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Amiqus helps civil service improve recruitment process

Sandy Crombie and Callum Murray

Sir Sandy Crombie and Callum Murray

Software firm Amiqus is working with the Scottish Government to help improve the civil service recruitment process.

Outdated processes mean it can take up to 12 weeks to bring a successful candidate into the civil service due to paperwork alone, during which time they may receive a competing job offer.

The Leith-based secure data company has been enlisted to the Government’s CivTech accelerator programme which encourages early-stage companies to develop solutions for public sector projects.

Amiqus will now work with the Scottish Government’s People Directorate over the next three months, before pitching to an audience of about 500 public sector decision makers at CivTech Demo Day in March 2020. 

The company, which is chaired by former Standard Life chief executive Sir Sandy Crombie, has applied its ID verification software to more than 175 legal, accountancy, property management and recruitment firms across the UK.

Elaine Burgess, head of transformation at the Scottish Government People Directorate, said: “We want to attract the best, diverse talent into the Scottish Government while delivering value for money for citizens.

“This CivTech challenge takes us a step forward in transforming the pre-employment check experience for candidates but also for our people who conduct checks on a daily basis.”

Amiqus CEO Callum Murray said: “Helping the Scottish Government’s People Directorate reimagine how they can undertake their pre-employment process in a more efficient and accessible way is an exciting research and development opportunity for our whole team.”

The Scottish Government has incorporated 10 new projects to its CivTech Accelerator programme, including a scheme to develop technology that will allow anyone carrying a mobile phone to calculate and lessen their impact on climate change.

One of these projects is aimed at creating a digital assessment tool for people affected with dementia to aid them to discover the best technology to maintain their independence.

The companies that have been added to the accelerator programme are: Global Trails (sponsored by Skills Development Scotland), Lumera Health (sponsored by Alzheimer Scotland and the government), Wallet.Services (sponsored by SAAS), Novoville (sponsored by City of Edinburgh Council), Reshape Technology (sponsored by Glasgow City Council), M2M Cloud ((sponsored by West Dunbartonshire Council), Trickle Data Insights (sponsored by West Dunbartonshire Council), Amiqus (sponsored by Scottish Government People Services), Deblur (sponsored by Transport Scotland), Elsoms Seeds; Silvibio; Cumbria Tree Growers; Forest Research; Forestart (sponsored by Forestry and Land Scotland).

AI fund seeks ideas to change Scotland

Nesta in Scotland, the Scottish arm of the UK’s innovation foundation, has launched a £100,000 fund to find and support positive, ethical uses of AI that can help change Scotland and the UK for the better.

The fund is open for applications until 10 January and entries are welcome from students, academics, start-ups, SMEs, public, private and third sector bodies.

Nesta wants applications from a wide range of areas including health, wellbeing, poverty, homelessness, inequality, education, creative industries, government, climate action, transport, manufacturing, emergency services, academia and research. Winning entries will be given a grant of £15,000-£20,000 as well as a programme of support and engagement from Nesta in Scotland.

Adam Lang, head of Nesta in Scotland, said: “We want to support and spread the word about great uses of AI in Scotland. “

The new fund comes at a time of growing focus on the economic and social potential of AI in Scotland, with the Scottish Government having recently committed to developing a new AI strategy for Scotland in this year’s Programme for Government.

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