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Highlands and Islands businesses and graduates mark success of ScotGrad

20 November 2013

Businesses and graduates from the Highlands and Islands have joined others from across Scotland today (Wednesday 20 November) to celebrate the success of a programme which is delivering fresh thinking to Scottish businesses and helping them to innovate and grow.

More than 90% of graduates who have already taken part in the ScotGrad initiative, formerly known as the TalentScotland Graduate Placement Programme, have gone on to secure permanent jobs as a result of the experience. In the Highlands and Islands over 250 graduates and summer placements have worked on innovative projects with the region’s businesses.

ScotGrad is a Scotland-wide initiative. It is operated by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Enterprise, in partnership with the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service (AGCAS), Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and in the Highlands and Islands area, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance spoke today at the event hosted by HIE Chairman Professor Lorne Crerar and SE chairman Crawford Gillies at the University of Edinburgh.

She praised the partnership and the young people taking part in the programme, saying:

“The Scottish Government is committed to opening up opportunities for young people seeking employment and this is an excellent example of what the public and private sectors, working together, can do to support that goal.

“We know that meaningful, quality work placements can have a significant impact on a young person’s chances of securing a job. The fact that the number of ScotGrad participants successfully moving on to permanent employment has increased to this level demonstrates very strongly that this partnership is getting it right.

“I’m delighted to see this initiative achieving such levels of success. I congratulate everyone involved and look forward to seeing ScotGrad and its young participants continuing to work together successfully into the future.”

The programme benefits businesseses, graduates and students. It introduces fresh talent to Scotland’s businesses, and offers much-needed work experience and employment opportunities to the students and graduates.

Professor Crerar commented:

“Businesses and social enterprises in the Highlands and Islands have seen a wide range of exciting projects delivered through this initiative which would not have happened otherwise. Companies have benefited from fresh thinking and the quality of work produced by graduates has consistently exceeded employers’ expectations.

“HIE, with ERDF funding, is investing more than £1m into ScotGrad over the next two years. We look forward to attracting top calibre graduates from our region, as well as from across the UK, and matching them with the innovative opportunities our Highlands and Islands businesses have to offer.”

For more information and to see case studies see here

  • Each graduate receives a minimum of £16,000 (pro rata) for each placement from their host company, although many employers pay more.

    Creative industries and enabling technologies businesses make the most requests for placements. Energy, food and drink and textiles companies also host a high number of graduates.

    The programme aims to place all its graduates on an entrepreneurship training course, delivered by Robert Gordon University and University of Strathclyde.


  • About ScotGrad

    ScotGrad connects Scottish based companies with skilled graduates holding a HNC. HND, undergraduate or postgraduate qualification. The company provides a well defined project for the graduate to deliver over a 3-12 month placement. Employers pay graduates a minimum salary of £16,000 p.a pro rata, funding can in some cases be available, based on the type of project

    The ScotGrad team provides advice to companies on qualification and labour trends before advertising the placement vacancy on the ScotGrad website and other channels. The graduate community is encouraged to apply for the placement and employers access applications after the closing date to hold interviews and select their preferred graduate.
  • About Scottish Funding Council

    SFC is responsible for allocating £1.7 billion of public funds each year to colleges and universities in support of Scottish Government priorities. The Council’s funding contributes towards the costs of learning and teaching, skills development, research, innovation and other costs such as staff, buildings and equipment in Scotland’s 15 universities and five higher education institutions (HEIs) (collectively known as the university sector) and 43 further education (FE) colleges. The Council also provides resources to enable colleges to offer bursaries to students on non-advanced courses.
  • About AGCAS

    AGCAS Scotland represents careers and employability professionals in all Scottish universities. The AGCAS Scotland mission is to lead, and support the delivery of the highest quality career education, information and guidance for students and graduates, in collaboration with key stakeholders.

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