamp factory and business premises infrastructure.The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation has set up a unit to investigate late or non-payment of suppliers. And Minister Jeff Radebe, the minister in The Presidency responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation, presented a comparative analysis of national departments between 2013 and 2014 that showed – despite delays in payment remaining a major problem – that there had been improvement in the average number of invoices paid within 30 days.Provincial departments for the same period also revealed an improvement of 5% in the average number of invoices paid within 30 days.State reform and boosting the role of state-owned companies; ICT infrastructure or broadband roll-out; water, sanitation; and transport infrastructureICTIn addition, work has been ongoing in getting the country connected. The government rolled out 41 351 kilometres of fibre optic cables for broadband coverage during January to August 2015.Telkom has a whole sale division, Openserve, that is aimed at facilitating the entry of new internet service providers, particularly black-owned companies.In line with stipulations by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s universal service obligations, 623 schools around the country have been connected to the internet.The Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa connectivity project is currently under way in the Vhembe and Gert Sibande districts.WaterIn October 2015, the Department of Water and Sanitation, together with Umgeni Water and the Ugu District Municipality, announced the completion of the Mhlabatshane Dam in Umzumbe in KwaZulu-Natal. It will provide about 100 000 people with potable water.Water was supplied to 19 119 households in the 27 priority district municipalities.In addition, 11 waste water treatment works have been refurbished.More than 75 projects involving the maintenance and upgrading of existing water infrastructure are under construction.The government is intervening to stop water leaks, which cost the country R7- billion a year. The Department of Water and Sanitation is training 15 000 artisans and plumbers to fix water leaks in their communities; the first 3 000 people were recruited during 2015/2016.Operation Phakisa, aimed at growing the ocean economy and other sectorsSmall harbour upgrades are being undertaken in Saldanha Bay, Struisbaai, Gansbaai, Gordon’s Bay and Lamberts Bay, in Western Cape.In addition, nine catalyst projects are in progress, and 10 fish farms have been supported. The industry has invested R305-million and the government R105-million and 521 new jobs have been created.Operation Phakisa has also resulted in decisions to expand the domestic shipbuilding sector and the development of Saldanha Bay as an oil and gas hub.A Mining Phakisa, aimed at replicating the ongoing success of the ocean economy plan in the mineral sector, was launched towards the end of 2015.Source: South African Government News AgencyWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

See More

Will IoT-driven brand experiences keep the taps flowing?

first_imgInstead of simply quaffing booze, beverage companies want partiers to experience brands, and are using the Internet of Things (IoT) to introduce drinking 2.0.Marketing Week reports that drinks maker Pernod Ricard is increasingly using IoT in its marketing efforts for its products.And while talking to your drink at the bar was previously a warning sign, Pernod Ricard wants to use IoT to let drinkers have an “ongoing conversation” with their tipple of choice.It is doing this by augmenting 40,000 Malibu brand bottles into “digital touchpoints.” The bottles give consumers exclusive content by tapping their smartphone against the bottle. Hopefully gently.“Someone scanning the bottle is not the end of the journey. It brings the product, experience and consumer all together,” said Pernod Ricard UK’s Denis O’Flynn. “We do see [the technology use] becoming broader, where we can incorporate messaging about the product, health guidelines, how to mix and serve it – all that information will be required in future, and will be done through some sort of smart technology.”Digital tech a booming part of media spendingThe company is increasing its media spending in this area, boosting total digital expenditure in 2016 from 31% to 40%.“When it comes to the IoT and [our bottles], clearly we are working on it a lot,” said Pernod Ricard’s managing director of finance and operations Gilles Bogaert. “More and more it will be focused on consumer engagement.”And as beverage-makers get hip to the latest connected technology, they see IoT as a useful technology in boosting consumers brand experience. These being experiences other than getting inebriated.“Potentially it could even help not only to be something passive where consumers can read the scanning but to create an experience for the brand,” said Bogaert.“That’s something we’re looking to do more of in the future. To be able to create more experiences around the brands, including when people are at home organizing parties for instance.”This comes as entertainment and lifestyle companies are increasing turning to connected technology to enhance customer experiences in stadiums and elsewhere. Tags:#branding#Internet of Things#IoT#Malibu#Pernod Ricard Related Posts Follow the Puck Donal Powercenter_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua…last_img read more

