Tag Archives: UK

UK Company Paying A Global Workforce With Bitcoin

Victvs Ltd

Victvs Ltd

In response to increased worldwide awareness of the rising value and potential applications of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, one Leeds based company is leading the way in offering Bitcoin payments to members of their global workforce.

Victvs Ltd based in Leeds, is a global company providing business support services in over 100 countries.  With a global network of over 1000 people, managing international payments to so many countries can be very difficult.   Victvs see Bitcoin as a welcome additional option through which to pay their global network and from 1st

December 2017, began offering its members the option of receiving payment in the cryptocurrency.

Victvs CEO and founder Ben Clayson, believes that Bitcoin and Blockchain technologies hold exciting potential for his global workforce, “As the connected global workplace evolves, new tools and technologies like Bitcoin are being created to provide people with greater individual control over resources including finance.  We believe that cryptocurrency payments will have real benefits for the members of our global network and we expect to see developments in Blockchain technology having a profound effect on our industry in the near future.”

From the point of view of international beneficiaries, receiving payments in Bitcoin comes with far lower processing fees and much quicker receipt of payment than traditional banking methods.  Whilst the legislation surrounding cryptocurrencies is still unclear in many countries, Bitcoin and others including Ethereum and Monero are gaining in popularity all over the world.

Contrary to popular belief, payments made in Bitcoin are not anonymous and the funds can be exchanged for material goods, with everything from sushi to properties now being offered with a Bitcoin price.  Despite not being expected to replace traditional currencies, there is no escaping the phenomenal growth of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain.

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Notes to the Editor

  • Victvs Ltd was founded in Sep 2013 by Benjamin Clayson and Andrew Gregory
  • Provides global business support services – helping clients do better international business
  • Services provided by Victvs include: micro logistics, inspections and audits, professional examination management and international crisis support
  • Victvs Ltd is based in Castleton Mills, Leeds.  We employ 29 people in the UK and we work with over 1000 people in over 100 countries

Contact: For press enquiries, please contact Dawn Lightwood (Marketing & PR) on 0113 887 0185 or email dawn.lightwood@victvsglobal.com

Preferred Candidate Chosen For The Role Of Executive Chair Of The Medical Research Council

Professor Fiona Watt FRS has been selected as the Government’s preferred candidate to be the Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council (MRC) when it becomes a constituent part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in April 2018

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Professor Watt is currently Director of the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at King’s College London. Here she leads a team of 80 academic researchers and is internationally recognised in her field with particular expertise in the stem cells of healthy and diseased skin.

The current MRC Chief Executive, Sir John Savill FRS, steps down at the end of March 2018 before UKRI is launched.

Professor Watt said:

I am deeply honoured to be selected as the Government’s preferred candidate to lead the MRC at this time of extraordinary opportunity for the UK’s biomedical researchers.

Sir Mark Walport, UKRI CEO Designate, said:

Professor Fiona Watt is a distinguished biomedical scientist who will be an outstanding leader of the Medical Research Council. I am delighted she has been selected as the Government’s preferred candidate for the role of MRC Executive Chair.

The post of MRC Executive Chair is potentially subject to a pre-appointment hearing by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. The Committee will consider this in due course. If a pre-appointment hearing is requested then arrangements will be made for this in the New Year.

Ministers Take Action To Bolster PIP Services

The government has accepted the recommendations of Paul Gray's second independent review of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Department for Works & Pensions

Department for Works & Pensions

As part of its ongoing commitment to strengthen its services for disabled people, the government has accepted the recommendations of the second independent review of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The review, commissioned by the government and led by Paul Gray, was published in March 2017. Action will be taken on the recommendations including simplifying communications for people claiming PIP, and exploring how to ensure evidence is collected and reviewed as effectively as possible to support people’s claims.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, said:

We’re determined to make the PIP application process as simple as possible both for the independent assessors and the people applying for it. That’s why we commissioned the second review on top of the strong steps we’ve already taken, so we can fully understand what works best, and what we need to improve on.

Working closely with disabled people and their representatives, we’ll continue to explore how to help meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

PIP was introduced to replace the outdated Disability Living Allowance (DLA) system. At the core of PIP’s design is the principle that awards should be made according to someone’s overall level of need – taking into account both physical and non-physical conditions. Under PIP 29% of claimants are now receiving the highest rate of support, compared to 15% under DLA.

The first independent review was published in December 2014. Since then, significant improvements have been made to the PIP assessment process including:

  • restructuring decision letters to make them easier to understand
  • working with the Money Advice Service (MAS) to ensure PIP claimants can get bespoke budgeting advice if they need it
  • introducing SMS messaging to keep a claimant informed throughout the journey of their claim
  • introducing the Video Relay Service for claimants who use British Sign Language (BSL) so they are able to communicate with the department more easily
  • introducing the Next Generation Text (NGT) for deaf or hard of hearing claimants unable to use BSL or those unable to speak
  • amending the PIP (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2013 by removing the requirement for DLA claimants to wait a minimum of 28 days when they transfer to PIP if they became terminally ill

Assessment providers have also introduced Mental Health Champions, who are experienced professionals with direct and relevant work experience of helping people with mental health problems.

