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Highland businesses urged to ‘Tech It Out’ with new technology placement program

Published: 11/07/2018

Businesses in the Highlands are being encouraged to take part in a new initiative that will enable them to benefit from increased student and graduate involvement in their workplace.

The Technology Placement Programme has been developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to ensure SMEs in the Highland Council area have access to the skills required to keep ahead of rapid changes in technology.

The programme will pair businesses up with a student or graduate who will bring innovative thinking, fresh talent and technological awareness into the workplace.

They will be able to help businesses with new initiatives such as developing new software; streamlining cybersecurity, manufacturing; or improving automation. The Programme aims to provide Highland businesses with a cost-effective route to sourcing expertise for business growth.  It will also offer valuable experience for graduates and students, while providing incentive for young people to stay in or relocate to the area. 

Student technology placements will last for up to 12 weeks, while graduate placements are available for up to 12 months. HIE will pay up to half the costs of the placement salary.

David Oxley, HIE’s director of business and sector development, said:

“The Technology Placement Programme will appeal to many businesses as it provides a cost-effective way for them to benefit from fresh ideas. At the same time, it gives students and graduates real experience in the working world, where they can put into practice the skills and knowledge gained from their studies.

“The programme complements our ScotGrad placement programme and our broader work on attracting and retaining talent in the region, particularly young people, which is crucial in meeting the recruitment needs of growth companies.”

The Technology Placement Programme is part of the technology and young people strand of the HIE-led Northern Innovation Hub (NIH). This is a  set of projects to strengthen innovation and increase competitiveness among businesses across The Highland Council area. The NIH was awarded £11m by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal along with £3m from the European Regional Development Fund and £2m from HIE.