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Nwicker60
09-Jul-12, 16:59
Small and medium businesses the target for employment subsidy

WITH many people facing increasing challenges in finding jobs and career opportunities 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 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.
Mr Prag continued: "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 (http://www.highland.gov.uk/employgrants.htm)
Further information on ‘Create’ is available from the Business Gateway on 01463 713889