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Highland Business Awards: recognising community impact and young employees


By Rachel Smart

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Jacques Huysamer won the young employee of the year award in 2023. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Jacques Huysamer won the young employee of the year award in 2023. Picture: James Mackenzie.

This year’s prestigious Highland Business Awards are now open for entries.

Many Highland businesses give huge support to their local communities and our awards will celebrate the best examples of community involvement as well as some of our most inspiring young employees.

The award for community engagement will be presented to a business that demonstrates an ongoing commitment to its local community through its activities, helping to improve the lives of others and making the community a better place in which to live. Last year this was the most heavily contested award with the highest of entries and consistent quality across the board. Organisations are invited to nominate themselves or nominate another business.

Vattenfall is sponsoring the community engagement award.

Alison Daugherty, senior project manager at Vattenfall, said: “Vattenfall recognises the genuine concerns communities in the Highlands can have when a development is proposed. While high-quality environmental and technical surveys form the basis of a sound renewable energy development, it is community engagement that results in a wind farm becoming a good neighbour.

“A project that truly responds to the needs and feedback of the local community through genuine engagement can create opportunities for all involved.

“Vattenfall is delighted to sponsor the community engagement award and looks forward to celebrating the shortlisted projects and businesses.”

The award for young employee of the year will go to a young person who makes a positive impact in the workplace thanks to their dedication, talent and can-do attitude. Employers are invited to nominate a young member of their team up to the age of 24. The judges were blown away by the quality of last year’s entries and the incredible achievements of some of the youngest employees in our region.

This award is being sponsored by The Springfield Group.

Springfield Group HR director, Heather Henderson said: “At Springfield, we have been supporting young people in the workplace for over 20 years with apprenticeships, higher education and various training and development opportunities.

“With a well-documented skills shortage within the industry, we work hard to help future proof the trades by supporting apprenticeships, engaging with local schools and colleges and highlighting the variety of careers that are available within the construction industry. A significant portion of our workforce is currently undertaking an apprenticeship or in some form of higher education and this is something we are proud to maintain.

“This is why we are equally proud to support the Highland business award for young employee of the year and are excited to learn more about the finalists as they are announced.”

The Highland Business Awards will take place at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness on Friday, September 27, and are the climax of Highland Business Week 2024 which runs from Monday, September 23 to Friday, September 27.

The busy programme of events, networking opportunities and seminars includes the Highland Spotlight business exhibition at the Macdonald Drumossie Hotel on Tuesday, September 24. More than half the stands are already reserved for the biggest business networking evet of the year.

For more information visit www.inverness-chamber.co.uk/events. To discuss sponsorship opportunities, email events@inverness-chamber.co.uk


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