About PIP and the independent review

PIP is designed to help with the extra costs associated with a disability or health condition. It is not means tested and not linked to someone’s ability to work.

Read the government’s response to the second independent review.

Read Paul Gray’s second independent review.

200 Suppliers Now Signing Up To Contracts Finder Every Week

Contracts Finder - which makes it easier for small businesses to find opportunities to supply to government - is celebrating a breakthrough year of growth

Contract Signing

Contract Signing

The Contracts Finder platform now has more than 22,000 registered suppliers, with almost two-thirds of them small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – a 53% increase since the beginning of this year. Around 200 suppliers sign up to use the platform every week.

The site now regularly features more contract notices than TED, the EU procurement portal.

Contracts Finder is managed by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), as part of the Cabinet Office, with the aim of increasing procurement transparency and providing more opportunities for SMEs to supply goods and services to the public sector.

Automatic email alerts are distributed to interested suppliers, with suppliers able to tailor their searches to deliver news about opportunities in their own specialism.

Caroline Nokes, Minister for government Resilience and Efficiency, says:

Contracts Finder is a great way for small and medium sized businesses to search for opportunities in central government and the wider public sector. Smaller businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and I am keen that they are able to access as many opportunities as possible, helping the Government to achieve our aspiration of spending £1 in every £3 with SMEs by 2022.

Ian Fishwick, Chief Executive of Adept Telecom, Commercial Director for Innopsis, and member of the Cabinet Office SME Panel, says:

Almost all public sector buyers are now registered to use the service including councils, emergency services, central government, universities and the NHS. We are closer than ever to having a single website where you can find the bulk of public sector tenders.

Emma Jones, Small Business Crown Representative, says:

Contracts Finder is the go-to place for SMEs to find government and public sector opportunities. More and more organisations are using it with twice as many UK opportunities published when compared with the TED website. I’d urge SMEs to log on for free and find out what opportunities are out there. We’d like to see the platform go even further and become the single location on which government’s major suppliers also list their opportunities, whilst making performance data on existing contracts more transparent.

Open Contracting

Contracts Finder supports the UK Government’s commitment to the Open Data Contracting Standard (ODCS), ensuring that all stages of the public procurement process are open and transparent.

The UK is the first G7 country to implement the OCDS for contracts administered by a central purchasing authority – CCS.

This means that the whole process of awarding public sector contracts is visible to the public for the first time. Data and documents are disclosed at all stages of the contracting process. This allows deeper analysis of contracting data by a wide range of users.

The government is currently exploring measures to further increase business with SMEs, including by asking larger suppliers to advertise subcontracting opportunities through Contracts Finder.

For more information on Contracts Finder and to sign up to alerts, visit https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder

Twenty Three Universities Join Student Visa Pilot

Home Office to extend scheme which streamlines process for international Masters students wanting to study in the UK

Parliament Street (SW1)

Parliament Street (SW1)

A pilot which is looking at streamlining the process for international Masters students wanting to study in the UK has been extended to an additional 23 universities, the Immigration Minister announced today.

Currently in its 2nd year with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London, the pilot will streamline the process for international students looking to study on a Masters course of 13 months or less in the UK.

It also provides greater support for students who wish to switch to a work visa and take up a graduate role, by allowing them to remain in the UK for 6 months after they have finished their course.

Responsibility

Universities taking part are given responsibility for eligibility checks, meaning that students can submit fewer documents than required in the current process alongside their visa applications.

Applicants that do not meet immigration rules will be refused. All students will continue to require Home Office security and identity checks.

The additional 23 universities to benefit from the pilot include 2 in Scotland, 2 in Wales and 1 in Northern Ireland as well as universities from across England.

Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said:

I am delighted to announce the expansion of this pilot which is part of our ongoing activity to ensure that our world-leading institutions remain highly competitive.

The UK continues to be the 2nd most popular destination for international students and the number coming to study at our universities has increased by 24% since 2010.

This is a clear indication that genuine students are welcome and there is no limit on the number who can come to study in the UK.

Increase

The most recent Home Office statistics show that the number of students applying for visas increased by 8% over the past year, and there has been a 9% increase in the number of students applying to Russell Group universities.

The 23 additional universities will be able to apply the pilot to their 2018/19 intake. The universities were selected as their visa refusal rates are consistently the lowest in their area or region.

The 23 universities to be added to the pilot are:

  • Cardiff University
  • Goldsmiths University of London
  • Harper Adams University
  • Newcastle University
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • University of Bristol
  • Durham University
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Essex
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Reading
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Wales Trinity St. David (Swansea Campus)
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York
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