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Caithness.org News Bulletins 2003

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December 2003 News Index

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December 2003 Report
Earlier Reports Index

Overall, the number of people unemployed in Caithness and Sutherland rose from 738 last month to 839. The revised unemployment rates in the Sutherland, Wick and Thurso 'Travel to Work Areas' respectively are as follows: 4.9% (3.9%), 3.8% (3.6%) and 2.6% (2.4%).

462 people are currently on Skillseekers, 448 of whom are employed status trainees. There were a total of 9 vocational qualifications achieved, which included an Administration Level III VQ for Gillian Hammond, Embo.

396 Modern Apprentices are currently in training, 96 of which are over the age of 25, including 10 new starts. Steven Hutton, Wick, was one the 8 MAs to complete their apprenticeships when he achieved his Level III VQ in Brickwork.

There are currently 45 participants on Training for Work. William Sim, Wick, achieved his European Computer Driving Licence, while Douglas Henderson, Spittal, went into further education following his time on the programme.

27 participants started on Gateway, while a further 33 people went into a variety of employment and training options.

Mackay’s Hotel, Wick has been awarded assistance of up to £85,500 towards the costs of upgrading the hotel to achieve a 4 Star grading.

D & A Reid is to receive up to £5,475 to contribute towards the cost of purchasing specialist packaging equipment for their bakery business, while Rogart Vets has been awarded assistance of up to £1,900 towards the purchase of specialised scanning equipment.

Also assisted were Wick Golf Club, who received approval of up to £11,000 towards the costs of a new maintenance and storage building, and Golspie Links Caravan Park, who will receive up to £6,000 towards the cost of developments to the site.

The Highland Council has been awarded a grant of up to £5,000 towards the Sutherland Small Works Programme.

Alexander Mackay, Wick is to receive assistance which will enable him to start trading as Caithness Handyman Services. Also assisted was Kirsty Macleod, who will trade as Assynt Office Services, and will provide a range of office services.

Elizabeth Sinclair, Wick, has been awarded an Innovation Credit of £250, while Ackergill Ltd has been awarded 2 days consultancy.

Caithness Scaffolding Contractors Ltd has been awarded a grant of up to £441 towards the cost of undertaking a NEBOSH General Certificate course.

The Royal Marine Hotel, Brora, and Isobel Patience, Rhiconich, have both been awarded assistance with the costs of website developments.

Joanne Kaar, Dunnet, has been awarded a grant of up to £5,000 towards market research, while Hunters Promotions Ltd, Wick and Dale House, Halkirk are to receive assistance towards the cost of attending trade fairs.

Pulteneytown People’s Project (PPP) has received approval of £5,663 towards the establishment and running of a Breakfast Club and After School Club based at the South Community School in the heart of the PPP area. It is hoped that the scheme will benefit both local school children and their parents, since it will allow parents who are working or seeking work to have their children looked after in a secure environment outwith normal school hours.

The environmental body Plantlife Scotland manages a reserve at Munsary in Caithness. Assistance of £707 will enable the body’s local management group to undertake a full site access plan for visitors.

Clan Sinclair Trust are to receive £2,056 towards their work on a business plan for the re-development of the Castle Girnigoe complex at Noss Head, Wick. The site is being re-recognised as one of huge historical significance, and the Trust wishes to explore possibilities for opening up better and safer visitor access to the site.

Assistance of £2,800 will enable Eriboll Pier Users’ Group to undertake a technical study into the feasibility of creating a new pier in Loch Eriboll to service small-scale fisheries use in this fragile area.

Kyle of Sutherland Initiative (KoSI) is to receive £20,000 towards their project to undertake development work on two forest sites around Bonar Bridge, leading to the completion of an mountain biking trail. This will be the first of its kind in the area, and it is hoped that it will attract a range of local and visiting mountain bikers. It is seen by KoSI as part of a wider strategy to regenerate this area of Sutherland.

Assistance of £5,255 will enable Skerray Historical Society to undertake further work to extend the network of footpaths around Skerray. The award will allow two traditional walking routes (Torrisdale to Skerray Harbour and Torrisdale to Slettel) to be surveyed, reinstated and waymarked. Interpretatation will be provided through a small leaflet. The routes will be approximately 7 miles in length, and it is hoped they can be created as a circular path network around the Skerray township.

The internationally-acclaimed North Lands Creative Glass glass studio in Lybster is to receive £12,246 towards converting the former school-house, which is attached to its studio complex, into an accommodation unit for glass students and tutors.

Sutherland Access Panel works with a wide range of people in the county to assess and address the issues of differing access problems (eg wheelchair users, partially-sighted/ blind etc). Assistance of £3,750 will allow them to produce a comprehensive guide on public services, amenities and premises, detailing accessibility issues for each.

