Help For Highland Businesses To Create Jobs For The Unemployed
With many people facing increasing challenges in finding jobs and career opportunities The Highland Council, in partnership with the European Social Fund, has taken positive steps to help by launching an Employment Grants Scheme that will encourage and support businesses in the creation of additional posts for unemployed people.
Targeted at small and medium sized businesses employing fewer than 250 people, a wage subsidy of up to £150 per week is available for 6 months to create additional and permanent posts. This increases to a year for any recruits aged between 16-19 years and covers young people in receipt of benefits, disabled people and those returning to the labour market.
Businesses in all sectors of industry located within The Highland Council area are eligible and may be private companies, co-operatives or social enterprises.
Chairman of The Highland Council's Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Councillor Thomas Prag said:"I know from my own friends and contacts that it's really tough for the smaller businesses just now, so they shy away from taking on new people - just when we need them to most. The same conditions mean we have people struggling to get into work. So this scheme is surely a classic 'win -win'.
By using the Council's own resources we have been able to lever in and maximise European funding to set up this grant scheme to encourage Highland businesses into taking on the people they need and create more jobs.
"Back in January of this year we launched our Youth Employment Action Plan and I am proud that we have prioritised this in the new council's programme for administration.
I really urge anyone who runs a business to pick up the phone or go on-line to check out this scheme - that extra person in a job is just what we all need.
The Employment grant is part of a wider recruitment project, Create and Employ, which is being supported by the Council. Create, delivered by Business Gateway, provides a free personalised advisory service which will address all employability and employment law matters to enable employers or potential employers to consider their capacity to employ, to prepare for recruitment and to find the right people to help them grow their business.
Further Information on Employ Grants is available from the Council's Employability Team on 01463 702912, e-mail: Employability@highland.gov.uk or at www.highland.gov.uk/employgrants
Further information on 'Create' is available from the Business Gateway on 01463 713889
The Highland Council is being asked next week to freeze the Council Tax for a seventh successive year and confirm a budget of £563.697 million for 2014-15. The Council Tax bands would remain: Band A: £775.33; Band B: £904.56; Band C: £1,033.78; Band D: £1,163.00; Band E: £1,421.44; Band F: £1,679.89; Band G: £1,938.33; Band H: £2,326.00.
Detailed proposals to realign The Highland Councilís Service management teams into 5 directorates will be presented for approval to the full council meeting on Thursday (19 December). At its last meeting on 24 October, the Council agreed to reduce the number of Services from seven to five, delivering savings of £350,000 per year.
The highland Council has received a copy of the Follow Up statutory report on Caithness Heat and Power prepared by Audit Scotland. This Follow Up statutory report is being considered by the Accounts Commission at its meeting on 12th December 2013.
The Highland Council is fully backing plans by the Scottish Government to increase fixed penalties for littering and fly-tipping but wants to see more robust action taken against contractors who try to avoid landfill costs by dumping materials indiscriminately. It agrees that the penalty for littering should rise to £80 and the penalty for fly-tipping should increase to £200, penalties which are due to take effect from 1 April, next year.
Trading Standards Officers at The Highland Council are reminding businesses to be wary of making donations to telephone cold-callers looking for contributions to seemingly good causes. Reports have come in of Highland businesses being targeted by publishing firms seeking payments for educational publications in return for the business being named as a contributor.
The Highland Councilís snow clearing / gritting route policies and area maps are online for 2013/14 at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. Road condition and gritting treatment reports by The Highland Councilís, Transport, Environmental and Community Services for Thursday 5 December 2013 are as follows: Caithness, South Sutherland and East Ross U2126 Oykel Bailley Bridge Road closed due to flooding.
The Highland Council and Police Scotland are to work together to ensure parking management is maintained in the Highlands when the traffic warden service Ė currently provided by the police - ends. Police Scotland have given notice of the completion of their phased withdrawal from the service from 3 February, next year.
Today (5 December 2013) 56 schools, 7 Service Points and council offices were closed due to lack of power, bad weather or loss of water. There were issues with the Councilís website and school closures online which are being investigated.
Currently firms are contacting businesses asking for support for an educational programme on cyber bullying. The line is that councils have cut back on their funding and they can offer help to classes in your local school if you donate to the programme.
Mr Neil Gillies, The Highland Councilís Director of Transport Environmental and Community Services, has announced his decision to retire from the Council, with effect from the end of January, next year. Mr Gillies joined the former Highland Regional Council in 1978 and worked on a wide range of civil engineering projects including roads, bridges, harbours and coast protection works, and road maintenance.
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