Caithness and Sutherland

Caithness and Sutherland young people encouraged to complete survey

Young people across Caithness and Sutherland are being encouraged to take part in a major new survey, which is underway.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has commissioned the study into the changing attitudes and aspirations of people aged 15 to 30 in relation to the Highlands and Islands, and wants to make sure the voice of young people in Caithness and Sutherland is heard.

The online survey will build on a similar study carried out in 2015, which demonstrated an overwhelming sense of pride and confidence in the region among the 4,400 young people who took part.

This showed that young people in Caithness and Sutherland are proud of their local community and more wish to stay locally than is the case across the region. However, the area also had the highest proportion of reluctant leavers in the Highlands and Islands. This highlighted the mismatch between desire to remain and opportunities to do so, either in education or employment.

The new study is exploring opportunities around education, training and employment for the age group, and how these can be maximised.

Those taking part can enter a prize draw, with prizes including tickets to Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival and Groove Loch Ness, as well as vouchers for Spotify and Netflix.

There have been more than a thousand responses to the survey so far, 92 of them from Caithness and Sutherland.

Roy Kirk, HIE’s area manager, said:

“Young economically active people are absolutely key to the future prosperity of our area and the Highlands and Islands generally. They are also crucial in the long-term sustainability of communities.

“This is an important study and we want to make sure the views of young people across Caithness and Sutherland are properly represented in the study.

“The findings will be shared with all our partners and will help inform policy and activities in relation to both population growth and young talent attraction and retention across the region.”

Young people can access the online survey at www.hie.co.uk/yp-research . It takes around 15 minutes to complete and is running until the end of July.

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