MONTHLY REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 2002
The number of unemployed in Caithness
and Sutherland rose from 752 last month to 790. The revised unemployment
rates in the Sutherland, Wick and Thurso ĎTravel to Work Areasí
respectively are as follows (corresponding figures for last month are
shown in brackets) 5.7% (5.2%), 4.7% (4.8%) and 3.0% (2.8%).
315 young people are currently on
Skillseekers, 297 of whom are employed status trainees. There was a total
of five Level III vocational qualifications achieved in a range of
engineering disciplines, while Alisdair Chalmers, Thurso, achieved a
246 Modern Apprentices are currently in
training, including 3 new starts. Gavin Henderson and Ian Munro, both from
Wick, achieved their MA certificates.
TRAINING FOR WORK
There are currently 35 participants on
Training For Work.
13 participants started on Gateway,
while a further 27 people went into a variety of employment and training
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS
There was a total of 13 approvals, 10
of which were for welding certification courses.
5 people from Caithness and Sutherland
attended a masterclass entitled ĎThe Power of Creativity' at Gleneagles.
Delivered by the best selling author Tony Buzan the event concentrated on
topics such as how to gain competitive advantage by developing the skills
to learn, manage change and communicate more effectively. The delegates
were also treated to a behind the scenes tour of Gleneagles. In addition,
a Scotlandís Best Service Management took place in Lybster.
FINANCE FOR BUSINESS
Ackergill Limited, Wick, received
approval of assistance of up to £44,000 towards an innovative conference
facility development. The new building, which will be built in the style
of a tree house, will be situated within the walled garden of Ackergill
Tower, and will incorporate the latest in video conferencing equipment.
Thurso Laundrette was awarded
assistance of £9,100 towards the purchase of dry-cleaning equipment, while
J & C Grant, Lybster, were awarded £2,800 towards the purchase of
specialist livestock scanning equipment.
Donald Munro, who is a fully
accredited as a trainer by the CITB, is to receive up to £7,800 towards
the establishment of a construction plant training centre at Ardgay. He
will provide training for personnel in the construction sector, which will
provide them with the opportunity to acquire certification for operating
various plant and machinery.
TM Sutherland & H Chambers were
awarded assistance of up to £58,300 towards the establishment of a
restaurant at Evelix Filling Station, while Mackenzie's Furniture Village,
Wick, were awarded assistance of up to £16,000 to enable them to develop
an e-commerce operation.
ENVIRONMENTAL RENEWAL GRANTS
The Highland Council was awarded an
Environmental Renewal Grant of £12,000 towards their Small Works
The new business starts were: Liam
Gunn, Quoys of Reiss Farm, Wick, towards starting a plant hire business;
Rachel Skene, Tongue, towards starting a textile design business; and
Alexandra Henderson, Halkirk, towards starting an equestrian centre.
HIE INNOVATION SUPPORT SCHEME
Caithness Multi Media Ltd. was awarded
£35,000 towards the research, design and marketing of PathUser, an
innovative software programme. PathUser will provide a mechanism that will
allow medical practitioners to optimise the efficient use of pathology
tests through an interactive website.
Speedy Skip Hire Ltd, Thurso, was
awarded assistance towards the cost of employing a consultant to undertake
an independent economic & environmental consultancy. Patricia Sutherland,
Harpsdale, was awarded assistance towards packaging advice for fruit
preservatives. Linda Levack, Spittal, was also assisted with funding which
will enable her to attend the Machinery Ring Conference in February 2003.
BUSINESS SPECIALIST SKILLS
There were approvals for: RMC
Consultants Ltd, Thurso, towards a Microsoft Applications course; NDR
Environmental Services, Castletown, towards a Bat & Bat Surveys course;
Dunaliscaig EM Ltd, Ardgay, towards herbicide spray courses; and
Sutherland Estates, Golspie, towards an Autocad course.
E-BUSINESS SUPPORT SCHEME
Hi-Profile Graphics, Thurso; Cape
Adventure International, Rhiconich; Michael Shaw, Golspie Mill; Intech-Power
Ltd, Scrabster; and Mackenzie's Furniture Village, Wick have all been
awarded assistance for various website developments.
Ackergill Limited, Wick, received
approval of assistance of up to £29,400 towards an innovative conference
Approvals were for: Strathmore Lodge,
Halkirk, towards attending a trade exhibition in Paris; Penny Woodley,
Helmsdale, towards the cost of promotional material; and Loch Duart Ltd,
Scourie, towards brand development activities.
Community INVESTMENT Grants
Dunnet Forestry Trust, are to receive
up to £17,892 towards the cost of implementing the management plan for
Assynt Tourism Group have received
approval of £4,247 to assist with the installation of a CCTV link which
will relay live images from a heronry at Lochinver to the Assynt Visitor
Caithness Voluntary Group is to receive
£4,908, on behalf of the Caithness Rural Transport Project, to assist with
a trial extension of its community transport service in Caithness.
COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Assynt Historical Society have received
approval of up to £2,750 towards the cost of restoring the salmon bothy
and ice house at Clachtoll and provide displays and other interpretative
material explaining the historical role of salmon netting in the area.
Also assisted were: Assynt Tourism
Group, for up to £4,247 towards the installation of a CCTV link from a
heronry at Lochinver to the Assynt Visitor centre; Dunnet Forestry Trust,
to assist with the implementation of a major management plan for Dunnet
Forest; and Caithness Voluntary Group, on behalf of the Caithness Rural
Transport Project, to assist with a trial extension of its community
transport service in Caithness.
In addition, Pulteneytown Family
Resource Centre and The Puffin Group, both of which are based in Wick, are
to be assisted with the costs of employing a centre manager and a support
INVESTORS IN PEOPLE
Boulfruich Ltd., Dunbeath have achieved
Investor in People status, while Caithness Voluntary Group, Duncraggie Ltd
and Dornoch Academy have all been successfully re-assessed against the
APPROVALS FOR NOVEMBER 2002
The following are funds approved during
the month ending 30th November 2002. 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