Creating paths into employment

The new project has helped Chloe get into employment
The new project has helped Chloe get into employment
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A pilot employability scheme between Fife Council and Kirkland High School has already seen results after just a few months.

The project, which involves teens in fourth, fifth and sixth year, has been so successful, there’s already a full waiting list for next year’s intake.

The support I’ve had has been really good, and has helped me with my confidence. I’m delighted that I’m now a modern apprentice.

Chloe Cation

And there’s plenty to celebrate for those who have undertaken the course in social services and social care, after all of them were successful in securing an interview for a job in the sector, while 5th year pupil Chloe Cation has now been hired as a care assistant at Methilhaven Care Home.

Now a modern apprentice, Chloe will be given the training and qualifications she needs to progress in the field over the next two years.

The programme was the brainchild of Roy Lawrence, team manager within Fife Council’s workforce planning and development department and Karen Morton, Kirkland’s Graduate Aid.

Roy said: “We need to get our young people into the care sector, and this programme is showing that care can be a career.

“When they come in, we give them the qualifications they need, which are all paid for, right up to manager level.”

He added: “Each year, Fife Council is investing £1 million into the Workforce Youth Investment (WYI) Programme towards supporting youth employment, and departments like social work can apply for funding for a certain number of apprentices each year.”

In April, Fife Council announced it would be advertising a further 50 youth positions as part of the programme.

Roy visited Kirkland to speak to the pupils about working in the care sector and what they could expect, as well as everyday things such as completing an application form, how to prepare for an interview and even what to wear.

This support was invaluable to Chloe, who starts at the care home in a matter of weeks.

“I was interested in the care sector as I did work experience at Arden House for a year, and really liked it.

“The support I’ve had has been really good, and has helped me with my confidence. I’m delighted that I’m now a modern apprentice.”

Karen said: “Before starting the course, Chloe was very shy, but she has just come on leaps and bounds.”

Derek McWhirter, depute rector at Kirkland, added: “Karen’s role as graduate aid was funded by the local area committee, and it’s all about providing additionality in schools in terms of employability and skills for young people.

“She’s been able to spend all of her time with the young people to provide them with a range of opportunities for progression into employment.”

Karen Taylor, manager at Methilhaven, said she was “really excited” to have Chloe now a part of the staff, adding: “This is the first collaborative project which I’ve been involved in and I would like to see it as the way forward.”