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Leading Online Academy Takes Learning Online Due To Covid19

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The Developer Academy in Sheffield has developed an ‘all-in-one’ online learning platform to move all of its courses online due to the Coronavirus outbreak and has conducted some free courses for the local Sheffield community to test and refine this method of delivery before launching its first paid courses on 15th June.

Statement from Ben Atha, Founder:
‘’Due to the Coronavirus outbreak and the Government’s advice on Covid19, we do not envisage being able to deliver in person courses for quite some time and have therefore developed an online Learning Platform, with help from our instructors and the Sheffield Digital community, to deliver the next courses online. ‘’

‘’Having spent the last few weeks developing a custom learning environment and perfecting online delivery to maintain a high level of quality for students, including interaction with potential employers throughout the course and setting up informal and formal interviews, we are confident this new method of delivery will provide the same student experience as our in-person training.’’

The Developer Academy worked with The Curve Consulting to develop the platform while their instructors reworked curriculums and delivery methods over a period of four weeks. The Developer Academy is in the final stage of testing, conducting a 2 free week long Introduction to Web Development course to people of the Sheffield City Region, which is due to be completed on 8th May and the first paid courses starting on 15th June.

The company mission has always been to provide a flexible, affordable way for anyone who wants a job in coding or tech to retrain and gain these skills around their job and life commitments.

They’ve helped several people retrain as developers, find jobs and built strong relationships with employers in and around Sheffield, who have been fantastic in helping shape the curriculums.

 

Plant & Equipment launches new website, as B2B sees spike in online activity due to Covid-19

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DUBAI: Plant & Equipment, a leading online marketplace and industry news platform for the construction equipment markets in the Middle East and Africa, has launched a revamped website, www.PlantAndEquipment.com with enhanced tools to buy or sell used and new machinery and commercial vehicles online.

It comes as businesses and buyers are increasingly seeking online platforms to continue their trade, with the coronavirus pandemic having caused the postponement of many trade fairs and sales events, where traditionally deals are completed over a handshake.

The pandemic may accelerate the trend towards digital sales platforms for business-to-business (B2B) sellers, which lags behind trends in the consumer space in the Middle East and Africa, says Zayd Kuba, Managing Director of Middle East Strategic Advertising (MESA), the publisher of Plant & Equipment.

“Businesses are looking for online platforms where they can generate not only exposure for their brand but also receive direct enquiries and actually conclude sales,” said Kuba.

Plant & Equipment first launched its website two years ago, and since then traffic has grown rapidly, from just a handful of enquiries each month to now averaging around 300 enquiries per day, with around 120,000 visitors per month. The new website features enhanced paid dealer listings and improved search functionality, so that visitors can search for whatever brand or piece of equipment they want, while sorting by metrics such as price, age, hours or mileage. “Many of our site visitors are buyers looking for specific products, not just generic construction traffic,” he said.

The platform has listings from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well as machinery or commercial vehicle dealers and distributors, including Al Tayer Motors, Al-Bahar and Al Naboodah in the UAE.

The website is unique in that it covers such as broad geography, including the GCC, wider Middle East, and Africa, says Kuba. Its top five countries for visitor traffic are – in order of traffic – the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria. Categories with high levels of enquiries include excavators, cranes, wheel loaders, concrete equipment and trucks.

Despite a possible slow down across the construction sector globally due to the pandemic, Kuba believes this will produce new opportunities for sellers and buyers, and may also see renewed focus from international sellers towards buyers in the Middle East and Africa.

“Many of the dealers that sell on our platform are based in the US or Europe. Typically, when the construction industry in the US booms, their rental fleets grow. If the construction business there takes a hit, we expect machinery exports to grow as rental fleets downsize, meaning it will be a good time for contractors in the Middle East or Africa to look for used equipment from the US or Europe.”

Plant & Equipment is also available as a print magazine, published every two months, which is distributed across Middle East and Africa including industry news and in-depth analysis. To date it has published more than 200 editions of the print magazine.

Top countries by visitors to www.PlantAndEquipment.com
1. UAE
2. KSA
3. Egypt
4. South Africa
5. Nigeria

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10CFDs experts believe that due to weakening dollar rates, the price of goods will soar

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The relationship between dollar rates and commodity prices
The connection between the value of the USD and the prices of commodities is usually an inverse relationship. The costs of commodities tend to decline when the USD strengthens against other major currencies, and vice versa.

According to 10CFDs experts, though the correlation isn’t perfect, this is the rule in general. The value of the USD influences the costs of commodities since it is the benchmark pricing mechanism for most commodities.

10CFDs experts further explain that though the dollar tends to be the most stable foreign exchange instrument, commodities are global assets. These assets are traded all over the world. Foreign buyers purchase the U.S. made commodities with Dollars. And when the value of the dollar drops, buyers have more “purchasing power.”

10CFDs experts state that the mechanism goes like this- when the dollar strengthens, it means that commodities become more expensive in other, non-dollar currencies. While this tends to have a negative influence on demand, as one would expect, when the dollar weakens, commodity prices in other currencies drop lower, something which increases demand.

Which commodities are expected to gain worth in 2020?
According to 10CFDs experts, if we’ll focus on the 3rd quarter of 2019, we’ll note that almost all major commodity price indexes fell, led by the energy sector fall, which declined by more than 8%.

Agriculture and metals prices were down 2% each, while trade tensions, combined with weakness in global goods trade, were weighing on commodity demand. On the other hand, precious metal prices gained nearly 12%, which is also a sign of heightened uncertainty.

In line with subdued global growth prospects, most price forecasts have been revised down for 2019, especially energy (-15%). And according to experts at 10CFDs, energy and metals prices are expected to continue to fall in 2020, while agricultural commodity prices should stabilize.

After oil prices dropped by 8%, as worries about slowing global demand outweighed temporary production disruptions is Saudi Arabia, oil prices were expected to average $60/bbl in 2019 and $58/bbl in 2020, going down from $68/bbl in 2018, with concerns about the weak global growth outlook and robust oil production weighing on the market.

On the other hand, 10CFDs states that natural gas consumption continued to grow strongly in late 2019, supporting stable prices into 2020, while coal prices are expected to continue to fall. In contrast to other commodities, precious metals prices rose 13 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2019.

Easing of monetary policy by the U.S. Federal Reserve, heightened global uncertainty, and robust physical demand all supported precious metals prices, pushing the gold-to-copper ratio (a barometer of the health of the global economy) to a 3-year high.

Though as the prices of precious metals are anticipated to continue their upward trend and increase nearly 6 percent in 2020, following an expected gain of 8 percent in 2019, a stronger-than-expected U.S. dollar could still push prices lower.

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