News in brief

Dearer insurance

Manufacturers’ insurance premiums are expected to rise when Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations come into force. From 1 January 1999, the insurance cover required by employers will increase to £5m from the present £2m.

Westgarth warning

Richardsons Westgarth, the steel stockholder and processor, has issued a second profits warning in four months. Second half profits are expected to show a significant decline on the first, when they fell to £1.54m, the company said.

Teacher training

The Government this week announced a £130m package to tackle secondary teacher recruitment problems. It includes a scheme to match 600 of the 7,000 people who have said they would like to train on the job as teachers to existing vacancies as maths and science teachers.

Seagate chops 300

Nearly 300 workers at Seagate Technology’s microchip plant in Livingston will lose their jobs next February. The US owners will continue to look for a buyer for the facility, which the company claims is no longer financially viable.

www.waste swap

The first Internet-based environment exchange for Europe will be launched at the end of November. It aims to develop a market in recyclable commodities, financial instruments in those commodities and other environment-related products. An EC directive requires states to recover 50 65% of packaging materials by 2001 and recycle at least half of this amount.

Virtually safe

The Institution of Chemical Engineers, on behalf of the Engineering Council, is hosting a virtual conference on safety in the workplace from 2 13 November on It is open to engineers, scientists and the general public.