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Graduates sought for placement programme

01 July 2011

Graduates are being offered exciting opportunities to expand their business experience through paid placements with local firms across the Highlands and Islands.

Organisations from a range of sectors including food and drink, renewable energy, and software development are amongst those offering posts which will offer valuable experience to graduates and support their own business development.

The work is part of the TalentScotland Graduate Placement Programme which is run across Scotland and supported across the Highlands and Islands by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The Graduate Placement Programme gives recent graduates the opportunity to work with established businesses and social enterprises, leading on dynamic projects and gaining experience to progress their future careers.

Organisations of all sizes are looking for ambitious graduates, with the placements offering a minimum salary of £15,500 pro rata part funded by HIE and ERDF. The graduates will also benefit from support from a team within HIE and receive training focused on innovation, employability and business skills as part of a five day residential course.

Currently 33 graduates are working with businesses and social enterprises across the Highlands and Islands with another 20 organisations looking to offer placement opportunities.

One company looking for a new member of the team is Community Energy Scotland based in Dingwall. Community Energy Scotland is the only national charity dedicated to community-owned energy development and supports installations of renewable energy systems in community facilities across the country. A range of these facilities are monitored and the information collected remotely via various systems.

The graduate will be involved in work to develop this resource fully for the benefit of Community Energy Scotland and its member communities by collating, evaluating and presenting the data. Community Energy Scotland also guides communities to develop larger scale projects which will bring long term revenue to the community such as developing their own wind or hydro scheme.

A number of other companies are currently looking for ambitious graduates.

Gael Force Marine has an opportunity to recruit a graduate Marketing Assistant to work on a project in order to establish an in-house design operation. Ace Aquatec Ltd, one of the leading firms in the world producing acoustic seal scarers, is seeking a graduate Product Design Engineer and Fraser Architecture LLP on North Uist offers an architecture graduate the chance to create an easily accessible information resource on low-carbon design options for potential clients.

Midton Acrylics Ltd, based in Lochgilphead, is one of the top three world's largest cast acrylic embedment specialists. The company is looking to recruit a Customer Account Supervisor to work on a marketing project, with the potential for a permanent position. The graduate's role will be to devise and implement the marketing campaigns that will showcase the company's unique skills. The graduate will also be required to account manage the company's clients, encouraging a high level of repeat business.

Lara Pollard, Business Engagement Manager from HIE, commented: "Many of the companies looking for graduates are leaders in their field and can provide experience that many graduates would otherwise not be able to gain straight after leaving Higher Education. This is an excellent opportunity to build on the skills and knowledge gained through education and apply them directly to an industry."

For more information, including the graduate placements available, please visit:

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