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CNPA and Chamber of Commerce seek help with skills audit

22nd December 2005

Research is being carried out into the skills gaps that exist in local businesses and the training needs of young people within the Cairngorms National Park – but more information is needed!

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) commissioned the Cairngorms Chamber of Commerce to carry out the skills audit, which began in October.  The results of the study will be used to help assess the need for, and design a vocational youth apprenticeship scheme in the Park.

Employment opportunities in the Cairngorms National Park tend to be seasonal so young people living and working here need to be equipped with a variety of skills to improve their employability.  The CNPA and the Chamber of Commerce are seeking the views of all businesses within and close to the Park to gain information on the practical skills they need from local young people and what barriers businesses currently face when trying to access training for young people or taking on an apprentice.

Although a great deal of information has been gathered so far, mainly from those operating in the tourism sector, the Chamber of Commerce and the CNPA are urging more businesses to take part in the survey before the January 15 deadline.

John Thorne, the CNPA’s Economic Development Manager said: “Tourism is vital to the Park’s economy but this area of work also covers any business activity and seeks to identify their needs, so we are especially keen to hear from those businesses not involved in tourism, such as trades and manufacturing.  The Park Authority is involved with a range of other agencies and private businesses in developing a Park-wide vocational training scheme to cover all business sectors.  This research will be fundamental to target support to local businesses and better meet the needs of firms in the area.  It is therefore extremely important that as many businesses as possible take part in the survey.”

For more information go to ‘Chamber Projects’ on the Cairngorms Chamber of Commerce’s website:, directly to or contact Pamela Grant, Project Manager, Cairngorms Chamber of Commerce, c/o Greenfield Croft, Insh, by Kingussie, Inverness-shire PH21 1NT.  E-mail: [email protected]  Businesses can take part in the survey online at: or a questionnaire can be sent out in the post or via email.  A telephone survey can also be arranged on request.