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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, or Marianne Ross on 07867 394346,

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.


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