The remaining approvals were for Plantlife Scotland, the Clan Sinclair Trust and the Eriboll Pier User’s Group (all of which also received Community Assistance Grants as outlined above).

The following are funds approved during the month ending 31st December 2003. Please note that the sums relate to approvals, not payments. While finance may be approved, for a business investment for example, it does not guarantee that the developments will go ahead. The approval simply shows that CASE funds have been made available, but they will not be released until evidence is received that the project or activity has gone ahead.

Vocational Qualifications achieved
Name of Trainee Training Company VQ Achieved

Robert Tait, Thurso North Highland College Engineering Maintenance Level III
Ian Grant, Shebster North Highland College Engineering Maintenance Level III
Peter Campbell, Thurso ITP Solutions Ltd Management Level III
James Smith, Thurso UKAEA Engineering Maintenance Level III
Gillian Hammond, Embo RT Resources Administration Level III
Steven Hutton, Wick CITB Brickwork Level III
Graeme Spence, Crossroads Alstec Ltd Engineering Maintenance Level III
Jamie Mackay, Thurso Alstec Ltd Engineering Maintenance Level III
Martin Murray, Dornoch Go@l Training Food Preparation & Cooking Level II

Modern Apprenticeship certificates achieved
Name of Trainee Company

Gillian Hammond, Embo RT Resources
Steven Hutton, Wick CITB
William Inrig, Thurso Norfrost
Jonathon Morrow, Wick Norfrost
Roddy Farmer, Castletown Norfrost
Robert Tait, Thurso North Highland College
Ian Grant, Shebster North Highland College
James Smith, Thurso UKAEA

Modern Apprenticeship starts / transfers
Name of Trainee Company

Peter Moore, Golspie Development Partners
Joanne Davison, Thurso Inverness College
Lewis Mackay, Golspie Moray Firth Training Group
Bruce Suttar, Dunnet SNIPEF Training Services Ltd
Derek Nicolson, Castletown SNIPEF Training Services Ltd
Graeme Sinclair, Wick SNIPEF Training Services Ltd
Ryan Pollard, Castletown SNIPEF Training Services Ltd
Anji McLean, Thurso North Highland College
Jaclyn Sutherland, Haster North Highland College

Vocational / other qualifications achieved

Name of Trainee Training Company VQ / Other Qualification Achieved
William Sim, Wick Global Highland European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)

Bonus payments are also paid to the Training Provider for every trainee who goes from the scheme to employment (including self-employment) or further education. The following have been reported to us as having gone on to employment/further education this month.

Name of Trainee Training Company
Douglas Henderson, Spittal North Highland College

Company and Location Description Financial assistance Forecast of jobs created/retained
Mackay’s Hotel, Wick Upgrade of facilities to 4 Star standard £85,500 7.5 cr
D & A Reid, Thurso Purchase of specialist packaging equipment £5,475 2 cr
Wick Golf Club, Wick New maintenance and storage building £11,000 1 rt
Golspie Links Caravan Park, Golspie Site developments £6,000 0.75 cr
Rogart Vets, Rogart Purchase of scanning equipment £1,900 1 rt

Name & Location Description Max. Grant

Highland Council, Dornoch Sutherland Small Works Programme £5,000

Name & Location Trading Name

Alexander Mackay, Wick Caithness Handyman Services
Kirsty Macleod, Lochinver Assynt Office Services

Name & Location Scheme Max. Grant

Elizabeth Sinclair, Wick Innovation Credit £250
Ackergill Ltd, Wick 2 day consultancy -

Name & Location Course Details Max Grant

Caithness Scaffolding Contractors Ltd,Thurso NEBOSH General certificate £441

Name & Location Description Max. Grant

Royal Marine Hotel, Brora Website development £5,517
Webtype, Rhiconich Website development £767

Name & Location Description Max. Grant

Hunters Promotions Ltd, Wick Attendance at a trade fair £500
Dale House, Halkirk Attendance at a trade fair £2,075
Joanne Kaar, Dunnett Market research £5,000

Name of Applicant Project Details Max. Grant

Pulteneytown People’s Project Breakfast & After School Clubs £5,663
Plantlife Scotland Munsary access plan £707
Clan Sinclair Trust Castle Girnigoe development plan £2,056
Eriboll Pier Users Group Technical study £2,800

Name of Applicant Project Details Max. Grant

Plantlife Scotland Munsary access plan £2,119
Kyle of Sutherland Initiative Mountain bike trail development £20,000
Skerray Historical Society Local footpaths network £5,255
Clan Sinclair Trust Castle Girnigoe development plan £2,056
North Lands Creative Glass School-house accommodation works £12,246
Sutherland Access Panel Production of access guide £3,750
Eriboll Pier Users Group Technical study £5,500