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Employment grant helps Caithness businesses take on new recruit

6th July 2013

Photograph of Employment grant helps Caithness businesses take on new recruit

Deputy Harbour Master Jason Hamilton (white hard hat) with new employee Donald McIntyre (blue hard hat).

Scrabster Harbour Trust has been able to take on a new member of staff thanks to funding secured via The Highland Council's Employment Grant scheme.

Supported through the European Social fund, and delivered by Business Gateway Highland, the grant aims to encourage companies with less than 250 employees create new job opportunities for the unemployed.

Through a combination of one-to-one tailored advice from a Business Gateway recruitment adviser and a 26 or 52 week wage subsidy - jointly funded by the Highland Council and the European Social Fund - the grant makes it easier for local businesses to take on permanent, full-time employees.

And thanks to qualifying for a grant through the scheme, Scrabster Harbour Trust, in Caithness, has taken on Donald McIntyre (21), from Thurso. Donald started work in February as a general worker, helping with a range of tasks - from mooring vessels to cleaning and painting.

Jason Hamilton, Deputy Harbour Master said: "The subsidy grant is an excellent scheme that has allowed us to take on a young person. With our current port development the last 18 months have been very challenging both operationally and financially. Without Business Gateway's excellent advice and the financial support of the scheme it would not have been possible to recruit anyone. Donald has fitted in well and will gain good experience from our other employees; this is vital to ensure future proofing of the workforce. If businesses don't invest in our young people then certain skills and knowledge will be lost and a void will be left. Business Gateway and Highland Council have given Scrabster Harbour Trust and Donald a great opportunity in tough economic times. I would encourage other companies to contact Business Gateway to find out more about the scheme."

Marianne Ross, Recruitment Adviser, Business Gateway said: "For organisations like Scrabster Harbour Trust taking on staff can be daunting both financially and in general terms. What the Employment Grant provides is a financial cushion to those businesses that qualify. It provides them with access to advice that helps them navigate, and understand, the often confusing amount of information that is out there on areas such as employment contracts, legislation and how to pick the right person for interview. The port, which is the most northerly mainland port in Scotland, is undergoing a massive re-development which will allow it to grow and in turn create job opportunities in the harbour itself and the surrounding area. The Harbour Trust is focussed on providing a facility that will secure the future of the port so we're delighted that the Employment Grant, and our advice, have made it easier for them to create a full-time position for Donald."

To find out if your business is eligible for The Highland Council Employment Grant contact Business Gateway's Recruitment Advisers: Emma Lawson on 07867 394347, emma.lawson[AT] or Marianne Ross on 07867 394346, marianne.ross[AT]


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