Career Ready enrols highest ever intake across Scotland for 2022-24 programme

Jamie Hepburn (Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science) with Doreen Adioo and Bethany Collins of Castlebrae Community High School

NATIONAL social mobility charity Career Ready is celebrating its highest ever intake on its 18-month programme, enrolling 826 students from across 147 Scottish high schools. The programme, which has been supported by global drinks giant Diageo for the last ten years, inspires and supports young people to unlock their true potential and ensure they have the skills and opportunity to thrive in their journey from education into employment through inspirational mentorship along with a crucial paid internship. 

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, joined Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian students today (18th November) at one of nine launch events across the country. 168 young people from 26 schools attended and met their mentor for the first time.

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, said: “The Government is committed to providing opportunities for all young people across Scotland to reach their potential, and mentoring programmes such as Career Ready play a significant role in helping us to achieve that aim.

“It is inspiring to see the impressive number of organisations offering time, support and industry insight to young people as they transition into the labour market.

“I would encourage organisations to actively consider how they can support Scotland’s young people achieve their full potential.”

As part of the programme, each young person is partnered with a mentor from one of over 300 organisations spanning a range of sectors who support Career Ready in Scotland. In the weeks following the event, students and mentors will meet in school, along with students’ parents/carers. Thereafter student and mentor meetings will take place in the mentor’s workplace prior to, and following, a paid four-week internship in summer 2023.

Anne Wexelstein, Director for Scotland at Career Ready, said: “It is a joy that Career Ready is fully back to face-to-face engagement between young people, their mentor and organisations.  The twinned impact of Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis means many young people face even more challenges.  So, for every organisation that has stuck with us, or started with us because they want to play a part in harnessing all potential talent pools and young people’s futures, I have nothing but appreciation for doing the right thing and guaranteeing young people’s chance to thrive. Diageo has played an extra special and vital part in allowing our reach in Scotland over the past 10 years to expand significantly.  I love the effort and impact of our partnerships on and with schools, government, employers, and their people.”

Career Ready’s charitable partnership work across Scotland, is significantly funded by corporate donations, including a lead partnership with Diageo which is now in its tenth year. Since the partnership started, 308 pupils have been successfully mentored by Diageo staff with 98% of the young people moving into positive post school destinations, in higher and further education as well as employment and apprenticeships. It means there is a growing number of Career Ready alumni now becoming Career Ready mentors.

Ruth Minnican, Head of Corporate Relations, Diageo Supply Chain & Procurement, said: “Investing in people is at the heart of everything we do at Diageo. We have a large operation in Scotland and a wide variety of careers available within our business, so it is hugely important to us to inspire the next generation of leaders and innovators and for the wider benefit of the communities we operate within.

“We have seen great success in supporting the programme to date. I am delighted that this year Kye Beveridge, 4th year Mechanical Engineering Modern Apprentice at Diageo, Leven, and Career Ready alumni will be a Career Ready mentor. Programmes like Career Ready are really important for us to reach beyond our business, and I am looking forward to supporting more success stories like Kye’s in Diageo and in other organisations”

For more information about Career Ready please visit –  

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