Helping Hand for Local Firms

As a former business owner, Kathryn Hill knows the importance of receiving the right support.

After an 11-year banking career, she established the Allure beauty salon in Arbroath in 2013.

Now she is helping other business owners in her role as employer engagement adviser for Skills Development Scotland, covering Tayside and Fife.

Much of her time is spent working closely with small and medium-sized employers to support them through their skills and training needs.

She is one of the advisers in Skills Development Scotland’s fully funded Skills For Growth service.

Ms Hill said the service had been in high demand throughout the pandemic.

“Because I have been a business owner before, I can relate to what they are going through,” she said.

“I wasn’t aware of the Skills For Growth programme when I had my salon.  Now I want to shout out about it because it’s such a fantastic service.

“We fund a consultant to come in, who speaks to the business about their challenges and then we form an action plan.  The resilience many businesses in Tayside and Fife have shown has been astonishing.

“They’ve adapted and diversified and we’ve been able to help support some firms through this change.”

Among the companies who have benefited from the support is Balgillo Nurseries, which operates four sites in and around Dundee.

Last March the private nursery saw all its business wiped out overnight.

It also faced challenges with three staff members leaving.

“The first lockdown halted their plans, but they showed resilience by getting back up and running quickly to offer care for children of key workers amongst others,”Ms Hill said.

“They have taken on four new apprentices, which is testament to how much Balgillo is invested in helping the employment prospects of young people in the area.”

Ms Hill will share some of her experiences helping businesses over the past year at The Courier’s Buisness Briefings event on February 18 at 8am.

The theme of the briefing – held in association with Thorntons Law, supported by Skills Development Scotland – is “managing people in a global pandemic”.

To register, please visit

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