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Advisory / Counseling Services News


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3/6/2007
Caithness - The Energy EnvironmentThumbnail for article : Caithness - The Energy Environment
Last week saw the attendance of twenty-three Caithness based businesses and organisations at the All-Energy renewable energy conference and exhibition in Aberdeen, the biggest such event in the UK.  The two day event was attended by 4000 people from all over the world (compared to 2850 in 2006).  
Market Development Scheme Worth 9.2 Million In Food And Drink Sales
Highlands and Islands food and drink producers have attributed 9.2 million of new sales to events and exhibitions organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), through its UK Market Development programme.   A recent evaluation of the programme commissioned by HIE has demonstrated that bringing together food and drink producers and buyers is an effective way for speciality companies in the Highlands and Islands to do business.  
HIE REPORTS ON YEAR OF RECORD INVESTMENT
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) will report on a year of record investment in the Highland economy when it delivers its annual review to the May board meeting on May 15th.   Head of strategic planning and research, Alastair Nicolson, will tell board members in Thurso that all primary measure targets were exceeded and significant progress made against key strategic projects in a year that saw the network invest 118m in the regional economy.  
HIE APPROVES 5M BOOST TOWARDS UHI QUEST FOR TITLE
THE drive to create a university for the Highlands and Islands has received a major boost from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).   The enterprise network this week announced a funding package of nearly 5m over the next three years designed to facilitate specific outputs which UHI Millennium Institute needs to attain to satisfy the Quality Assurance Agency that university title is appropriate.  
Thurso High School In Green Awards Final
Thurso High School is one of eight schools to make it through to the final of the Big Green Challenge.   Eight schools from the Highlands and Islands are to battle it out for a coveted place in the final of the region's first debating competition tackling one of the most talked-about subjects of the 21st century - renewable energy.  
Unemployment Update - March 2007Thumbnail for article : Unemployment Update -  March 2007
Summary The March 2007 unemployment figures were released on 14th March 2007.  During the month, February 2007 to March 2007, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Great Britain fell by 1.9%, from 948,577 to 930,094 (18,483 claimants).  
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Board Heads To Thurso
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) will be holding its next public board meeting at the Pentland Hotel in Thurso on Tuesday May 15, 2007.   Chair for HIE Caithness and Sutherland Pat Buchanan will begin proceedings by welcoming the board to Caithness.  
Unemployment In The Caithness and Sutherland Wards - March 2007Thumbnail for article : Unemployment In The Caithness and Sutherland Wards - March 2007
Caithness and sutherland unemploment fell as at March 2007 to 722 claimants for benefit with the percentage dropping for unemployment benfit claimants by 3% between Feb 07 and March 07.  The precentage drop between March 06 and March 07 was 11.6%.  
Public Agencies Join To Assist New Residents Settle In To The Region
A range of new services for people who have recently moved into the Highlands from other countries has won support from the European Social Fund (ESF).   Highland Wellbeing Alliance, a partnership of public sector organisations in the area, has secured ESF funding worth 260,500 to back initiatives which will help the area's new residents with issues such as improving their English language skills, gaining employment and finding out how to access services and advice.  
How Would You Invest 500k In The Scottish Music Industry?Thumbnail for article : How Would You Invest 500k In The Scottish Music Industry?
The country's enterprise agencies are inviting anyone involved in the Scottish music community to submit ideas about how they think the new Scottish Music Futures Fund should be invested.   Last month, the Scottish Executive allocated �500,000 to Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to set up a business development fund to help cultivate the music industry in Scotland - supporting the 'music stars of tomorrow'.  
HIE NETWORK UNVEILS SPENDING PLANS FOR NEXT THREE YEARS
Plans to invest almost 375 million over the next three years in economic and community development across the Highlands and Islands have just been published by the area's enterprise network.   The latest operating plan from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) details the key strategic projects which the development agency will be backing between now and 2010, along with a set of eight 'primary measure' targets covering many smaller-scale initiatives.  
PATH IS CLEARED THROUGH FOOD SAFETY CONFUSION
A BRAND new easy-to-access system for small and medium sized food manufacturers to introduce a food safety quality assurance scheme will be launched on Monday (March 19) at the International Food Exhibition in London.   It has come about after four food-chain organisations recognised that although smaller food providers are being courted more and more by retailers and food service companies, their ability to meet the demands of a range of different buyers is often blighted by confusion over exactly what quality assurance level they are required to aspire to.  
SGL TECHNIC TO CREATE UP TO 64 NEW JOBS IN MUIR OF ORD
Carbon Fibre Manufacturer Announces 22m Investment Over 3 Years SGL Technic Ltd, a subsidiary of German based SGL Group, today announced a 22m investment to expand its manufacturing facility in Muir of Ord, near Inverness creating up to 64 new jobs over the next 3 years and safeguarding the employment of the company's 85 staff.   The Wiesbaden headquartered company is a leader in the research, development and manufacture of products made from carbon, graphite and composite materials.  
Unemployment Data - January 2007Thumbnail for article : Unemployment Data - January 2007
UNEMPLOYMENT DIGEST SUMMARY The January 2007 unemployment figures were released on 14th February 2007.  During the month, December 2006 to January 2007, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Great Britain rose by 4.6%, from 897,758 to 938,625 (40,867 claimants).  
Pultenytown Area Of Wick Still Has Highest Unemployment In The NorthThumbnail for article : Pultenytown Area Of Wick Still Has Highest Unemployment In The North
The Pulteneytown electoral ward has shown an increase over last month recording 64 males and 22 females registered as unemployed.   This compares to the previous month of December when the figures were 57 Males and 22 Females.  
WHY HI LINKS MAY LEAD TO HIGH BUSINESS GROWTH FOR LOCAL COMPANIES
Small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Caithness and Sutherland are being urged to grasp a unique opportunity to help boost future company growth, by tapping into a ready-made resource based within UHI Millennium Institute that helps companies crystallise opportunities to move the business forward.   This free service - a ground-breaking university-based initiative called HI Links, is a three-year project funded by a SEEKIT grant from the Scottish Executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and UHI.  
To tax or not to tax - a guide to trading online
A new internet-based guide, accessible via the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website for people who trade online is being launched this week.   It outlines the rules for people who trade online for a profit, as opposed to others who are just clearing low value items from the attic.  
HM Revenue & Customs - Business Support Team - Free Learning Events
Are you newly Self Employed or thinking of becoming Self Employed? Do you have a Self Employed tax return to complete? Are you a New Employer? Do you have an Employers Annual Return to complete? Do you want to know about the changes to the Construction Industry Scheme? If you can answer "YES" to any of the above questions & would like to learn more, you may be interested in attending one of HM Revenue & Customs free learning events.   The following events will take place in Thurso; 13th March 2007 AM/PM Paying Your Employees 14th March 2007 AM Becoming Self Employed PM Self Assessment for the Self Employed 15th March 2007 AM Employer's Annual Returns PM New Construction Industry Scheme To book a place in one of our sessions, please telephone 01355 275 207.  
Unemployment At December 2006Thumbnail for article : Unemployment At December 2006
UNEMPLOYMENT DIGEST SUMMARY The December 2006 unemployment figures were released on 17th January 2007.  During the month, November 2006 to December 2006, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Great Britain rose by 0.2%, from 895,833 to 897,758 (1,925 claimants).