See More

Understanding Zoom Lenses and How to Use Them Properly

first_imgBefore you go overboard with the zoom on your next shoot, learn how the lens works — and how to use it properly.Cover image via Shutterstock.Whether you’ve been guilty of this yourself or have seen others struggle, zoom-happy filmmaking can ruin a shoot and annoy audiences. That’s not to say zooming in and out is a bad thing; in fact, it’s actually a marvel of lens technology that we can zoom at all. And when you use it  intelligently, it can be quite effective.However, it is still easy to take the zoom for granted — especially now that filmmakers have handy stock lenses for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras that offer great flexibility and range to zoom easily and often. Let’s explore how zoom lenses work and some best practices to help you use them effectively, intelligently, and properly.How Zoom Lenses Work Image via Wikimedia.According to a good Wikipedia definition, “a zoom lens is a mechanical assembly of lens elements for which the focal length (and thus angle of view) can be varied, as opposed to a fixed focal length (FFL) lens (see prime lens).”That sounds pretty straightforward, but let’s dive into how the mechanisms work to change the focal length and your angle of view.As you can see in the gif above, a simplified zoom lens works by combining two parts: a focusing lens similar to your standard prime or fixed lenses and an afocal zoom system, which is the sliding element that does not focus on light. Rather,  it focuses on altering (thus magnifying) the size of the light. What’s important is that, while the zoom comes from this sliding lens, it is necessary to compensate for any movement of the focal plane to keep the focused image sharp — which means either you have to physically move the camera or move the focal plane to compensate.Because of this compensation, and in spite of how much flexibility a zoom offers, there are several factors you need to be aware of: noise, pincushioning, slower shutter response time, and a greater need for stability. Here’s a great video by Canon that provides more in-depth information — not just about zoom lenses but also how lenses work in general.How to Zoom Properly and SmoothlyImage via Peta Pixel.For filmmaking, it’s important to not only understand how your zoom works but also what zooming is meant to do for your audience. Zooms can be quite abrasive at times, which can be a stylistic decision, but it’s often an unwanted consequence.On many professional production shoots, zooming is intentional, and it relies on a focus puller to compensate — or with exact measurements in mind. On small DIY productions, you can purchase (or make) different devices to help smooth a zoom. Here are a few resources and tricks.The Death and Rebirth of the ZoomHow to get smooth camera movements using a rubber bandPrimes vs. Zooms: Situational EF Lens PrepVideography 101: Excellent Zooming TipsI’d be remiss not to mention that you can add many zoom effects in post-production as well. Here are some resources to consider for creating digital and stylized zoom effects.Smooth Zoom Video Effect Tutorial | Adobe Premiere ProHow to Create a 3D Parallax Zoom in Premiere ProGet to Know The Dynamic Zoom Tool In Resolve 14Create a Map Zoom Effect in FCPXKnow When to Zoom (and When Not To)Image via Shutterstock.Once you feel you’ve mastered the art of zooming, it’s time for you to decide when you actually want to use a proper zoom. Like Stanley Kubrick so aptly demonstrates in his classic Barry Lyndon, zooms can create quite a cinematic effect when used slowly and artistically. It is important, however, to note that the heyday of zoom technology in filmmaking was in the ’60s and ’70s. As such, in the case of self-aware filmmakers like Quinten Tarantino, a heavy-handed crash zoom in itself can be a retro-filmmaking technique.On the other hand, zooms have grown less popular in pure cinema settings. Instead, they have found a home in reality television, where they portray real life and home-video quality. You don’t have to look long or hard to find many essays on why you shouldn’t use zooms (or even many arguing more for dolly shots over zooms).At the end of the day, a zoom is a practical and stylistic option for your production, but it’s not a perfect tool for every situation. Pick your spots, focus on your intentions, and use your tools and resources wisely for optimal results.Looking for more information on zooms? Check out these resources.How to Create a Dolly Zoom With Just a Prime LensPrimes vs. Zooms — Situational EF Lens PrepThe Death and Rebirth of the ZoomVideo Editing: Snap Zooms Should Never Be a Snap Decisionlast_img read more

