Project of The Week - Developing the Young Workforce
Developing the Young Workforce is part of a national framework of regional employer-led boards across Scotland. The initiative was formed as part of the Scottish Government’s youth employment strategy which is described by the Wood Commission report as working in partnership on the education and skills agenda, seeking more opportunities for young people. Hosted by the Inverness Chamber of Commerce, our aim is to develop sustainable links between schools, colleges and employers. Working in partnership to help employers share their future workforce and help better prepare young people for the world of work. Ultimately, to recruit more young people and promote diversity in the work place.
DYW Inverness and Central Highland has a dedicated team of four: Andy Maxtone, Programme Manager; Eilidh Edgar, Operations Manager; Aimee McCormick, Programme Administrator and Rowan Morrison, Intern.
We spoke to Aimee McCormick, Programme Administrator for Inverness & Central Highland, who has been in the role for a year. Aimee has been able to complete a work-based Modern Apprenticeship in Business Administration while in full-time paid employment and has just began the Digital Marketing Diploma through the Virtual Learning Academy. About her role in DYW and being a Modern Apprentice, Aimee said: “It’s been great to complete my MA on the job while earning. 16-25 year olds are also eligible for funding to enrol in Modern Apprenticeships, meaning there is no cost to me as the candidate or my employer – it’s a win win.”
For schools, being connected to the business community through the DYW team has had a profound effect on the work experience opportunities available for pupils. Earlier this year, Cobbs Group supplied a coffee machine to Glen Urquhart High School which was funded by DYW. 34 pupils plus staff are to receive barista training this year, which has a number of benefits to the pupils (confidence building and a new skill to take into the workplace), schools (preparing pupils for the transition from school to the workplace and higher education), and wider Highland Tourist sectors.
Andy Maxtone said: “The hospitality sector in the Highlands is continuing to grow, and the demand for staff remains high. Unfortunately, many young people aren’t aware of all the opportunities that the industry offers and those choosing to pursue a career in hospitality is declining.
“Installing the coffee machine in the school is the perfect way to bring the sector to life in a really engaging way, while also giving young people a skill they can call upon later in life.”
On being Inverness Chamber Project of the Week, Aimee said: “I Feel like it is a positive way for members and the wider public to get an insight into what DYW is about and to raise awareness of the vast number of career paths open to young people and schools leavers.”
DYW are delighted to be supporting Highland Business Week 2018, with the Developing the Young Workforce award being one of the twelve awards available to apply for. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel you are an employer who can best demonstrate a significant commitment to the development and growth of opportunities for young people.
Aimee shared with Inverness Chamber what DYWs plans are over the next 12 months: “DYW plans to use the next 12 months to continue to engage with new and existing employers to try and develop links between them and schools in hope that they can offer different opportunities to the pupils. We aim to become more strategic in our planning for the events and meetings in which we will host to try and hit a wide range of the public throughout the year.”
About being involved with Inverness Chamber, Aimee said: “DYW value being able to make connections with the contacts made from the within the network and the opportunities to engage with more employers and businesses through the networking events and membership directory.”
Aimee provided her top-tip for making the most of your Chamber membership: “Get networking. It is the easiest and most effective way to meet new employers and set up new connections.”