Alness and Invergordon pupils get taste of post-school opportunities with Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland

12/04/2022
DYWICH school coordinator Kirsty Hunter hailed the collaboration between industry leaders and educators a massive success

STUDENTS at two Highland secondary schools have been given an insight into the opportunities open to them in the future, thanks to careers fairs organised by Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland (DYWICH).

Senior pupils at Invergordon and Alness Academies had the opportunity to meet with representatives from around 20 employers, voluntary organisations and further education institutions to learn about career opportunities and training available in the region.

DYWICH school coordinator Kirsty Hunter said: “It was fantastic to see so many employers come together to engage with and support young people as they consider their post-school lives.”

“The careers fairs in Invergordon and Alness allowed senior pupils to gain firsthand experience of the many local industries currently recruiting for seasonal and permanent work. Employers were also able to showcase over 16 apprenticeship opportunities available in the Highlands – from traditional trades to modern office-based roles.”

“The young people were also able to discover the variety of voluntary and work placement experiences available in the local area, allowing them to gain real life experience in an industry that interests them to boost their CVs.”

During the events, pupils were able to mingle with employers to find out more about a wide range of industries including engineering, nursing, emergency services and recruitment – as well as speaking to voluntary organisations about placements, and educators about college and university education on offer.

The schools also ran dedicated quiet sessions throughout the events, allowing pupils with additional support needs to get the full benefit of the experience.

Pupil feedback from meeting the employers included:

  • “It was really great. I learned so much about what I can do when I leave school.”
  • “I didn’t realise there are so many options for when I leave school.”
  • “I really like the idea of an apprenticeship. I’d never heard of it before. I didn’t know what it was.”
  • “There are so many opportunities we can do apart from going to Uni.”

Barnardos, NHS Highland and LANTRA have all signed the Young Person’s Guarantee, and attended the careers fairs in Invergordon and Alness. By signing up to the scheme, they have formalised their commitment to supporting young people into the world of work.

Other businesses in attendance included Inverness College, North Highland College, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Enable, Nigg Skills Academy, Ross-Shire Engineering, Skibo Castle, Serimax, Highland Council, Royal Navy and Royal Marines, British Army, University of the Highlands & Islands, Kincraig Castle Hotel, Lifescan, and Be Personnel.

Laura Macmillan, employer and partnership advisor at Nigg Skills Academy, said: “We had a fantastic day at the careers events in Invergordon and Alness. Nigg Skills Academy is delighted to support the schools in the local area and provide opportunities to train young people within the engineering sector.”

Fiona Scott, accounts manager at Kincraig Castle Hotel, added: “It was a great opportunity to talk to so many young people about their future hopes and dreams. We look forward to working with them in the future.”

Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland is part of a national framework of regional employer-led boards across Scotland. Formed as part of the Scottish Government’s youth employment strategy, and hosted by Inverness Chamber of Commerce, the group’s aim is to develop sustainable links between schools, colleges and employers. Working in partnership with employers, DYWICH is shaping the workforce of the future and helping to better prepare young people for the world of work.

For more information about DYWICH and how it facilitates collaboration between schools and local businesses, visit www.dywich.co.uk or follow DYWICH on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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