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Harper Macleod: Final exams are just the start

By Features Reporter

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Chris Kerr is Harper Macleod’s lead partner in the Highlands, Islands and Moray
Chris Kerr is Harper Macleod’s lead partner in the Highlands, Islands and Moray

Sponsored Editorial from Harper Macleod

It’s that time of year when thousands of learners are making their way into exam halls in schools and colleges up and down the country. It can be a stressful time for those sitting the exams, and their parents and guardians alike.

At the same time there will be thousands of young people getting ready to leave school or college and move on to further education, training or employment.

With that in mind, it’s hard not to reminisce about your own school days. That sense of relief when you put the pen down on your last exam, free for the summer. If only we could go back and tell ourselves that rather than this being the end of something, it’s actually just the beginning. Although the latest statistics show Scotland has a low rate of unemployment, the jobs market is as challenging as it has ever been. Those looking for employment know it is highly competitive, while those looking to fill vacancies are struggling to find people with the right skills. This is happening in a wide variety of sectors.

It’s important for employers of all shapes and sizes to recognise the responsibility they have in providing opportunities for our young people in the early stages of their careers. Providing clear career pathways and development opportunities is an investment which will be repaid for years to come. This is particularly relevant in our rural communities where the opportunities might not be as readily available.

I’m fortunate enough to be with a business which recognises the value of that investment and fully embraces the “grow your own” philosophy. I joined the firm as a trainee straight from university and have been privileged to have been provided the freedom and opportunity to develop my skills. Harper Macleod has just achieved Gold status for the Investors in People and Investors in Young People accreditations – the standards employers need to set when managing their people.

We’re also keen supporters of the Developing the Young Workforce programme across the Highlands & Islands. By getting involved in this programme we’re able to show young people that there are many different routes to developing a career in the legal sector.

The north of Scotland is an incredibly rewarding place to live and work, with a vibrant business community featuring many sectors which are important to the Scottish economy such as energy, manufacturing, food & drink, travel, tourism and hospitality. There are many reasons to start and develop a career in the region.

Just this month we announced a number of colleague promotions in the north of Scotland in areas such as employment law, commercial property and our estate agency team. The varied nature of our business means we develop a diverse workforce with many different legal and business services specialisms. This is a clear sign of our commitment to the Highlands, Islands & Moray.

Good luck to everyone taking exams or taking significant steps over the next few weeks. As daunting as they are, they are important gateways to the future.

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