Jonathan Rusk, Depute Head Teacher, welcomed everyone and introduced the speakers for the Carrick Academy Personal Development and Work Experience event.
He explained that the reception was to thank employers who had hosted 40 students from S5 and S6 for two afternoons per week. It had been a pioneering project and the students had obtained Highers and National 5 awards through this work experience.
Jamie Wilson, South Ayrshire Council Quality Improvement Officer, then spoke on “Developing Scotland’s Young Work Force”.
He was followed by six senior pupils who gave their perspective on work experience and added the thoughts of the others. The six were Harry Hogg, S5, Erin Templeton, S6, Alex Anderson, S6, Kieran Robb, S5, Caitlin Swan, S5, and Ryan Speirs, S5.
From an employer’s perspective, Julie Heath, HR manager at SAS International, Maybole said she had agreed initially but was apprehensive about the experience.
However, she had become enthusiastic about the project so much so that she has committed to repeating it and would be considering the possibility of taking more students.
In her closing remarks, Shona Stevens, Head Teacher, thanked everyone for attending and continued, “I would also like to thank Jamie Wilson (QIO) for giving us an overview of the Scottish Government’s initiative in Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce; Julie Heath, who has provided a great insight into the benefits she has experienced by welcoming our young people into her business; Our young people, for their presentations on what they learned about themselves by completing the programme and how it has enriched their learning;
“To all of our employers; I would like to thank you for your support which has been invaluable in offering a wide range of placements for our young people. I’m delighted in hearing Julie’s experience of working with our young people and I hope her words will inspire other local companies to offer us much needed placement.
“Through partnership working, our young people have developed their employability skills. At recent ‘mock interviews’, the panel on the day told us that we are producing young people who are ‘work ready’. They performed well on the day, were confident, and were able to speak at length about their own personal qualities and skills development.
“This is our greatest success. Our young people are our future. When they leave school, a high number of them will still live and work here; their success will strengthen our community.”