UHI West Highland achieves double success!

UHI West Highland is delighted to have recently achieved two prestigious awards: Investors in People Gold and accreditation as a Living Wage employer.

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Lydia Rohmer, Principal and Chief Executive of UHI West Highland, and Vicky Ferguson Head of HR and Organisational Development, celebrate achieving Investors in People “Gold” and Living Wage accreditation.

Vicky Ferguson, Head of HR and Organisational Development at UHI West Highland explained,

“We’ve been involved in the process of assessment for both accreditations for several months. Firstly, we are delighted with the positive feedback we have received from the Investors In People assessment, and we are extremely happy that our staff consider working for UHI West Highland to be a positive experience. We have achieved a huge amount over the last 18 months and our success truly reflects the motivations, efforts and commitments demonstrated by all staff.  We also felt it was extremely important to show our commitment to The Living Wage at a time of great financial uncertainty for staff given the current economic climate. The fact that we can announce both accreditations at the same time is cause for a double celebration!”

Investors in People

For nearly 30 years Investors in People (IIP) has been recognised internationally as a leading people accreditation. Over a 2 year process, IIP assessed how the college leads, supports and improves its workforce. The final report states that throughout the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, UHI West Highland displayed the ethos and philosophy of a ‘gold standard organisation’ - demonstrating a shared sense on purpose, adapting to a common set of values, leadership behaviours and management deliverables allowing for a rewarding and feedback-rich culture.

The college now joins an elite band of organisations, with just 16% of IIP accredited employers in the UK reaching Gold status.

Bonnie Clarke, Interim Chief Executive of Remarkable, the organisation licensed to deliver Investors in People in Scotland, said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for UHI West Highland - congratulations! Investors in People recognises organisations who are truly committed to their people, continuous improvement and customer service. We have supported the college since 2015 and we’re delighted to see their ongoing dedication recognised with this Gold award. Many congratulations!”

The Living Wage

The Living Wage commitment ensures that everyone working at UHI West Highland receives a minimum hourly wage of £9.90 per hour. This rate is significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £8.91 per hour.

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate calculated according to the costs of living. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis, recognising the value of their workers and ensuring that a hard day’s work receives a fair day’s pay.

Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 52,000 people in Scotland and put over £310 million extra into the pockets of low paid Scottish workers.

Peter Kelly, Director of The Poverty Alliance said:

“We all need an income that is enough to cover our needs and protect us from poverty, and it’s only right that employers pay a wage that reflects the cost of living. Too many workers in Scotland are paid less than the real Living Wage and, at a time of rising costs, are struggling to stay afloat. The real Living Wage can offer protection from those rising costs.”

“Congratulations to UHI West Highland on their Living Wage commitment, and I hope more organisations follow their lead by becoming Living Wage accredited.”

Lynn Anderson, Living Wage Scotland Manager said:

“We’re delighted that UHI West Highland has become an accredited Living Wage employer. They join a growing movement of over 1900 employers in Scotland who together want to ensure workers have what they need to thrive.”

We invest in people - Investors in People | Accreditations

Living Wage Scotland | The real Living Wage (scottishlivingwage.org)


What about the Government’s national living wage?

In July 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK Government would introduce a compulsory ‘national living wage’. It was introduced in April 2016, originally applying for all workers over the age of 25, and, as of April 2021, is currently £8.91 an hour and applies for workers over the age of 23. The rate is different to the Living Wage rates calculated by the Living Wage Foundation. The government rate is based on median earnings while the Living Wage Foundation rates are calculated according to the cost of living in London and the UK.

About the real Living Wage

The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to ensure their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.

The UK Living Wage is currently £9.90 per hour. There is a separate London Living Wage rate of £11.05 per hour.

These figures are announced each year by the Living Wage Foundation. The rates are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.

The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the UK movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.

About Living Wage Scotland & The Poverty Alliance

Living Wage Scotland was established in April 2014 by the Poverty Alliance with the aim of increasing the number of employers in Scotland who are recognised for paying their staff the real Living Wage.

Living Wage Scotland is a partnership with the Living Wage Foundation and is funded by the Scottish Government.

The Poverty Alliance is the national anti-poverty network in Scotland with a long track record in working with individuals and communities affected by poverty to take action, and in providing support to influence policies solutions in Scotland.

Accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland span private, public and third sectors. SMEs make up 75% of the total number of employers and more than half of Scotland’s local councils are accredited. Find out more at www.scottishlivingwage.org/accredited

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