Our priorities

Creating a competitive region - young people

Further population growth across the region will be essential if we are to successfully deliver our long term aspirations. It will be particularly important to address the region’s demographic imbalance by attracting an increasing number of young and economically active people to live, work and study here.

Interventions to bring about this change will include working with university partners to expand the provision
of undergraduate courses available across the region, and to ensure those courses are aligned with regional opportunities for growth.

We will also work at a programme level to encourage and support high growth businesses and social enterprises to employ graduates, through our ScotGrad Programme, supporting the development of Scotland’s young workforce through the provision of opportunities to gain experience of working in the Highlands and Islands.

Through the Business Pledge we will encourage participation in Invest in Youth and promote Investors in Young People accreditation.

Recognising the growing regional cluster of science based businesses, teaching and research centres, allied to long term career opportunities in sectors such as energy and life sciences, we want to help build a science region. HIE will create and strengthen knowledge exchange links between universities and businesses, promote
opportunities for young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Working with local authorities, UHI and other partners, we will create a regional Science Skills Academy. HIE will work with partners to implement the themes contained within the Highlands and Islands Regional Skills Investment plan – to meet the current and future skills needs of employers, to increase opportunities for young people to study, train and work in the region, and to attract more people into the region to take up employment
opportunities.

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