Foreign Secretary Statement On Ukraine Presidential Elections

The Foreign Secretary congratulates the next President of Ukraine on his election success

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Following presidential elections in Ukraine, the Foreign Secretary congratulated Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his success.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

I would like to send my warmest congratulations to Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his election as the next President of Ukraine and express my gratitude to President Petro Poroshenko for his service to Ukraine and his efforts to find peace and drive reform.

I also congratulate Ukraine for holding peaceful and competitive presidential elections, which underline Ukraine’s continuing commitment to democracy and the Euro-Atlantic path that its people have chosen.

The UK has a vital interest in supporting Ukraine. Not only does it stand on the front-line of Russia’s challenge to the rules-based international system, its stability is essential for Europe’s security. We look forward to working with President-elect Zelenskiy and to continuing the UK’s strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This includes our growing cooperation on defence and security, as well as our shared commitment to delivering the economic and political reforms which are vital to Ukraine’s resilience and future prosperity. The July Ukraine Reform Conference in Toronto represents an excellent opportunity to assess progress and demonstrate commitment to these crucial efforts.

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Asset Investment Company Placed In Provisional Liquidation

A company offering unauthorised asset investment opportunities has been placed into provisional liquidation by the courts

Parliament Street

Parliament Street

Asset Backed Management Limited was placed into provisional liquidation on 12 April 2019 following an application issued by the Insolvency Service on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The company has been selling asset investment opportunities to members of the public, including corporate bonds and alternative bonds, and was given 13 days notice of the hearing in the High Court in London but failed to attend.

The company promoted its business through the website www.assetbackedmanagement.com and would contact prospective customers through cold calling. Both activities were in breach of financial regulations put in place to protect the public.

Asset Backed Management Limited is not, and has never been, regulated by the FCA. Additionally, it hasn’t employed an FCA-authorised person or had its marketing materials approved by an FCA-authorised person.

The Official Receiver has been appointed the provisional liquidator and has responsibilities to protect assets in the possession or under the control of the company pending the determination of the petition.

The provisional liquidator also has the power to investigate the affairs of the company insofar as it is necessary to protect assets including any third party or trust money or assets in the possession of or under the control of the company.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT. Telephone: 0207 637 1110 or email piu.or@insolvency.gov.uk.

The case is now subject to High Court action and no further information is available until the petition to wind up the company is heard in the High Court in London on 7 May 2019.

Small And Medium Enterprises Lead Outstanding British Businesses Honoured By Her Majesty The Queen

Winners from this year’s prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise announced to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s 93rd birthday

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

  • More than 200 businesses, including 151 small and medium enterprises and 6 double award winners, will be honoured at a Buckingham Palace reception
  • previous international trade business winners have seen a 73% boost to their international sales and worldwide recognition

Her Majesty The Queen has today (23 April 2019) named 201 businesses as among the best in the country in the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise to celebrate Her Majesty’s 93rd birthday.

The winners include businesses leading the way in a huge range of industries – from construction, agriculture, motoring and software development. This year, three quarters of the total are SMEs, 30 of which have fewer than 10 employees. They will join more than 6,000 British businesses in receiving the prestigious honour and will have the privilege of displaying the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise emblem for 5 years.

The Awards, now in its 53rd year, are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses, with companies from across the UK recognised for their contribution in the 4 categories.

There are:

  • 129 International Trade winners
  • 61 Innovation winners
  • 6 Sustainable Development winners
  • 5 Promoting Opportunity winners

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

These prestigious awards help shine a light on all that is great about UK business today. I am extremely impressed to see such a wealth of talent and innovation from across the UK being recognised today by Her Majesty The Queen.

These awards recognise the innovative products and services being provided by British businesses that are in demand across the world, as well as the sheer determination and hard work that comes with starting and running a business.

Many of these winners are small businesses – the backbone of our economy – and we are backing them to grow, increase their productivity and create more jobs and opportunity across the UK through our modern Industrial Strategy.

Among the double-award wining businesses recognised for outstanding achievements in both International Trade and Innovation categories are:

  • DriveWorks Ltd, a software developer
  • Ideal Boilers Ltd, a leading boiler manufacturer
  • Niftylift Ltd, one of the largest manufacturers of ‘cherry pickers’
  • driving simulation software company rFpro
  • tool manufacturer Snap-on UK Holdings
  • innovative technology company Markes International Limited

Niftylift Ltd is the only company to get the double award twice, having won awards for International trade and Innovation in 2013.

Roger Bowden, Niftylift’s chairman and founder said:

We are honoured to be recognised for not one, but two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 2019. These awards help to illustrate how our dedication to design and innovation, together with our attention to detail and strong customer focus, have allowed us to compete so successfully in this global marketplace.

I am very proud of the strong and close-knit team we have here at Niftylift and I’d like to thank them all for their professionalism and commitment to ensuring our worldwide reputation and success over the years.

