The North Highlands seeks to develop the knowledge and skills of the community through excellent educational systems, work experience, training courses and apprenticeships.
The North Highlands offers individuals the opportunity to attend and study at the University of the Highlands and Islands – two of the thirteen campuses are located in Thurso and Alness. The university is equipped with countless diverse courses to cater for all future career aspirations, from short vocational courses through to full PHD programmes. Study options both face to face and remote learning are available from the university so there are many ways to reach your end goal. There are also several Professional Development opportunities available so you can build on your skillset.
Across the region there is easy access to pre-schools and nursery facilities, both morning and afternoon. The area further offers after school clubs for children whose parents are in full-time employment.
Additionally, the North Highlands is host to various primary and secondary schools, providing students with an undeniably remarkable education. Click here to find out more about the schools within the area. Depending on where you are situated within the region, your catchment school will vary.
The North Highlands offer school children a bus service to travel to and from school. The service is free of charge for those who qualify and live outwith a specified radius, however other children can still take advantage of this service for a small fee. Click here to find out more about the North Highlands school transport system.
School aged children can benefit from a rage of educational opportunities in the North Highlands. In March 2019, the UK’s first Norwegian style learning centre was opened right here in the North Highlands. The Newton Room is housed within North Highland College UHI Thurso campus, the UK mainlands most northerly town. Newton Rooms are designed to inspire young people to become interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and encourage them to study these subjects in school and beyond. The Newton Room provides an inspirational setting for school pupils to take part in practical activities which complement the STEM sectors found in the region. It also provides an accessible base for extracurricular STEM activities not only for young people but also their families and others in the local community as well as across the region.
A number of vocational opportunities are available to students who seek to pursue a career as opposed to continuing education. This can be in the form of apprenticeships – enabling trade apprentices to develop and enhance their skills through work-based learning. Similarly, modern apprenticeships – which aim to meet the needs of industry requirements, preparing young individuals leaving school or college for the world of work – are also available. Visit Skills Development Scotland to find out more. Finally, University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and local training providers – HelCat Training and Safety Training Solutions – offer a range of short vocational courses.
Developing the Young Workforce, an initiative established by the Scottish Government has been adopted by Caithness Chamber of Commerce to provide individuals with the opportunity to engage in modern apprenticeships, enabling young people to study and work throughout the duration of the employment contract. Developing the Young Workforce is an initiative within the North Highlands with the purpose of developing partnerships between employers and education providers to ensure that education focuses on employment and progression in learning. In Summer 2019, Caithness Chamber of Commerce and North Highland College UHI signed a partnership agreement to work together to increase the number of pupils taking up an Apprenticeship:- a Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) – FA is equivalent of 1 or 2 Highers or a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) – earn and learn within a working environment.