See More

Labour Market Information System Upgraded

first_img The LMIS, which is a one-stop data and information website, is designed to satisfy the needs of job seekers and employers. LMIS has been upgraded to make it more user-friendly to both employers and job seekers. Story Highlights The upgrade is aimed at providing more information on employment opportunities to jobseekers, and enabling employers to choose from a variety of qualified personnel. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) has upgraded its Labour Market Information System (LMIS), making it more user-friendly to both employers and job seekers.The LMIS, which is a one-stop data and information source, is designed to satisfy the needs of job seekers and employers, through its newly improved website, www.lmis.gov.jm, or the Ministry’s website, www.mlss.gov.jm.Since its inception in 2001, the system, which is maintained by the MLSS, has been providing cost effective ways for employers to source and recruit suitable employees, as well  as for job seekers to post resumes for possible employment.Acting Director of Research and Analysis at the Ministry, Simone McKenzie, informed JIS News that the upgrading of the manpower management tool, as it is also called, is aimed at providing more information on employment opportunities to jobseekers, and enabling employers to choose from a variety of qualified personnel.“The upgraded system provides sufficient information on various types of employment, and guidance to prospective employers regarding best practice techniques, when seeking jobs. It also provides information on areas where there is a skills shortage. With the upgrading of the system, we want to ensure that persons experiencing difficulties acquiring jobs are directed to other partners, so that they can improve their literacy and numeracy skills, for likely employment,” she said.Ms. McKenzie informed JIS News that the system has three components – the Electronic Labour Exchange (ELE), Skills Bank, and the Labour Market Intelligence.The ELE, which is the core component of the LMIS, facilitates the matching of job seekers with employers, and provides both online and offline services to both parties.The online services include: tips on resume writing, preparing for interview, job search and career counselling. The offline services include: assisting employers to post jobs, interview and shortlist candidates. The second component is the Skills Bank, which is a database of certified Jamaicans, with varying skills.“Qualified persons with the required competencies are encouraged to register on-line, so in the event a job vacancy that matches their skill arises, they can be contacted,” she says.The Labour Market Intelligence is the third component. This is a combination of current and historical data on the local economy, population and labour market and also includes information on training opportunities for the youth, sources of funding for education, the most frequently advertised jobs, and summaries of labour market research conducted by MLSS.Ms. McKenzie says that there are a lot of skill areas in demand, as well as persons seeking jobs, hence the need for the upgrading of the LMIS.“From our latest studies, some of the jobs that are in demand are mainly in the health tourism sector, restaurant, and education; for example, chefs, water divers, solar technicians, science, mathematics, and foreign language educators,” Ms. McKenzie discloses.She points out that with this information, for the next financial year, 2014/15, the Ministry hopes to see an increase in the level of employment, since job seekers are more aware of the skills that are in demand and the opportunities available for training. She is also encouraging both job seekers and employers to utilize the LMIS, as the services are free of cost.Ms. McKenzie advises that for job seekers who are not technologically inclined, or do not have internet access, they can visit the Ministry at its North Street offices in Kingston, and assistance will also be provided, free of charge.“One reason why we are not charging persons to use the system is because the information that we provide, we want it to be extended locally, regionally and internationally, because it is web based,” she notes.Ms. McKenzie further informs that persons with special needs have also been taken into consideration, because often times they are not hired because of their disability, despite being skilled in various areas.“We at the Ministry believe in effective social inclusion. Whether a person is disabled, or able-bodied, they must be given equal opportunities to reach their fullest potential,” she says.In addition to the websites, persons can also visit the LMIS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/page/Jamaica Labour Market Information System, for more information.last_img read more

See More

Deputy Speaker of House Labour Case Awaits Verdict

first_img JENGTEN AWARDED $13,000 IN LABOUR DISPUTE Employment Ministry launches consultation for new Employment laws Related Items:belonger, josephine connelly, labour tribunal, nicola jentgen Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 02 Oct 2014 – The Labour Tribunal will likely set an important precedent when it reveals its ruling in the case of Tropical Auto and Nicola Jentgen; a high profile labour matter as it involves the country’s Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Josephine Connolly. Jentgen, who is from Jamaica told Manetic Media she did not file the complaint to get her job back… she wants to paid compensation of seven month’s salary and accrued vacation after a sudden termination in January which she believes was motivated by something other than denial of a worker’s permit. In a final submission, attorney for Tropical Auto, Joe Connolly explained that what Jentgen was asking of his company would have been in contravention to the law, and actually exposes that the Immigration Ordinance and the Labour Ordinance clash. While Miss Jentgen, who represented herself, is under the strong impression that her labour clearance also meant she had legal status in the country, when I checked in at the Labour Department it was explained that a labour clearance does not do that… in fact, I was shown documentation that employers are in writing informed: “You are advised that the issue of a Labour Clearance does not in any way constitute approval to commence employment.” Mr Connolly said Tropical Auto was instructed to find a Belonger to fill the post and with the denial of Jentgen’s work permit, that is what they did. Nicola had been working at Tropical Auto eight years. Presentations on the matter concluded yesterday at the Tribunal. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Art Forbes continues as Labour court judge Recommended for youlast_img read more

See More