Job opportunities on offer to students
The job opportunities will be available through the Students Summer Placement Scheme, which offers Gaelic-speaking students placements with businesses and organisations where Gaelic is the language of the workplace.
The 2014 scheme is being launched today (Tuesday 18th February) and is open to students, businesses and organisations
The scheme has been operating very successfully for the past 14 years with hundreds of students, businesses and organisations benefitting from it. The majority of the funding is provided by HIE, and there has also been important financial support from The Highland Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Bòrd na Gàidhlig. This year's scheme will give up to 25 Gaelic-speaking students the opportunity to work for 10 weeks with businesses and organisations engaged in Gaelic and community development activity.
As well as providing the students with employment, the scheme also gives them invaluable hands-on experience in the workplace, an opportunity to improve their Gaelic fluency, an insight into the roles of the different organisations, and all this, based in their own communities. The placements will be available in businesses and organisations across the Highlands and islands.
The students will earn a minimum wage of £225 per week and, for the first time, the students will have an opportunity this year, to attend a couple of personal development courses. The courses are organised and funded by HIE.
As well as the obvious benefits to the students, the scheme can also be of great benefit to employers who are able to take advantage of the students' skills over the summer months to the benefit of their organisation. The scheme also enables employers to assess students with a view to future recruitment.
Agnes Rennie, Manager of the Gaelic books publisher Acair, which has been participating in the students placement scheme for many years said, "The students' placement scheme is a great opportunity to let a young person work as part of the Acair "team". We try to ensure that students get a chance to experience all aspects of publishing as well as a real project that relates to the student's own skill set. The scheme also enables us as potential employers to look at the level of skills in the upcoming labour market."
Mairead Macleod, a 3rd year student at Colaisde a' Chaisteil, who was on placement with Acair last year, said, "I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Acair last year. I found it hugely challenging but also hugely beneficial. I was given a wide range of challenging tasks and also given a fair degree of responsibility. I felt I gained a great deal of confidence through working as part of "the team". Participation in the scheme introduced me to a Gaelic working environment where I developed my language skills, particularly expanding my knowledge of business vocabulary. The scheme has highlighted to me the wide range of job opportunities which could be available – and all on my doorstep!"
Donald MacNèill, Chief Executive of CnaG, said, "This is an important scheme both for the future of the language and also for preparing students for work, following their graduation. The scheme not only provides students with the opportunity to improve their Gaelic fluency, by working in an environment where Gaelic is the language of the workplace, but also gives them a working knowledge of the employment opportunities available across Scotland, to young people with excellent Gaelic skills."
Neil Ross, Head of Community Growth at HIE said, "At HIE we are keen to support the growth of workplace opportunities which will attract and keep talent in our region. This programme benefits both businesses and students, introducing fresh perspective to innovative Gaelic businesses, and much-needed work experience and employment opportunities to the students."
Hamish Fraser Chair of the Highland Council's Gaelic Implementation Group said, "We are delighted to be supporting the Work Placement Scheme as the participants will have the opportunity to use and develop their language skills in a Gaelic environment. They also gain experience working as part of Gaelic related teams in either the public or private sectors." He added, "This will be a positive attribute which can be in included in their CVs and which could lead to future opportunities with the organisations who have hosted the students."
Students who would like to take part in this year's scheme should send an application form to, Comunn na Gàidhlig, 5 Mitchells Lane, Inverness. IV2 3HQ by 14 March 20142. For further information, and to download an application form, please go tohttp://www.cnag.org.uk
Businesses and organisations which work through the medium of Gaelic and wish to participate in the scheme should send an application form to, Comunn na Gàidhlig, 5 Mitchells Lane, Inverness. IV2 3HQ by 14 March 20142. For further information, and to download an application form, please go to http://www.cnag.org.uk
The 2014 Student Summer Placement Scheme is funded by Highlands & Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and administered by Comunn na Gàidhlig.