Julie Colquhoun is a member of the DYW Orkney Regional Group Board and is the Head of Organisational Development and Learning at NHS Orkney.
“I left school at the end of fourth year, going on to complete a further education year in Administration before going into the workplace. I was employed in various different jobs, including shop work, hotel and bar work and a range of administrative roles.
“I joined the NHS in 1995, firstly as a Domestic Assistant as the hours fitted in with having young children. It was at this point I decided I wanted to further my education and started to study with the Open University. I moved into an Auxiliary Nurse role, while at the same time working towards a qualification in Social Science, which led me into my first administrative role in NHS Orkney as part of the Training Team.
“I was one of two in the NHS at that time who were successful in taking up a MA and HNC with the Orkney College. With these new qualifications and skills, I moved into a Workforce Planning position in the HR Team. I then went on to study with the Manchester College, Distance Learning where I completed my HR qualification. My education journey continues to this day, and I am now the Head of OD in NHS Orkney, having held a number of senior positions including the Head of Human Resources.”
Why did you get involved with DYW Orkney?
“My job places me in a very privileged position to be able to work with staff across all disciplines, looking at career pathways and development opportunities. My role is to provide leadership to our youth employment strategy, working with students from work experience right through to substantive employment, which has been extremely successful to date through our Modern Apprenticeship program.
“Growing our own workforce, and working with DYW to develop opportunities for current and future generation workforce for NHS Orkney is a large part of our Workforce Strategy. As one of the largest employers in Orkney, we have a vital role to play in supporting the DYW programme. I feel passionate about education and am committed to seeing young people have the same opportunities as I did, and for those who don’t want to leave our beautiful islands – there are opportunities here.”