A SMALL textiles company has been able to take on its first graduate employee thanks to an advice service launched by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

Family owned Gillian Kyle – which makes T-shirts, tea towels and mugs featuring prints of things like Tunnock's tea cakes and Scottish Pride bread – is one of the first companies to utilise the recently launched Workforce Solutions service.

It helps companies identify which of the many funding schemes run by local authorities they may be eligible for.

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It covers bodies such as Skills Development Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Regeneration Agency and Jobcentre Plus.

Gillian Kyle, who runs her business from a base in Argyle Street along with cousin Katrina Mather, said it was important to get the right person because of the small team in the business.

Glasgow School of Art graduate Katherine Brown, 26, had been working in variety of part-time posts before landing the administration manager role.

Ms Kyle said: "We had heard there might be some funding available and someone pointed in the direction of the chamber.

"The whole thing took less than a month, which was excellent as we had a pressing need. The chamber helped us

find somewhere to conduct the interviews and run the process.

"It was obvious that our consultant at the chamber had a wide experience in recruitment and she was able to mentor us in our selection process.

"It is really important in a small team to get the right person and Katherine is a perfect fit. She is very organised and has also been helping out in some graphic design projects."

Alison McRae, project manager at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "In a time where unemployment is a very topical issue, we looked at the overall existing landscape for employer guidance and thought a consolidation of services would benefit both employers and the LSAs which provide assistance.

"There is a lot of potential funding available for businesses looking to take on new team members and by offering access to all of this support from one point of contact. The recruitment journey should be made simpler, with our team able to address any queries which employers have.

"We will also welcome inquires from the wider business community, on a case-by-case basis.

"Our goal is to guide employers through every stage of the hiring process, helping them to take on staff while complementing the excellent work being undertaken by local service authorities in tackling unemployment and encouraging recruitment."