2018 Year of Young People

This year Scotland will shine a spotlight on its young people by celebrating their achievements and recognising their potential.

The celebratory year will encourage those aged from 8 to 26 to speak up about the issues that are closest to them while also helping to create a positive view of the role they have in society.

HIE aims to create more opportunities for young people to stay and work in our region while continuing to attract others to visit, live and work here. As part of our commitment to the year we have a number of projects in the pipeline which aim to support and develop the young people in our region.

Science Skills Academy

There are thousands of new opportunities expected in our region over the next few years in the energy, life sciences and digital technologies sectors. To ensure that our young people are given the best chance to benefit from this, the Science Skills Academy was created with a network of inspirational STEM rooms to provide opportunities for our young people moving into the world of work. Read more.


In the Highlands and Islands ScotGrad introduces fresh new talent to businesses in the area, encouraging them to live and work in a part of the world which is often misunderstood by young people. It offers valuable experience to students and graduates giving incentive for young people to stay and work in the area. Read more.



In a bid to to retain and attract young people our region hosts one of the UK’s leading integrated universities incorporating both further and higher education. The UHI provides access to over 40,000 students and is a network of 13 colleges and research institutions along with 70 learning centres. The development of the universities sector in our region is vital to ensuring the success of our economy. Read more.

Mobile and connectivity

Residents living in more than 230 Highlands and Islands towns and villages can access the benefits of high speed services following a £146m investment in a next generation broadband network for the region. The Next Generation Broadband roll-out is now reaching more than 85% of our region which is helping transform young people’s lives. Read more.

Innovate Your Business

Young people also have the opportunity to receive support and obtain grants of up to £15,000 as part of our Innovate Your Business programme. If you have an idea to grow your business but don’t know how to make it happen our programme is free of charge. Read more.


Entrepreneurial Academy

We have launched the Entrepreneurial Academy to help support entrepreneurs, of any age, in the region. The programme provides a number of workshops on topics essential to accelerating growth and scaling-up. The unique initiative also offers entrepreneurs the chance to gain from working alongside other like-minded people and learn from their experiences. Read more.

Scotland Can Do Scale

The Scotland Can Do SCALE Summer School is designed to help develop skills for growth and is open to people of all ages. The programme will draw content from international practice and tailor it so that it fits with Scottish participants. It also offers unprecedented access to educators with direct expertise in scaling up a business. Read more.


Case Study videos 

Although he is still just a teenager Finlay Macdonald runs the successful chocolate business - Chocolates of Glenshiel - based in the north-west Highlands. Find out more about him by watching the video below.

Meet Lois Moyes and Nicole Taylor who are currently on ScotGrad placements with Prickly Thistle. Find out how they were able to gain employment in fashion and textiles while living in the Highlands and Islands.

Meet Robbie Rapson and hear more about his business venture, Beastie Boats.

For further information visit yoyp2018.scot