Glowing report for Council's Apprenticeship Programme
21st November 2019
The Highland Council Modern Apprenticeship Programme recently achieved a top grading following a three-day Quality Assurance Assessment from Skills Development Scotland.
The Council's Modern Apprenticeship provision has been designed so it can utilise current resources to deliver high quality training to new and existing employees. Feedback from the assessing team highlighted that the Council fully demonstrated that it is meeting all the standards with strong strengths and exhibiting best practice.
Recent additions to the programme have been 20 Early Years Practitioners and the Council is on track to have supported 191 apprentices as part of the programme by the end of this financial year.
John Greig joined the Highland Council as a Youth Trainee in October 2018. Recognising his potential, the IT department elected to give John the opportunity to complete an SVQ in IT and Telecommunications. Modern Apprenticeships are not always available for Youth Trainees due to the time constraints, but because John applied himself to his studies he was able to complete the qualification in short order, testament to his diligence and hard work.
On top of this John was awarded the Trainee of the Year award at The Highland Council Awards ceremony last Thursday and has now secured a full-time role as a Digital Service Officer
Lily Scrimgeour started her apprenticeship in October 2017, coming straight from school working in Corporate Resources. Lily said: "This experience has allowed me to improve aspects of my job and my personal life as it has given me a deeper knowledge of the importance of prioritising tasks and time management. My apprenticeship has not only provided me with career skills, but it has also provided me with many social skills that will be beneficial when developing into future roles".
Lily has completed her apprenticeship and Scottish Vocational Qualification in Business Administration and now has a post as a Revenues Assistant in Corporate Resources.
Following on from the recent publication of Highland Council's Supporting Economic Recovery in Highland - A Guide for Businesses - the Council is announcing relaxation of some controls that will assist tourist accommodation providers have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In recognition of this where there are specific planning and licensing controls in relation to occupancy, for example: a restriction on the occupancy of any caravan for a continuous 12 month period; or where conditions restrict occupancy for specific periods of time, ...these will be relaxed by the Council up to and including April 2021.
The Caithness Committee met virtual today for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic and it's agenda focused on the actions taken by the Council and the third sector to deal with the effects of Coronavirus in Caithness. The Executive Chief Officer for Education and Learning, Paul Senior, gave members an update on the plans and preparations underway to prepare for the return of pupils and staff to Caithness schools in August.
Margaret Davidson, the Leader of the Highland Council has given her strong support to the efforts of the Scottish Government to obtain greater fiscal flexibility from the UK Government. The Scottish Government have sought flexibility to offset capital underspend against resource expenditure, more flexibility over resource borrowing and greater flexibility over the use of the reserve for capital.
The Highland Council is planning to re-open play areas across the region throughout summer. Advice was provided by the Scottish Government on 28 June as to the safety measures that should be applied.
The Highland Council was one of the first local authorities in Scotland recognised to develop a Schools Digital Learning Hub, which provides a resource for staff, parents and pupils to support home learning. Prior to Covid-19, we had an estate of 27,000 Chromebooks that were already a part of our ICT in Learning Strategy.
Earlier today (Wednesday 1 July 2020) members of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee had the opportunity to discuss (by video conference) progress made with the Corran Ferry Project which is reviewing the options for securing a replacement ferry and considering the way forward for the future operation and management of the service. The Corran ferry service has reached a critical point and strategic decisions need to be made.
As Scotland prepares for the easing of lockdown and the re-opening of the tourism and hospitality sector, The Highland Council's Environmental Health are advising holiday accommodation providers to make sure their private water supplies are safe to drink. A large number of self-catering and tourist accommodation in the Highlands are served by private water supplies and with these being closed during the lockdown period, the water supply system may not have been maintained and could create a risk to the quality and safety of the drinking water.
Lesley, who previously worked for Hackney Local Authority in London, expressed how much she has enjoyed working for the Council. Lelsey started with highland council on 13 August 2019.
Following Scottish Government guidance on returning to construction sites across Scotland, works will be restarting on the EES:ABS scheme across the Highlands. In line with the guidance, contractors will be undertaking phased restarts and adhering to social distancing to allow workers to return to construction sites gradually while using measures such as hand hygiene.
Two prominent derelict buildings in Wick High Street are to be demolished following decades lying empty. Numbers 30 and 126 (known locally as Dominoes (the former cinema) and Sloans are to benefit from demolition and site clearance, before ownership is returned to the local community.