GMG Energy welcomes enhanced apprenticeship support scheme which makes it easier to hire local youngsters

GMG Energy welcomes enhanced apprenticeship support scheme which makes it easier to hire local youngsters

An enhanced funding scheme which assisted a Sutherland-based renewable energy business to hire its first apprentice is being promoted throughout the far north of Scotland with the support of Caithness Chamber of Commerce.

The Farr North Apprenticeship Scheme run by the Farr North Community Development Trust with support by a grant of around £100,000 from the SSE Renewables Strathy North Community Fund, has now joined forces with Caithness Chamber of Commerce to raise awareness of the support available.

Taking advantage of an earlier version of the support scheme GMG Energy of Halladale hired 18-year-old Finlay Mackay from Melvich, Portskerra in Sutherland two years ago to undertake an apprenticeship in mechanical maintenance engineering.

The “excellent progress” made by its first Modern Apprentice has persuaded GMG Energy owner Director, Malcolm Morrison that another apprentice vacancy may be created. 

He said: “The upgraded apprentice support scheme makes it easier than ever for employers throughout the region to look at hiring apprentices and Farr North, The Caithness Chamber of Commerce and SSE Renewables should all be congratulated on launching this welcome initiative.”

Eligible businesses can receive up to £15,000 over three years towards the costs associated with employing and training an apprentice. In some cases this can be combined with the Caithness Business Fund to bring the total level of support to over £24,000.

Simon Lee, manager of the Farr North Community Development Trust, said business owners can now find out more about how to take on an apprentice and the help available from the Caithness Chamber of Commerce which offers a wide range of help and advice to businesses across the north.

“The Chamber can help you to decide whether an apprenticeship is right for your business as well as help find the right person for your company and identify suitable training opportunities.”

SSE wind farm community benefit funds also support the Kyle of Sutherland Apprenticeship Scheme.

David Shearer, SSE Renewables community investment manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to work with SSE apprenticeship programmes in Sutherland and working with Caithness Chamber of Commerce brings even more opportunities to support local businesses, develop workforce skills and encourage our young people to stay in the area.”

Established in 2016, GMG Energy operates a state-of-the-art sawmill on a farm in the Halladale Strath between Tongue and Thurso, producing kiln-dried logs, chip and sawdust for consumers and wholesalers. 

GMG Energy makes door to door deliveries throughout the north Highlands and manufacture timber products for agricultural businesses, builders and consumers. It also supplies bark for garden centres, sawdust for livestock and dried chip for supply to local businesses and councils.

GMG Energy is committed to replacing every log of timber it uses, planting about 20,000 trees in 2021. As a result, businesses across the North and the Islands can reduce their carbon footprint by sourcing locally. 


For further information, please contact Malcolm Morrison, Director, GMG Energy, Upper Bighouse, Halladale, Forsinard, Sutherland, KW13 6YU. T: 07789 922666. E: W:

Issued by Michael Crawford at Blueprint Media on 0330 233 4288.

Date: June 2024

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