Weekly Update, 1st march 2010

Met with Inward Investment manager Fiona Macpherson, Trudy Morris (Chamber of Commerce) and Rachel Skene (Tourism) to agree our joint positions on inward investment and capability materials. The Chamber and North Highland Tourism will work with us on capability materials for use at Visitscotland Expo in April, and we continue to work up materials on our other key target sectors (energy, engineering, business services)

Had a very positive meeting with Senior staff from Skills Development Scotland in our area. Following the skills meeting we convened on 23rd February there has been considerable interest in joining up the current skills offering in Caithness. We agreed that working with DSRL, North Highland College, HIE, Highland Council and local training establishments we could significantly enhance the way we work towards the outcome of having a population and workforce skilled for future opportunities. The process will move on a step further with a meeting on issues around apprenticeships, being convened by T3UK on 15th March.

The telecoms connectivity group met again this week, and were able to talk to the consultant currently looking at the business case for a point of Presence in Caithness. We were all surprised to hear that we are closer to this goal than we had previously thought, so there is now a very clear momentum to make a tangible difference to what we are able to say to current and potential business users with high bandwidth requirements. The work HIE has commissioned should be finished in the next couple of weeks, and we look forward to seeing its recommendations.