The North Highlands seeks to develop the knowledge and skills of the community through excellent educational systems, work experience, training courses and apprenticeships.

Sound Production Education at North Highland College

Sound Production, Alness – Photo by the North Highland College

The North Highlands offers individuals the opportunity to attend and study at the University of the Highlands and Islands. The North Highland College UHI is one of thirteen academic partners and research centres that make up the University of the Highlands and Islands. This unique partnership allows North Highland College UHI to deliver further and higher education to the North Highland communities and afar from  campuses in ThursoHalkirkDornoch and Alness.

This means that there is a diverse range of courses and study options to cater for all aspirations, from short vocational courses through to full PHD programmes. Study options both face to face and remote learning are available 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.

Businesses are encouraged to work with North Highland College UHI and the University of the Highlands and Islands so that they can ensure their courses offer the skills required for businesses in the region. There are various ways in which the college/university can support business needs. 

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 home to various primary and secondary schools, providing students with an undeniably remarkable education. Click here to find out more about the nursery, primary, secondary and special schools within the Highland Council region. (hint, put the name of the location you’re interested in relocating to into the search bar to see all the options nearby to that area. Or of course get in touch with us for support) 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 range 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.

Fantastic opportunities available via the UK’s first Newton Room

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 offer a range of 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. The Developing the Young Workforce programme is responsible for delivering the Young Person’s Guarantee which is a commitment to bring together employers, partners and young people. It 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.  

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.

Stand at Careers Event