Highlands and Islands Enterprise is setting out on the new financial year with a new agenda focusing on its key areas of expertise. From this April the agency will be ensuring that the Highlands and Islands contribute fully to the Scottish Government’s purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth.
William Roe, chair of HIE, said: “In future HIE will be more closely involved with businesses and sectors which have high growth potential and aspirations. We will concentrate on working with businesses which can operate regionally, nationally and internationally, helping them improve competitiveness and productivity. This means we target our resources towards clients which will achieve the greatest impact for the regional economy.”
“The Scottish Government wants us to intensify effort on our core strengths – on promoting sustainable economic growth and on building more dynamic, successful communities, and to draw on our experience in partnership-working to achieve this.”
Under plans announced last year, careers advice and national training programmes have become the responsibility of the Scottish Government’s new body, Skills Development Scotland. Local business support – ie advice and information for firms which service local markets will, later this year, be managed by local authorities – through the Business Gateway model.
HIE has reduced its workforce by 59 through a voluntary severance scheme. It has reorganised its 350-strong staff and its annual budget of