Employers could boost their profits and employment by taking advantage of a whole raft of attractive jobs schemes, says a leading business organisation.
The Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce is this week urging companies to look closely at recruitment initiatives to see if they may be able to benefit.
“There are a large number of different schemes, many with attractive funding assistance, which are available to help employers,” said SBCC Convener Jack Clark.
“These can be a real help in finding the staff our businesses need.
“Here in the Borders, we need to do everything we can to grow our economy. Having a first-class workforce gives a company a real competitive advantage.
“More than anything else, dedicated and productive staff help to drive success – and that includes trainees and apprentices as much as the people in the boardroom.”
Last month, the chamber joined with the Federation of Small Business to run a special workshop day in Galashiels on recruitment schemes which could be suitable for local employers.
Speakers from a range of organisations including Job Centre Plus, Skills Development Scotland, Borders College, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the Construction Industry Training Board outlined the wide range of opportunities on offer and the financial support available.
These include modern apprenticeship programmes, where employers can receive up to £9,000, and flexible training opportunities, with a 50 per cent match contribution up to £5,000.
The Borders Chamber is also involved in the Scottish Government’s newly launched Graduate Recruitment Incentive. This publicly-funded scheme will provide support to small businesses across Scotland to create quality jobs for talented young graduates.
Mr Clark added: “We’re keen to encourage local companies to contact the organisations featured in our recent workshop and find out if any of the schemes are suitable for them.
“It could be one of the best business moves they make. And, of course, we’ll also help if we can.
“Young people in particular are the future of our businesses and our local economy and we need to encourage them into high quality jobs, where they will be an asset to their employers, to the region and to Scotland as a whole.”