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.”
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