Inverness College UHI is the first in Scotland to be rewarded for its work with young people who work for it.
The college has achieved Investors in Young People (IIYP) accreditation.
The college, which is the largest of 13 UHI colleges and research institutions in the region, was presented with its IIYP plaque yesterday.
Inverness College UHI has more than 6,500 students with around 200 educational and training courses on offer. But it’s the college’s commitment as an employer to attracting and developing young people, that has been commended.
The accreditation is the result of an initiative from Investors in People Scotland which has been supported by £1million of funding from the Scottish Government.
Diane Rawlinson, principal and chief executive at Inverness College UHI, said: “As employers we all have a role to play in developing the next generation of employees.
“At Inverness College we not only work hard to attract young people but also ensure that while they are employed here that we offer structured development that helps young people build a career.
“Our young employees have benefited from modern apprenticeship programmes, PhD student placements, internships and we have the Student Association Executive themselves employed to further the interests of students in the college.”
Research assistant, Murray Porritt, 23, from Hilton in Inverness, has been working at Inverness College UHI since June. He said: “I feel like I have been a valued employee since starting here and have continued to grow as both a person and young professional.
“It is great to have the opportunity and support to further develop my skills in the workplace as well as feeling like I have a voice within the organisation. My role at the college is extremely interesting, researching many different EU funded projects. I have also been able to travel with the role which has been fantastic.”
Jim Oag, director of Highlands and islands services at Investors in People, said: “The benefits of recruiting and developing young people are countless. These include the creation of a talent pool for the future, new and increased skills in areas such as IT and social media, fresh eyes and mind-sets into business operations, along with enthusiasm and unique talents.”