Students to face their dragons

SIXTEEN ambitious students gathered to prepare for their own Dragon’s Den style event last week, bringing fresh ideas for business development to companies across the Highlands and Islands.

The students, who came from across the UK and abroad to work for eight weeks with local businesses, are part of the TalentScotland Placement Programme managed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Ruth Sime, Acting Head of Business Support Programmes at HIE said: “The TalentScotland Summer Placement Programme provides benefits for both students and employers.

“The relevant work experience gained by the students sets them apart from others when applying for jobs, particularly when graduate opportunities are limited. The employers are able to take on committed project staff at a subsidised rate during the holiday period.

“Some employers are able to offer a permanent job to their placement students when they have graduated and this helps to retain skilled young people in the region.

The student group included Alex Gilbert and Marc Macleod, who conducted commercial research in conjunction with Scottish Water for Lews Castle College initiative Greenspace Live.

As well as gaining experience through the paid placements, the students also received tailored training from Robert Gordon University’s Aberdeen Business School.

And the training will help them with their presentations and business pitching skills in advance of a competitive event at the end of August where they pitch their project findings to a panel of business experts.