Young people want to stay in the Highlands
MORE young people are choosing to stay in the Highlands. A report commissioned byHighlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) said an increasing number of former students are choosing to stay in the north as it offers them ‘opportunity, quality of life and strong community links’.
Of the 4,409 people aged between 15 and 30 surveyed, 43 per cent said they were committed to staying in the Highlands and Islands longterm and 50 per cent currently living outside the region said they are interested in living here in the future.
Community spirit is a strong lure to the north, as 78 per cent of people surveyed expressed pride in their community.
According to the report, 57 per cent of people said they would be happy to attend college or university here, while 56 per cent said the region has a good ‘educational offering’.
Highland youth convenor, Shaun Finlayson, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see that the Highlands is capable of retaining a large amount of its young people and even drawing in young people from elsewhere.’
But work to keep young people in the area is not over, said Carroll Buxton, HIE director for regional development.
She added: ‘ This report is very encouraging, but we need to continue to create more opportunities in both education and employment. We are working with universities to expand the provision of undergraduate courses linked to regional career opportunities in sectors such as life sciences, creative industries, energy and food and drink.
‘Developing infrastructure, transport links and access to digital technology is helping to make the region a more attractive option for young people.’