Graduate Placements Set To Help Highland Businesses Grow
19th July 2012
With more graduates than ever finding it tough to get into the workplace a new scheme to help them get a foothold into business, whilst at the same time helping Highland companies get the right kind of help to grow, launches this month.
The Highland Council Graduate Placement Programme is a work placement scheme being delivered by Business Gateway Highlands' Recruitment Service. It will help local companies fund the salary of a graduate to deliver a vital project it doesn't have the resource or time to complete itself.
Councillor Thomas Prag, Chair of Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Highland Council added: "These schemes really work. I know from personal experience of graduates who have made their mark in a business by getting this kind of toehold. Things aren't going to get any easier for local business over the next few years and the Graduate Placement Scheme is another example of how Business Gateway - through the local authority - is responding. The programme provides businesses with a great way to gain new skills whilst offering graduates a platform to shine."
Alongside a local Business Gateway adviser, two recruitment advisers will provide eligible businesses with specialist advice to help them through the funding process - from identifying a business project to highlighting the best way to advertise and recruit a graduate.
Although companies are responsible for paying the graduate's salary for the period of the project - which should last a minimum of six months and no longer than 12 - The Highland Council will fund 50 per cent of the salary up to a maximum salary of £16,300 per annum.
Donald MacKenzie, Business Gateway Service Manager said: "This new programme aims to help businesses bring on board a graduate whose sole purpose is to help that company prosper, whether it's by targeting new markets, developing new projects, increasing exports or helping companies make more effective use of ICT and e-business.
"But businesses aren't the only ones to benefit. Graduates, who have gained an HND or Degree in the last four years, and are either unemployed or employed in a role that doesn't reflect their skills, get the chance to showcase their skills, turning their knowledge into experience which could help them develop their career."
Since launching in February, the Business Gateway Highland Recruitment Service has helped create 25 jobs and has worked closely with businesses based in Caithness, Sutherland, Wester Ross, Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch and Strathspey to help demystify the recruitment process.
Although queries have been varied, a great number of businesses have approached the service for advice regarding employee contracts.
Emma Gunn, Recruitment Adviser, Business Gateway said: "The Recruitment Service provides free help and support to companies who need to recruit but who are unsure where to start. We'll be taking exactly the same approach with the new Graduate Placement Programme process, giving companies the help they need when they need it every step of the way."
For find out if your business is eligible for The Highland Council's Graduate Placement Programme contact Business Gateway's Recruitment Advisers: Emma Gunn on 07867 394347,
emma.gunn[AT]highland-opportunity.com or Marianne Ross on 07867 394346, marianne.ross[AT]highland-opportunity.com
Business Gateway provides practical help, advice and support for new and growing businesses. In 2011 Business Gateway Highland helped 365 start-up businesses and provided support to over 860 existing businesses.
Following the second call for candidates wishing to serve on Highland Community Councils to come forward - a total of 19 Councils attracted sufficient interest to form a new Council. The uncontested community councils in the second round are: â€¢Ardgay Community Council â€¢Arisaig and District Community Council â€¢Balintore and Hilton Community Council â€¢Ballifer Community Council â€¢Bower Community Council â€¢Coigach Community Council â€¢Conon Bridge Community Council â€¢Dulnain Bridge Community Council â€¢Inver Community Council â€¢Kiltarlity Community Council â€¢Kinlochleven Community Council â€¢Kyle Community Council â€¢Lochardil and Drummond Community Council â€¢Morvern Community Council â€¢Muirtown Community Council â€¢Raasay Community Council â€¢Sinclairs Bay Community Council â€¢Strathpeffer Comunity Council â€¢West Ardnamurchan Community Council.
For the first time the Highland Community Planning Partnership have endorsed a Development Plan published by The Highland Council and have agreed to working with the Council in monitoring its delivery. The Proposed Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan), was published for consultation on 22 January 2016 and will run until 18 March 2016.
The Councils Community Services Committee has approved an additional programme of Â£2.7 million for the coming year 2016/17. Â£2.3 million will be allocated this coming year to re-surfacing, surface dressing and road markings across the Highland network and Â£0.4 million to bridges in Sutherland (Kylesku) and Lochaber (A884 Achnagavin).
Highland Council has invited tenders for a contract for a summer ferry service between Cromarty and Nigg. The previous operator terminated the service contract just before the start of the 2015 season due to difficulties with sandbanks building up off the slipways and berthing arrangements.
Council house rents will be limited to a 1.9% rise in order to maintain current service levels. This will mean an increase in the average weekly council rent of Â£1.35 for all Housing Revenue Account (HRA) rents.
New standards have been set out for grass-cutting across the Council area to meet statutory requirements and achieve savings. There is no statutory requirement that amenity grass must be cut, however, the Council has various duties to maintain public safety, deliver education in accordance to national standards, deliver a burial service, maintain roads and paths in a safe condition and support national play initiatives.
The Highland Council has awarded Â£1.128 million to Community Transport schemes across the Highlands, spread over the next 3 years. This allocation allows Â£376,000 of grants to be made available to the listed community groups and organisations each year for the next 3 years, which enables some certainty in the medium term for these initiatives.
The Highland Council is preparing for the implementation of a Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) Scheme this year. Remedial works have started, which includes sign and road markings replacement across the council to support of our Application to Transport Scotland for DPE authority.
Highland Council Leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: The option to raise council tax in Highland has been taken away from us. We have been informed, if we raise Council Tax, we will be fined not just the 3% we expected but also other sanctions will be applied around teacher numbers and funding for social care.
Highland Councils Trading Standards team and Caithness Citizens Advice Bureau are warning local consumers to be on their guard against telephone spoofing scams. These involve scammers using what to a consumer would appear to be a local phone number specifically to gain the consumers trust when in fact they are based far away and are only interested in getting hold of consumers cash.
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