The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Training provider JB Management targets new business opportunities in China

Ayr-based training provider JB Management has returned from its initial trip to China, in the course of which operations manager Kellie Zdanowicz and business development consultant Meiqin McColm met with new and existing partners in a quest to develop business in China.


This initial visit also encompassed visits to Shanghai and Dongying where various partnership and commercial opportunities were explored. Kellie and Meiqin are pictured above with representatives of the Self Examination Board in China. Kellie and Meiqin explained this meeting was very beneficial to JB Management as it provided an insight to vocational learning, accreditation and certification in China.

Another fascinating meeting attended by JB Management was to a vocational college in Dongying (pictured above). Dongying is a relatively new city in China which is heavily invested in oil and gas. Kellie and Meiqin both explained that this was another useful exercise in understanding how to promote work-based qualifications in China.

JB Management has now rebranded its international division as QQI (Quality Qualifications International). Please visit the new website for further information.

JB Management has been supported by Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Scottish Development International (SDI) in developing the international arm of the business. Mark Newlands from SDI is pictured below with JB Management business development manager Chris Merry.

Mark explained SDI is pleased to support QQI’s business interests in China and will continue to support QQI in all industrial areas of interest. Mark further explained SDI firmly support the transfer of Scottish innovation, knowledge and skills into Chinese industry and will continue this key theme throughout the upcoming visit of QQI to China.

JB Management managing director Bill Ure explained that the initial trip uncovered various opportunities that the company are keen to investigate further. This is clear from the latest news that JB Management will be returning to Beijing on 4 December 2011 to attend an event being held in honour of and attended by Scotland’s First Minister. JB Management’s Business Development Manager Chris Merry will be attending with Meiqin to further introduce courses to the further and higher education markets in China. The team is also pleased to announce that they have recently signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” agreement with Chief Secretary Mr Xie Chuan Li from the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC).

Chris will also be including visits to Oman and Dubai on his return from China to further develop new and existing partnerships in the Middle East. Bill and the rest of the team would like to wish Chris and Meiqin the very best of luck for their forthcoming travels.

Further information on JB Management’s international business development will follow shortly.

JB Management's services in Scotland

JB Management is also working with Skills Development Scotland to assist Scotland’s youth through the Modern Apprenticeship programme. JB Management currently has fully funded spaces for Business Administration, Logistics, Warehousing and Storage and Occupational Health and Safety SVQs for employees under the age of 20. Vocational Qualifications are work-based qualifications, thus little ‘down time’ is required. Regular visits from an occupationally competent assessor will guide the learner through the qualification.

JB Management offer a free recruitment service when considering a Modern Apprentice.

Managing director Bill Ure explained he offers this service at no cost because “It is fair to say that JB Management is experiencing growth in international markets, but I still believe in the Modern Apprenticeship programme in Scotland. The programme reminds us we all have an economic and social responsibility to assist the youth of today in securing employment and developing their potential. They are Scotland’s future after all.”

For further information on the Modern Apprenticeship programme please call operations manager Kellie Zdanowicz on 01292886664 or visit the company website

Training provider JB Management is a member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce appoints Val Russell as new chief executive

After 12 years of working at Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, Val Russell takes over the helm as chief executive this month.

Val (pictured above with Ayrshire Chamber president Willie Mackie) started working at Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce in 1999, when Pamela Anderson was the chief executive and there was a staff of 3. She has been instrumental in the Chamber achieving British Chambers of Commerce accreditation and has grown the staff to 14, who look after members, services, export documentation, events, education links, and business mentoring.

Val said: “It has been a long apprenticeship, but I feel that my years of working with a number of different chief executives and presidents will stand me in good stead in building on what we have achieved to date. I see the Chamber as a positive focus for Ayrshire business and want to develop a pro-active attitude to growing the local economy.”

Martin Cheyne, who retires from the chief executive’s post after 3 years commented: “As Val takes over as chief executive members can be confident that the Chamber is in excellent hands. I have valued Val’s opinion and views and I know there is no better person to lead the Chamber.”

President of Ayrshire Chamber, Willie Mackie concluded: “I would like to pay tribute to outgoing chief executive Martin Cheyne who has contributed strongly to the work of the Chamber, and on behalf of the Board I would like to thank him for his commitment and support. The Ayrshire Chamber has a strong reputation for excellence and I look forward to working with Val Russell our new chief executive and my colleagues on the Board to enhance this reputation and to support our members to the maximum of our capabilities.”