Energy & business services:
• Partners kicked off a piece of work this week to look at short/ medium/ long term opportunities for the north mainland to gain further economic benefit from oil & gas work, particularly focusing on the continuing interest around west of Shetland oil & gas developments, for which locations like Scrabster are very well placed. The work has been commissioned by CNSRP partner HIE, and is being delivered by Ernst & Young.
• The team from Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) have now moved into temporary offices in the Wick Harbour Authority building (formerly occupied by the North Highland Initiative team, who have moved across the road into other office space) as preparations continue for the start of work on the £10M Operations and Maintenance base further along the harbourfront in Wick. Two representatives of the project will be present at this week’s “Jobs and How to Get Them” event in Thurso (see below for further details).
• Tomorrow (Saturday 4th February, in the ETEC facility at North Highland College from 10am-2pm) is the “Jobs and How to Get Them” event (see my online blog for ev. This year’s event will be the fifth in the annual series organised by Caithness Chamber of Commerce with support from CNSRP partners Highland Council, Skills development Scotland, North Highland College and Job Centre Plus. Around 40 organisations will be in attendance, offering advice and support on employability issues, as well as information on current and future employment opportunities. There will also be a chance to take a tour of the excellent Engineering facility within the ETEC building. Myself and Marcus Mennie from Caithness Chamber took to the airwaves of Caithness FM this week to talk about the event.
• One of the features of the “Jobs and How to Get Them” event above is the advice available to school pupils on subject choices. This week I was invited with Marcus Mennie to give a presentation on future employment opportunities at an information evening for parents of S3, 4 and 5 pupils at Thurso High School. Marcus gave some information on the Chamber’s “Developing The Young Workforce” programme, and I delivered a version of the presentation that myself and Simon Middlemas were delivering to Dounreay workers last summer. My presentation aimed to highlight the opportunities for long-term skilled jobs based in the area.
• Scrabster Harbour Trust has been reporting continued growth in harbour activity and revenues during 2016, with £2.95M in revenue coming into the Trust from increased port activity. Trust Manager Sandy Mackie highlights the crucial role played in this growth by the development of the Jubliee Quay, which was an early priority project for CNSRP partners. More info on the Trust’s performance, together with some excellent videos of related port activity, is at http://www.scrabster.co.uk/scrabster-harbour-looks-forward-with-confidence-in-2017/ As mentioned at “Energy & Business Services” above, the port continues to play a vital role in identifying and securing future economic opportunities.