The Highland labour market is extremely diverse and spans a very wide range of employment sectors in relation to its population size. The region also offers a highly skilled and educated workforce that is willing and able to work flexibly and over long hours when required. Investors in the region state that they experience very low staff turnover and have employees who are loyal and quick to learn
Support for existing companies and new investors is available from a number of organisations which specialise in areas of workforce development including recruitment, training and education.
- HIE - Offers a number of labour related services, including webinars, leadership training, recruitment advice and funding, as well as working in partnership with a number of academic institutes to support businesses through research and development.
- Business Gateway - Provides advice on all aspects of employment, including recruitment, payroll and assistance eligibility advice.
- Skills Development Scotland - Supports employers to use skills development for growth and success. Working with partners, SDS supports inward investment and sectoral growth as well as assisting local businesses, large and small, to benefit from a wide range of funding programmes
- Graduate Placement Programme – Offers businesses an opportunity to recruit a graduate for six to twelve months with a subsidy of up to 50% of the graduate’s gross salary. In addition to this financial assistance, the businesses that participate in the programme can also benefit from Business Gateway’s team of advisers who can offer guidance on business plans all the way through to the recruitment process.
- Employment Grants – Supported by the European Social Fund, an Employment Grant provides a wage subsidy to businesses who create permanent posts for people who are currently out of work. The grant subsidy is set at between 30-50% of the new recruit’s wages, and can last for six months to one year. In addition, businesses benefit from the assistance of Business Gateway’s specialist recruitment advisors.
The high standards of education provided in primary, secondary, further and higher education in the region provide a solid base for students to move into the labour market. The education sector retains strong links with industry through student placements, vocational courses and workplace training.