Fife school’s breakfast event wins business backing to help pupils find work

A breakfast meeting at Lochgelly High School could open more doors to pupils to get their first experience of the world of work.
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It was held recently, and around 60 businesses attended to find out more about the Developing Young Workforce (DYW) - many for the first time.

The employer-led initiative operates in 18 secondary schools across the Kingdom and aims to bridge the gap between the classroom and the workplace, giving youngsters a taste of the life which lie ahead after leaving school.

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Two numbers sum up its impact - 17,000 young people supported across 778 interactions with business - and that comes on the back of a lockdown which saw companies unable to open their doors to pupils.

Lochgelly High School's business breakfast event was well attended (Pic: Submitted)Lochgelly High School's business breakfast event was well attended (Pic: Submitted)
Lochgelly High School's business breakfast event was well attended (Pic: Submitted)

Lochgelly’s breakfast meeting, designed to raise awareness of the programme, and how local companies can get involved, was led by teachers Adam Jackson and Pauline Abbie, who were delighted with the response.

Pauline said: “Before lockdown wee had 40 employers signed up, That fell away as everything changed when businesses were able to return. A lot of companies were no longer able to offer placements, or come into school. In effect, we had to start again.”

The numbers who joined pupils round the table underlined the work that ahs gone into relaunching the initiative.

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Adam said: “There was a lot of positive feedback and we were delighted with the turn out. We wanted to show the variety of ways in which businesses can be involved in DYW - it isn’t just about offering work placements as in the days of old. They were really impressed with that and a lot more signed up to helping pupils with their employment skills. Everyone committed to helping us.”

Placements form a key part of DYW, but the school also gets employers in to speak to pupils about their jobs, and how they got started - real life experiences - and offers tips on creating a CV that will stand out from the rest and interview techniques.

It also has an employment hub is also run by CR Smith on a weekly basis - the Fife

The initiative is aimed at S5 pupils and is a key part of ensuring they get positive destinations after school, whether that is going on to college or into work.

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Adam said: “In work placements and you can see the difference. Youngsters get some self belief that they can succeed in the world of work - because it is a huge step. We give them opportunities and they can identity what they want to go for.

“Some get placements, but everyone gets a chance to apply and have the experience of building a CV. We want make it as if they were applying for jobs, so they learn how to pull out key facts and tailor their CVs to reflect the application.”

That investment in youngsters sits at the heart of the programme.

“It is a win for everyone involved,” said Pauline, “Pupils get the chance to learn more about the world of work,. And businesses get the opportunity to work with young people in the community and identify future talent. We have seen them leave school and go on to work with the same businesses where they had placements. Some have launched their own business and now want to help others. It is great that they are able to give something back.

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Added Adam: The more we can get employers in to share their stories the more it opens up the world of work to pupils. It gives them a realistic grounding of what is expected and how they can progress. There are a lot of medium sized companies around Fife and a lot of small companies who do amazing things - they are the people who can inspire our pupils. They give up their time and that is heartwarming to see.

“And the pupils really enjoy it. It gives them belief in themselves. More often than not they are given some responsibility - might be to pull together some data or work with a team., it isn’t just about going out and making the tea.”

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