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CASE Monthly Report For August 2004

19th September 2004

Overall, the number of people unemployed in Caithness and Sutherland fell from 755 last month to 745. The revised unemployment rates in the Sutherland, Wick and Thurso 'Travel to Work Areas' respectively are as follows (corresponding figures for last month are in brackets): 3.3% (3.4%), 4.3% (4.4%) and 2.5% (2.4%).

SKILLSEEKERS
436 people are currently on Skillseekers, 435 of whom are employed status trainees. There were a total of 9 vocational qualifications achieved, 7 of which were to Level III standard in engineering and electrical disciplines.

MODERN APPRENTICESHIPS
390 Modern Apprentices are currently in training, 117 of whom are over the age of 25. There were 6 MA certificates achieved.

TRAINING FOR WORK
13 participants are currently on Training for Work. Catherine Miller, Wick achieved a vocational qualification in Food Preparation and Cooking, while Neil Hutt, Castletown achieved his European Computer Driving Licence.

NEW DEAL
40 participants started on Gateway, while a further 29 people went into a variety of employment and training options.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS
Hugh MacLellan, Laid, is to receive 750 towards the cost of undertaking training in Global Maritime Distress Satellite Systems.

INITIAL INVESTMENT AND JOB CREATION
Wick Engraving (see Business Start Up) is to receive 2,300 towards the purchase of specialist equipment.

BUSINESS START UP
Willie Bain, Wick, a former employee of Caithness Glass Ltd, has started Wick Engraving, which will provide a glass engraving service for businesses or individuals. Also assisted were: Heather Black, Wick, for a childminding business; Alexander Lowe, Bonar Bridge, trading as Norweld, who will provide a mobile fabrication and welding service; Sam Barlow, Lairg, trading as Mooreworks, who will manufacture a range of products using wood, metal and stone.

BUSINESS SPECIALIST SKILLS
Fathoms Ltd, Wick has been awarded a training grant of up to 608 towards attaining C&G Radiation Safety Practice vocational qualifications, while Dornoch Caravan Park has been awarded a training grant of up to 250 to undertake CITO training.

SPECIAL PROJECTS
Highland Food Festival has been awarded 3,500 towards the costs of the Festival for 2004. Included in this year's programme of events is a bakery demonstration, a champagne reception and dinner with leading food writer Sue Lawrence, who won the BBC Masterchef in 1991. See Caithness.org Recipes & Food section for more details and to book places for dinner etc
Click here

E-BUSINESS SUPPORT SCHEME
J A Mackay, Thurso; Murray Retail, Golspie; and the Granite Villa Guest House, Golspie, have all received approval of assistance to assist with the costs of e-commerce website developments.

AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE
G & P Sutherland, Harpsdale have been awarded a grant of up to 6,376 towards the development of facilities which will enable them to diversify into producing jams and puddings from fruit grown on their croft.

COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE GRANTS
Wick Players are to receive 3,365 towards the cost of refurbishing their new premises in Moray Street, Wick.

CVS North, which has recently been set up to support and develop the voluntary sector operating in North & West Sutherland, will receive assistance of 5,000 towards the cost of establishing the service. They propose to appoint two part-time employees (one on the north and one on the west coast) who will provide, in addition to internet and a library of reference material, a range of advice, office services and/or training.

Assistance of 14,695 will assist the NW Cattle Producers' Association with the start-up costs of a development programme aimed at supporting local producers to enhance the economic, social and environmental impact of cattle production in North & West Sutherland. The NWCPA was formed in 2000 by a group of cattle producers aiming to reverse the historic decline in the cattle herd in the area through a wide range of activities.

COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
Caithness Partnership is to receive 36,000 to assist with the costs of employing a manager/co-ordinator for the Partnership's three year development plans, while the. Sutherland Partnership is to receive 5,075 to help meet the costs of creating a website & CD Rom to boost recruitment options in Sutherland.

Assynt Economic Development Association, set up in December 2003 in response to concerns about the negative economic impact of the downturn in fisheries on the Lochinver and wider Assynt community, is to receive 6,000 to assist with the appointment of a development officer to implement a six-month development planning project.

The remaining approvals were for CVS North and the NW Cattle Producers' Association, for the projects as outlined above in the Community Assistance approvals.

APPROVALS FOR AUGUST 2004
The following are funds approved during the month ending 31st August 2004. Please note that the sums relate to approvals, not payments. While finance may be approved, for a business investment for example, it does not guarantee that the developments will go ahead. The approval simply shows that CASE funds have been made available, but they will not be released until evidence is received that the project or activity has gone ahead.

SKILLSEEKERS
Vocational qualifications achieved
Andrew Tait, Wick, SECTT, Installing & Commissioning Electrotechnical Systems Level III; Graham Scollay, Wick, SECTT, Installing & Commissioning Electrotechnical Systems Level III; Marc Green, Wick, SECTT, Installing & Commissioning Electrotechnical Systems Level III; Shaun Forbes, Reay, UKAEA, Engineering Maintenance Level III; Luke Cassidy, Thurso, UKAEA, Engineering Maintenance Level III; Iain Nicolson, Wick, UKAEA, Engineering Maintenance Level III; Gavin MacDonald, Wick, Rolls Royce, Engineering Maintenance Level III; Darryn Sutherland, Thurso, Orkney College, Mixed Farming Level II; Isaac Saint, Lybster, Rural Training, Mixed Farming Level II

MODERN APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME
Modern Apprenticeship certificates achieved
Andrew Tait, Wick, SECTT; Graham Scollay, Wick, SECTT; Marc Green,Wick, SECTT; Shaun Forbes, Reay, UKAEA; Luke Cassidy, Thurso, UKAEA; Iain Nicolson, Wick, UKAEA

TRAINING FOR WORK - Vocational / other qualifications achieved
Catherine Miller, Wick, 20/20 Clearview, European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL); Neil Hutt, Castletown, North Highland College, Food Preparation & Cooking Level I

SPECIALIST SKILLS
Hugh MacLellan, Laid, Global Maritime Distress Satellite Systems, 750

BUSINESS START UP
Willie Bain, Wick, Wick Engraving; Heather Black, Wick; Alexander Lowe, Bonar Bridge, Norweld; Sam Barlow, Lairg, Mooreworks

BUSINESS SPECIALIST SKILLS
Fathoms, Wick, C&G Radiation Safety Practice, 608; Dornoch Caravan Park, Dornoch, ITO Training, 250

SPECIAL PROJECTS
Highland Food Festival 2004, 2004 programme of events, 3,500

E-BUSINESS SUPPORT SCHEME
J A Mackay, Thurso, establishment of integrated e-commerce website, 3,500; Murray Retail, Golspie, establishment of integrated e-commerce website, 5,100; Granite Villa Guest House, Golspie, establishment of integrated e-commerce website, 750

AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE
G & P Sutherland, Harpsdale, development of facilities, 6,376

COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE GRANTS
Wick Players, upgrading of Moray Street premises,.3,365; CVS North, start-up of new service for voluntary groups, 5,000; NW Cattle Producers' Association, development programme, 14,695

COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Caithness Partnership, strategic development planning project, 36,000; Assynt Economic Development Association, six month development planning project, 6,000; CVS North, start-up of new service for voluntary groups, 5,000; NW Cattle Producers' Association, development programme, 14,695; Sutherland Partnership, recruitment website & CD Rom, 5,075

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