Shaun Edwards, CEO of Ideal Boilers, which won awards for International Trade and Innovation said:

It is an honour and a privilege to receive these awards, which reflect our continued commitment to innovation and international relations. This high recognition emphasises and reflects the hard work and determination of all our employees whose core values of excellence, integrity and an entrepreneurial spirit will continue to drive our business further towards greater achievements.

Tim Hawkins, managing director of Markes International Ltd, which won in International Trade and Innovation said:

It is a great honour to be recognised by Her Majesty The Queen for our excellence in Innovation and, for the second time, International Trade. We take great pride in introducing new technologies to our field of analytical chemistry, and alongside our valued trading partners, have been successful in supporting customers around the world and enhancing scientific progress.

Chris Hoyle, technical director at rFpro, which also won in International Trade and Innovation said:

We are delighted that the hard work of everybody at rFpro has been acknowledged by the Queen’s Awards judging panel and we are so proud to be one of just a few companies to achieve a double award. Our contribution to making the world’s road networks safer is reward enough, but it is fantastic to receive such prestigious recognition.

Applications for the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2020 open on 1 May 2019 and close on 10 September 2019. They are free to enter, and it is a self-nominating process. Applicants may apply for more than one award and entries are welcomed from all sectors. For more information and to apply, visit: www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise.

Plans Launched To Boost Digital Skills For Adults

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton unveils new qualifications based on rigorous national standards to give adults the digital skills they need

Apprenticeships and Skills

Apprenticeships and Skills

Free courses will be offered to thousands of people to help the 1 in 5 adults with no or low basic digital skills learn how to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

The new qualifications, unveiled today by Apprenticeship and Skills Minister Anne Milton, will be based on new, rigorous national standards and will be available for free to anyone over the age of 19 from 2020.

They have been designed to help adults learn the essential skills, such as sending emails, completing online forms or using a tablet, that many people take for granted.

Research shows that digital skills have become as important in getting a job and being part of society as English and Maths. An estimated 90% of all jobs in the next 20 years will require some form of digital knowledge, but one in five adults still lack these skills.

The new offer will comprise of:

  • range of new essential digital skills qualifications, available from 2020, that will meet new conditions and requirements set by independent exams regulator Ofqual, also published today.
  • digital Functional Skills qualifications, available from 2021, that will support progression into employment or further education and develop skills for everyday life.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

I want people of all ages to have the skills and confidence they need for work and everyday life.

Being online is more important than ever and yet one in five adults in the UK don’t have the basic digital skills that many of us take for granted. This is cutting many people off from so many opportunities – from accessing new jobs, further study and being able to stay in touch with friends and family.

I am thrilled to launch the new ‘essential digital skills’ qualifications which will give adults the chance to develop a whole host of new skills to help get ahead in work, but also to improve their quality of life overall.

Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, Margot James, said:

The new entitlement will give everyone the opportunity to participate in an increasingly digital world and take advantage of digital technology, whether it is using a smartphone, learning how to send emails or shopping online.

Implementation of the new entitlement will be complemented by the work of our Digital Skills Partnership to boost digital skills at all levels – from the essential digital skills that support inclusion, to the digital skills we increasingly need for work, right through to the advanced digital skills required for specialist roles.

The new national entitlement from 2020 will fully fund adults with no or low digital skills to undertake the new qualifications. They will be supported to use digital devices like tablets, smart phones and laptop computers and to perform everyday activities like how to navigate the internet, send an email and make online payments.

The announcement follows a 12-week consultation and extensive work with a wide range of providers, employers, subject experts, Ofqual, awarding organisations and digital inclusion charities.

The announcement builds on steps already taken to drive up the government’s digital offer including making computing a statutory national curriculum subject and introducing a new Computer Science GCSE and A Level.

Houthi Detention Of Baha’i Leader Hamed Bin Haydara

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

We are deeply concerned about credible reports that the Houthis continue to severely mistreat, arbitrarily detain, and torture Baha’is in Yemen. Imprisoned since 2013, prominent Baha’i leader Hamed bin Haydara was sentenced to death on unconfirmed charges of alleged espionage and apostasy in January 2018. The Houthis have refused to provide the evidence against him or release him, and most recently refused to rule on an appeal in his case. While detained, Hamed bin Haydara has reportedly endured physical and psychological torture. The Houthis have targeted dozens of Baha’is with charges similar to those imposed on Hamed bin Haydara and other unfounded charges related to religious affiliation. This persistent pattern of vilification, oppression, and mistreatment by the Houthis of Baha’is in Yemen must end.

Baha’is face daily discrimination and persecution as they seek to practice their faith in Yemen and elsewhere around the world. Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right and a source of stability for all countries. Every person around the world should be free to practice their religion without fear of intimidation or reprisals.

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