Gillian is the director of Moray-based Gillian Neill, Business Solutions, which offers employers, support agencies, the public sector and individuals a range of improvement services such as project management, event management, recruitment, business planning, strategic development, project evaluation and training.
After piloting a successful project aimed at guiding over 50 year olds back into work in the Moray area, Gillian was approached by Enterprise Europe Network with the offer of helping her form partnerships with like-minded organisations overseas.
She has now established links with partner agencies in Poland and Germany and has hopes the alliance can grow to become a hub of best practice across Europe.
Gillian said: “While working for the Highland Employer Coalition, I helped develop and run training courses which sought to develop the skills and increase the confidence of groups of unemployed people using the medium of film making.
“We tasked the groups with producing a DVD, which they found very interesting, but which simultaneously helped develop their team working, budget setting, confidence and communication, which are all skills sought after by employers.
“The scheme was tremendously successful and we were approached by Enterprise Europe Network with the opportunity of taking what we’d learned from the course to Analiz i Doradztwa Personalnego of the Psychological Solutions Group in Poland.
“I will be working closely with David Stewart of dbs Projects, the former director of the Highland Employer Coalition and heavily involved in the original film making initiative.
“Poland has tremendously high levels of unemployment among the over 50s and they are very interested in innovative solutions which seek to address the issue.
“We have now formed an agreement which, if the funding is successfully secured, will see us exchange information on what works and what doesn’t, through our Polish partner.
“We will also be collaborating with an organisation with similar aims in Germany, which will allow us to share the knowledge and skills needed to reduce the rates of unemployment while increasing the rates of social inclusion for those over 50 years of age.
“Enterprise Europe Network brought this opportunity to us – we wouldn’t have known anything about it without them.
“If the project is as successful as I anticipate, I will look at working with Enterprise Europe Network to help me develop new opportunities in Europe in the future.”