Comunn na Gàidhlig is offering Gaelic-speaking students and organisations which work through the medium of Gaelic the opportunity to participate in this year’s Summer Placement Scheme.
The scheme, which has been operating very successfully for the past 10 years, gives Gaelic-speaking students the opportunity to work for 10 weeks with organisations engaged in Gaelic and community development activity. As well as providing the students with employment, the scheme also gives them invaluable hands-on experience in the workplace, an opportunity to improve their Gaelic fluency, an insight into the roles of the different organisations, and all this, based in their own communities.
As well as the obvious benefits to the students, the scheme can also be of great benefit to employers who are able to take advantage of the students’ skills over the summer months to the benefit of their organisation. The scheme also enables employers to assess students with a view to future recruitment.
Donald MacNèill, Chief Executive of Comunn na Gàidhlig, said, “This is an important scheme both for the future of the language and also for preparing students for work, following their graduation. The scheme not only provides students with the opportunity to improve their Gaelic fluency, by working in an environment where Gaelic is the language of the workplace, but also gives them a working knowledge of the employment opportunities available across Scotland, to young people with excellent Gaelic skills.”
Neil Ross, Head of Community Growth at Highlands and Islands Enterprise said, “Highlands and Islands Enterprise rates highly the benefits of this scheme, both from the benefits to the language but also, and highly important to HIE, the benefits to communities. The scheme brings students back to their own communities, across the Highlands and islands, often, students who are studying in the Central Belt, and who would have to remain in the Central Belt over the summer months to get summer employment, were it not for this scheme. Having the opportunity to spend the summer months back in their own communities makes it more likely these young people will return home for work, once they have graduated, if the opportunities are there. This is an extremely effective way to maintain and strengthen communities.”
Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chairman of the Highland Council’s Gaelic Committee said, ”The Council is pleased to be supporting the Students Summer Placement Scheme once again, and particularly so, with the scheme in its 10th year.” Councillor Fraser continued, “It is important that Gaelic-speaking students have the opportunity to use their language skills within a Gaelic speaking environment. In addition, they will gain practical experience of working in the business, arts and community development, and public sectors. They will also enhance both their linguistic and presentational skills and this will help to prepare the students for the current labour market.”
Students who would like to take part in this year’s scheme should send an application form to, Comunn na Gàidhlig, 5 Mitchells Lane, Inverness. IV2 3HQ by 23 March 2012. For further information, and to download an application form please see here.