Highland Council’s new graduate, apprentice and intern scheme has provided opportunities for more than 300 people aged 16 to 67.
Members of the council’s corporate resources committee welcomed the success of the programme on Wednesday.
The modern apprenticeship programme attracted 320 trainees across the Highlands.
Opportunities were available across a range of sectors including business, engineering, construction/trades, business, housing, IT, social services and legal.
The council also brought in 11 graduate interns through its economic prosperity fund.
The programme is part of the Young Person’s Guarantee, which aims to connect every 16 to 24-year-old in Scotland to an opportunity. This could be a job, apprenticeship, further or higher education, training or volunteering.
“Employment has been at the top of my mind for some time, and particularly now, as we work out the employees we need going into the future,” said council leader Margaret Davidson.
“This is important as we look at green jobs, defining them, as we look at making seamless links between our schools. Making young people aware of what they can do when they leave school – in Highland – instead of feeling that they have to go away.”
The council is planning to take part in Apprenticeship Week this March.
It plans to create a programme of engagement with schools, parents, employees and partners to promote the opportunities available.
Cllr Davidson observed that a new council will take the reins in May, with its own programme and ambitions.
Senior managers are already working on how to pull everyone together with the same messages around employability.
“We are facing the most astonishing opportunity in Highland and we need to be fit for it,” she added.
By local democracy reporter Nicola Sinclair
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