Weekly update, 15th August

Energy and Business Services:
• As part of the programme to connect renewable power in Shetland to the National Grid, SSE Power Distribution Ltd this week carried out consultation events in Wick and Staxigoe relating to the company’s latest plans for a switching station to be built on land between Wick John O’ Groats Airport and Noss Head. The station would provide a connection by connecting to the High Voltage DC system that is currently being installed between Caithness and Moray. This arrangement makes use of capacity available in the Caithness-Moray subsea cable to allow onward connection to the existing onshore transmission network in Moray with minimum new infrastructure. The switching station would allow the flow of electricity to be managed between 3 underground HVDC circuits – one from a converter station at Spittal in Caithness, one from a converter station at Kergord in Shetland and one to a converter station at Blackhillock in Moray. Comments on the proposals are sought by Friday 9th September, with further information at https://www.ssepd.co.uk/CaithnessHVDC/

Enabling Activities:
• NHS Highland is developing a website to keep people abreast of news on the changes happening in service delivery in Caithness and North Sutherland. The site is in pilot form at present, and will be further developed from feedback, and based on NHS Highland’s ongoing discussions with Caithness Chamber of Commerce on the issue of recruitment. As previously reported here CNSRP partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) commissioned Caithness Chamber to carry out a needs assessment of issues around “talent attraction”. http://www.cgh.scot.nhs.uk/
• The Environmental Research Institute is based in Thurso, and is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands. It employs a number of PhD students on a range of projects, a flavour of which is available in its latest newsletter at http://www.eri.ac.uk/resources/ERI%20Newsletter%20Summer%202016.pdf The ERI is also advertising at present for two research posts. More information on these opportunities is at http://www.eri.ac.uk/recruitment.php

Communications:
As part of an ongoing process of helping communicate progress with the delivery of aspects of our economic transition programme CNSRP’s partners work together to generate news stories for local, regional and national media. I also speak on a regular basis to individuals and organisations across the area to update on progress. This week:
• As previously highlighted here, CNSRP partner Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is currently advertising Trainee Careers Adviser posts in the Highlands, including in Thurso. This is an excellent opportunity, more information on which is at https://jobs.sds.co.uk/vacancy/trainee-careers-adviser-in-career-development-stage-1-273466.html
• After last week’s exam results announcements for students, the Scottish Qualifications Authority has produced a handy guide for employers who may wish to know more about the new qualifications. http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/BD7048_CfE_Employers_guide.pdf