Weekly update, 21st August

Energy & business services:
• Another opportunity to secure employment at the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm’s Operations & Maintenance base in Wick is currently being advertised. This time the vacancy is for a Control Room Operator. The post has an application deadline of 30th August, and application information is at http://www.jobs-north.co.uk/search-results/control-room-operator-lja-48639681.aspx?jobId=LJA-48639681&agentId=929325&viewedfrom=2 CNSRP partner HIE’s recently-appointed Director of Energy and Low Carbon, Audrey MacIver, was in Caithness this week to visit the community-owned harbour at Gills, and it was also good for myself and colleague Keith Muir to be able to show Audrey the progress being made at Denchi Power and Wick harbour , as well as the MeyGen building.

A seacat crew transfer vessel coming alongside the quay at Wick harbour. A good example of the type of vessel that will be in use as the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project reaches its Operations and Maintenance phase.


• Good to see Dounreay Director Phil Craig in today’s John O’Groat Journal talking about the recently-launched supply chain initiative at Dounreay. The LINC project has been set up to encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at a local and national level to collaborate with each other to deliver innovative solutions that support the Dounreay decommissioning programme. To register please see https://dounreay.com/supply-chain/linc-with-dounreay/

Enabling Activities:

• I was delighted this week to be invited to deliver a presentation on future economic opportunities in the north to S3 students at Wick High School. The careers event was run by Caithness Chamber of Commerce as part of its Developing the Young Workforce initiative, and featured an excellent presentation from former Thurso High School student Debbie Dunnett, who is now Head of Nations and Regions at Channel 4. The event also brought together a number of businesses to offer students a “speed dating” careers session. More on the DYW work is at http://www.caithnesschamber.com/projects/developing-the-young-workforce

The main “street” in the new Wick High School


• Thurso’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI) has issued its latest newsletter, highlighting just how great a range of activities are being undertaken through its facilities in Thurso. http://eri.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/ERI-newsletter-summer-2017-FINAL-FINAL-002.pdf

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:
• During my presentation to Wick High School pupils this week (see “Enabling Activities” above) I was also able to show the audience a “beta” version of the interactive tool that will feature on the CNSRP website. The tool offers young people the opportunity to raise and lower the levels of future employment projections in key sectors for the area economy, and also highlights links to the My World of Work website for detail on the types of employment in those sectors, as well as potential pathways to achieve qualifications. We hope this will help stimulate discussions on subject choices and employability – and from initial feedback from students and teachers we think this will be an interesting asset.
• CNSRP partner Highland Council has this week agreed that it will move its current funding for the North Coast Leisure Centre in Bettyhill from North Coast Leisure Trust to High Life Highland so that HLH will from here on manage the staff and daily management of the complex, although ownership of the facility will remain with the Trust. The facility was built with huge community support, and continues to provide a valuable service in North Sutherland for residents and visitors. https://www.highland.gov.uk/news/article/10382/north_coast_leisure_centre_to_join_high_life_highland_management_portfolio