Graduate Placement Grants available to help Highland businesses grow

The Highland Council though Business Gateway is currently offering a grant, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which supports businesses by helping them hire a graduate to deliver a project to assist their business to grow. The Graduate Placement Grant Programme is already bringing benefits to Highland businesses including Whittes Publishing Ltd in Dunbeath and CH Architecture, Bonar Bridge.

Whittles Publishing Ltd is a well established publishing company based in Dunbeath which has published a number of technical books for academic and professional engineers and scientists as well as non-fiction books in areas such as diving and wildlife. Whittles Publishing Ltd works with authors from all over the world and sells to a global market. 

Whittles Publishing applied for the Graduate Placement Grant, so that they could introduce digitised publications to help the business develop thereby offering its books to a growing online market. With the support of the Graduate Placement Programme they have been able to hire a graduate, Rachel Oliver, who has undertaken this project to create an online database of most of their books, enabling them to be read online or using eBooks readers.

Rachel said: “Through the Graduate Placement Programme I have been able to enter my chosen field soon after graduating, gain worthwhile experience, and have the security of at least 12 months employment, all of which are invaluable to me.”

Keith Whittles Director of Whittles Publishing said: “The placement has worked out very well. Rachel works hard and is now well into the overall programme of work. A good number of titles have both been converted to eBook or PDF and distributed to aggregators. With this grant it has helped Whittles Publishing Ltd to grow into new markets across the world.”   

CH Architecture based in Sutherland started in April 2014 by Catriona Hill and within its first year CH Architecture was shortlisted for the Scottish Homes Awards 2014 in the category of Architectural Excellence Award (Single Dwelling) and also commended in the 2014 Inverness Architectural Association bi-annual awards in category of small projects. The business is currently working on the new visitors centre at the Falls of Shin (for the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust) and a number of domestic projects including new builds and conversion.

The project supported through the Programme is to open up new markets and develop the CH Architecture marketing strategy with the use of Social Media. One of the new areas the business has recently entered is becoming a certified energy assessor for new houses.

The business has been able to hire a graduate, Katherine Morrison. Katherine said The graduate placement programme has been of great benefit. Working at CH Architecture has enabled me to gain experience in many aspects of the practices work, more so than would have been possible in a larger practice, and Catriona has been a fantastic mentor during my time here. It has also enabled me and my family to remain in Sutherland as part of a small rural community; had this post not been supported by the scheme it is likely that we would have had to relocate for me to find employment.”

Catriona Hill the owner of CH Architecture added: “The Graduate Placement Scheme has been fundamental to the development of the business. The skills that Kate has brought to the practice have enabled us to expand our provision of services and we are now providing energy assessments for other professionals.”

CH Architecture

Graduate Katherine Morrison with Catriona Hill, CH Architecture

Before a business is able to apply for Graduate Placement Grant they work with their local Business Gateway adviser to create a detailed plan for the project which will support the business to grow.

If your business is looking to grow and may benefit through the graduate Placement Programme please contact your local Business Gateway office or through Business Gateway Highlands.

Phone Business Gateway Highlands on 01463 713889

Business Gateway is a free service offering impartial advice and support for your business in order to help it grow and develop into the future; you can be starting your business or looking at ways to grow an already well established business, Business Gateway is available across the Highlands to offer support and advices.

Business Gateway runs a number of courses across the Highlands in areas that will help a business grow for example Introduction into Social Media, Start your own Business and Importance of Branding; these are only a few examples of the wide range of free courses in which Business Gateway runs across the Highlands.

For more information about the services Business Gateway offers please visit our website ( and arrange a meeting with your local Business Gateway Advisers by calling 01463 713889.


19 Apr 2016
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