An IT firm has announced plans to double its Scottish workforce over the next three years by creating 500 jobs.
French company Capgemini, which already employs about 500 people in the Highlands, will bring a further 500 jobs to Inverness and the surrounding area by 2016.
First Minister Alex Salmond said the economic impact of the new jobs “cannot be over-estimated”.
“It is truly immense for Inverness,” he said. “These are highly-skilled, high-value jobs and Capgemini’s decision to bring them here to Scotland is a clear reflection of the huge international appeal of the Highlands’ skilled and dedicated workforce.
“Capgemini already have strong relationships with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the University of the Highlands and Islands and Scottish Development International.
“I know that these close links have helped inform their decision to consolidate here in Scotland and I know how keen they are to develop skills locally as much as possible.”
The new jobs are supported by £4.25 million of regional selective assistance (RSA) from Scottish Development International and a training grant of £1 million from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The RSA grant scheme is aimed at encouraging businesses to make investments that will result in the creation or safeguarding of jobs in Scotland.