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Graduate Fair At Thurso - Thursday 7 April 2005

23rd March 2005

Following the success of a pilot event last year, graduates and employers in Caithness and Sutherland are once again to be given the opportunity to meet and discuss mutual benefits. The second Graduate Fair will take place in Thurso Town Hall, on Thursday 7th April, from 4pm - 7pm. The event is organised by Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE). The date has been chosen to coincide with students returning to the area for the Easter holidays, and for local employers planning recruitment for summer starting dates.

A broad range of businesses will be in attendance, including Ackergill Tower and Skibo Castle from the tourism sector, JGC Engineering & Technology Ltd and RWE Nukem Ltd from the engineering sector, MM Miller Ltd from the construction industry and New Park Highland Ltd, developers of the technology and business park at Forss. Also attending will be the recently formed Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), who will be based at Forss.

In addition, both local University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute (UHIMI) research institutes - the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) and the Decommissioning Environmental Remediation Centre (DERC) - will be represented and will provide information on opportunities for post-graduate study and available studentships.

Donna Booth, development manager with CASE, said, "We are keen to give both large and small firms the opportunity to make contact with graduates, at HND level or higher, and to give graduates the opportunity to develop their careers in the Caithness and Sutherland area. We also want to encourage business start-up ideas from graduates and will have advisors from CASE and the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust at the Fair."

Kathleen Campbell from Watten was one of the students to benefit from last year's Graduate Fair. Having achieved a degree in Business Management and Agri-Food at the Scottish Agricultural College in Aberdeen, she met representatives of Intech Power at last years Graduate Fair and is now employed as an office manager, in their premises at Scrabster Business Centre. According to Kathleen, "After leaving University, I was very keen to return to Caithness to work and through a contact made at the Graduate Fair I was able to do so."

Major employers have traditionally employed graduates, but smaller businesses may be less aware of the benefits a graduate can bring. With the assistance of the CASE Graduate Placement programme, a limited number of small businesses, who have never previously employed a graduate, receive a salary contribution from CASE. The graduate also becomes part of a placement network, with regular reviews and skills development opportunities.

One such business to benefit from the Graduate Placement programme is Murray Retail, which has shops in Brora, Castletown, Golspie, Helmsdale and Thurso. It enabled them to employ Kimberley Jack from Golspie, who graduated from Napier University with a BA in Business Studies with Human Resource Management, as area/HR manager. According to Kimberley, "The graduate programme was a great help in finding relevant work in the North, allowing me to not only put into practise, but also further develop, the skills I learned on my course"

John Murray, of Murray Retail, said, "This is a terrific opportunity for both the company and the graduate. Since having Kimberley we are much more structured in our company training focus."

For further information please contact Donna Booth on 01847 805213 or email or visit our website at

(Picture - Kathleen Campbell from Watten)


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