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Last Updated: Friday, 30 March 2007, 00:38 GMT 01:38 UK
Council seeking language experts
Ness Walk, Inverness (Pic: Iain Maclean)
Inverness will be one of the bases for the staff
A rise in the number of people moving to the Highlands from abroad to find work has led its council to seek out staff with specialist language skills.

Highland Council hope to find three bi-lingual language assistants to add to the four it has already employed.

The authority said the job involved helping migrant workers and their families settle into their new lives.

Fluent English speakers are wanted who can also speak either Eastern European languages, Chinese or Bengali.

Dr Margaret Crombie, Highland Council's support for learning manager, said there was a plan to have the staff based across the region.

She said: "There has been an increase in the number of families relocating from other countries to Highland with significant numbers from Eastern Europe.

"Accessing services, such as housing, medical services, and education can prove difficult, particularly during the initial settling in period."

POLISH INFLUENCE
Ross-shire's Northern Times has launched a free newspaper printed in both English and Polish
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An Inverness Tesco worker learned the language so she could converse with her Eastern European customers

Dr Crombie added: "We hope to add to our current bi-lingual language assistant service throughout Highland with bases in Inverness, Dingwall and Fort William."

The Highlands has seen a growing number of people from all over the world moving to the area for work.

More than 5,000 Poles make up one of the biggest communities and work in many of the region's industries.

Political parties have also been urging the residents from overseas to get involved in the Scottish elections.

EU citizens are allowed to register for local government elections which also entitles them to vote in the Scottish polls, but not the General Election.


SEE ALSO
Bilingual paper for north Poles
23 Feb 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Poles called on for Scottish vote
23 Jan 07 |  Scotland
Election call to Polish workers
11 Oct 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Rights of Polish workers defended
18 Sep 06 |  Glasgow and West
Polish offer rich vein of blood
30 Aug 06 |  North East/N Isles
Caley's effort to woo north Poles
29 Aug 06 |  Highlands and Islands

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