Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Orkney recently welcomed a new member to the team, with Charlene Nicolson joining us as a DYW School Co-ordinator based at Stromness Academy.
Charlene joins our existing team of Leah Rendall and Charlotte Hoque, who are DYW School Co-ordinators at Kirkwall Grammar School and the Junior High Schools.
Our School Co-ordinators work alongside Skills Development Scotland Careers Advisers, their respective school’s Senior Management Teams and Guidance staff, as well as other partners to support young people into a positive destination. They help develop the link between education and the world of work, increasing young people’s career awareness and skills development.
Here, Charlene tells us a bit about her career journey so far and why she got involved with DYW Orkney:
“I left school in fifth year and went to Orkney College to start my HNC and SVQ3 in Social Care. Throughout school I always had a career in Social Work in mind. I started a placement at Aurrida House, and I was offered relief post from this. I completed my HNC and carried on working at Aurrida, as well as picking up shifts in Childrens’ Residential. I had always hoped to carry on my studies and get a degree in Social Work, but after having my family I decided that this was no longer the career for me. I studied towards my degree in Children’s Health Studies through open learning whilst being supported by Orkney College. I knew I wanted to work with children and young people, but I wasn’t sure in what format, so I felt that this qualification opened different opportunities.
“I have since worked as a Family Support Worker within Children and Families, and last year I took up a role within the Community Learning and Development Team, supporting young people to engage in learning, education, work and looking for positive destinations. Through this role, I had a working relationship with the DYW team, and when a post came up as a School Co-ordinator at Stromness I applied and was delighted to be offered the job.”
Explaining why she got involved with DYW Orkney, Charlene said: “I have always wanted to support young people and use my experience, knowledge and skills to give them guidance. We are so lucky to live in a small community where employers are able to engage with schools and pupils to give them a little taste of the different careers on offer, and I am looking forward to working alongside employers and partners to provide young people with opportunities and positive experiences to help them take that step into the world of work.”