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Highland Council To Discuss Expanding Assistance for Unemployment

27th January 2021

On 4th February 2021 The Economy and Infrastructure committee of Highland Council will debate a wide ranging paper The Highland Labour Market on how to deal with the rising numbers of unemployed people in Highland.

The meeting will be web cast at

The paper covers many aspects of how to help people find and get back into work.

Unemployment in Highland, as measured by the number of people aged 16-64 seeking work, is currently estimated to be 6,567. This is an increase of 3,245 (97.68%) since March 2020 and is slightly ahead of the Scottish rate (97%).

Purpose/Executive Summary


Members will be aware of rising unemployment and the anticipation that it is to significantly increase over the coming months.


A significant response is required across The Highland Council together with partners to ensure that the most acute effects of the labour market crisis are mitigated. When doing so, positive steps can also be taken to identify new young talent and to provide pathways into employment thereby enabling more young people to stay and make a life for themselves in Highland.


In response to this challenge The Highland Council has two specific roles. The first is to take a pro-active role in the multi-agency response required across Highland to ensure that clients secure the services they need as they prepare for and access work. The second role is to offer job and work placements opportunities itself as an employer and provide support to enable others in the private, public and third sectors to also do so.




Members are asked to:

i. note the labour market challenges facing the Highland economy and in particular the impact this will have on young people;

ii. agree that The Highland Council adopts a pro-active and leadership role with partners through the Highland Employability Partnership, to ensure clients receive a cross agency service that is responsive to their needs and enables them to progress towards and into employment;

iii. agree that The Highland Council as an employer and service provider, provides the proposed work experience and job creation opportunities and, through its management of external funding, enables others to also do so; and

iv. note that the proposed staffing changes to ensure that The Highland Council has capacity to effectively undertake its employability function during this challenging time are being taken forward following agreement at the Council meeting on 7 January 2021

Read the full paper Item 6 HERE


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