Culloden Academy pupils get taste of job interviews via education / industry partnership

DYWICH school coordinator Dawn Gillies says the mock interviews have given S4 pupils at Culloden Academy a greater insight into how to apply for a job

HIGHLAND school pupils have been given a crash course in job interview skills thanks to a partnership between educators and local industry leaders.

Staff from 15 Highland businesses conducted mock interviews with over 125 S4 students at Culloden Academy to help improve employability and teach interview technique, preparing them for the world of work.

The event was facilitated by Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland (DYWICH), which works in partnership with schools and business professionals to help find new routes for young people in the region to find employment.

DYWICH school coordinator for Culloden Academy, Dawn Gillies said: “As young people progress through their studies, many will start to look for part time jobs – or employment after leaving school. It’s vital that we equip them with the skills they need to enter the world of work.

“In just two and a half hours, over 125 pupils took part in mock interviews with representatives from some of the region’s largest employers. Pupils were able to choose a company in an industry that they would like to work in, and gain real life experience of what it’s like to be in a job application situation.

“Pupils received feedback on their performance, as well as CV reviews and handy hints and tips for the future. Employers are keen for pupils to begin exploring future opportunities in employment, apprenticeships and mentoring with them.”

Businesses in the Highlands are being encouraged to support young people into the world of work by signing up to the Young Person’s Guarantee – a government programme which allows businesses to commit to helping the workforce of the future. This commitment can take many forms – from attending school events to providing work experience placements or career advice.

Johnstons of Elgin has already signed up to the guarantee and was one of the Highland businesses participating in the session at Culloden Academy. Emma Hay, learning and development manager, said: “At Johnstons of Elgin we are always looking for new ways to engage with young people in a meaningful way, and to support them in finding out about the world of work.

“We were delighted to be asked to participate in the mock interviews for S4 pupils at Culloden Academy. It provided our staff with experience of conducting interviews, whilst building young people’s skills and confidence for the time they need to apply for part-time jobs and pathways beyond school.”

Highland business that took part in the interview session at Culloden Academy included Johnstons of Elgin, Morrison Construction, and Capgemini – who have all signed up for the Young Person’s Guarantee. They were joined by NHS Highland, Highland Hospice, Redelk Design and Marketing, Ironworks Venue, Crofting Commission, Forestry and Land Scotland, Lifescan, BAM Nuttall, MacLeod & MacCallum, Munro & Noble, Smart Media Scotland and Dynam Marketing.

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, DYW Inverness & Central Highland is shaping the workforce of the future and helping to better prepare young people for the world of work.

For more information about DYWICH, school engagement and the Young Person’s Guarantee, visit or follow DYWICH on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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