A six week programme to help young people prepare for their next step after leaving school concluded this week.
In partnership with Skills Development Scotland, DYW Orkney have been working with pupils at Kirkwall Grammar School and Stromness Academy who are planning to leave school at the end of this academic year. The six week School Leavers’ Programme was developed to help prepare young people for their next step after school.
Throughout the programme, pupils learnt more about the options available to them. One of their first classes was a Provider’s Event, where they heard from staff from VAO, the Connect Project, Orkney College and CITB about the support and services they provide. This helped them understand the options available to help them access further training, education or employment depending on their aspirations and abilities.
Later sessions looked at searching for a job, identifying their skills, completing a CV and preparing for an interview. Pupils at Stromness had an additional, employer-led workshop where they heard directly from employers about what they look for in a CV and in an interview candidate.
The programme concluded with a mock interview session, which was attended by local employers.
This was a friendly, informal event which was designed to give pupils the chance to present their CVs and practice their presentation skills with local employers. Pupils were given four minutes with each employer during which time they had to introduce themselves, present their CV and speak about their skills and work experience. Employers also asked general interview questions, to give them an opportunity to practice their responses. Once their four minutes were up, they moved onto the next employer.
Feedback from the employers was positive, highlighting that the pupils took the session seriously and many of the pupils were well prepared to take their first step into the world of work.
The programme will run again next year, so any pupils who intend to leave school at the end of next year can speak to their guidance teacher to see if they can take part.
Thank you to Stromness Academy and Kirkwall Grammar School for supporting the programme. We would also like to thank the local employers who came along to our employer-led events, they were: Orkney College, Voluntary Action Orkney, The Connect Project, Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Robertson Construction, Kyloe Partners, The Pickaquoy Centre, Northlink Ferries, National Oilwell Varco, Orkney Islands Council, Xodus Group, Pentland Ferries, Tesco and Drever and Heddle.