Boost to employment opportunities in the Highlands
20th August 2014
In the Highlands over the last 3 months 149 employment opportunities have been created through the Council's advisory and business support services.
During a meeting of the Council's Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee held today (Wednesday 20 August) members heard that 71 new businesses have been supported by Business Gateway to start up and a further 122 Highland businesses already serving local markets have accessed advice over the last quarter.
Also in the same period, the Business Gateway Plus programme, which is funded by the Council with ERDF support and provides one to one support for businesses to access finance and find, tender and win contracts, has provided support to 28 businesses.
Business Gateway services are provided through a local network of business advisers across Highland supported by a national website and a national contact and enquiry centre. While the Council is responsible for the service in Highland, it is delivered under contract by the Council’s wholly owned Enterprise Trust, Highland Opportunity Ltd.(HOL).
Meanwhile the Council’s Create and Employ project which provides free specialist advice to businesses thinking of taking on employees, continues to work closely with the Council’s Employability team to encourage take up of the Highland Council Employment Grant and Graduate Placement Grant.
· 71 businesses this quarter, and 561 businesses in total have accessed employment advice since the project was launched in February 2012
· To date 268 businesses have received employment grants, 50 this quarter, which is the busiest quarter since the project started.
· Allied to this project, 57 graduate placement grants have been approved since the start of the project in 2013 with 10 applications approved this quarter.
Councillor Thomas Prag , Chairman of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee welcomed the statistics. He said: "The figures, together with the 18 new jobs created through loans provided by our Enterprise Trust, Highland Opportunity, are very impressive and show just how much activity has taken place over the last three months. The employment services we offer and the specialist business support are designed to be effective and easy to access. We want to make people aware of what support is available and target efforts to help them get the advice most suited to their needs."
Highland Opportunity Web Site - www.highland-opportunity.com/
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting. In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House. Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling. A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands. We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather. Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.
The £48.5m Wick Community Campus built by Morrison Construction has been announced as a finalist at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018. The project is entered in the category for "Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy" against eight other finalists from across the UK with the winner to be announced during a ceremony at Milton Court Concert Hall on 24 May 2018.
A Partnership for Procurement event was held in Inverness today (Thursday 6 March) to raise awareness and the capability of the third sector to successfully bid, supply and deliver services for the public sector. Partnership for Procurement (P4P) is a new initiative funded through the Scottish Government's 10 Year Social Enterprise Strategy; supporting social enterprises and third sector organisations to better access public contracts and build partnerships.
Across the Northern Alliance local authorities an exciting project has been rolled out to raise attainment in literacy, language and communication. The programme is being delivered in around 50% of primary schools across the Northern Alliance and is aimed at supporting practitioners to take a developmental approach to supporting early literacy development.
[Printer Friendly Version]