A scheme that is aimed at providing High School students a helping hand from the classroom and into employment is holding one of its first events today.
‘Career Ready’ is hosting the event at Elgin Academy that it is hoped will recruit Moray businesses to the scheme.
In partnership with local employers, Moray Council and the schools themselves, it is hoped that the new venture – which had previously operated under the banner ‘Career Academies UK’ – will help pupils in their fifth and sixth years to bridge the gap between education and employment.
First established in Moray last year, drinks giant Diageo has committed to funding the first three years through their ‘Learning for Life’ programme. Thirty pupils from Elgin, Speyside and Lossiemouth High Schools have so far enrolled in the scheme alongside several employers from a diverse range of local businesses.
From August this year the scheme is to be extended to Keith Grammar School, Buckie High School and Elgin Academy – but for every pupil joining the scheme a business willing to mentor and support them is required.
Finally the programme will be extended to Forres Academy and Milnes such that 80 children will be commencing on the two-year scheme each year. It is envisaged that 160 partners in business will be required each year.
Behind the scheme from its inception in Moray has been Diageo’s Sean Pritchard, who said: “This is a great opportunity for businesses in Moray to help support the future work force and give students a helping hand into work.
“As well as being of benefit to the students it is also good for staff who can share their own experiences and develop their mentoring skills. It’s not too time consuming with mentoring meetings taking place every few months and the four week internship. It’s also a great opportunity to spot the talent of the future.”
John Cowe, Chairman of the Moray Economic Partnership, added: “We have some of the oldest family businesses in Scotland here in Moray so we are obviously doing something right to keep talented youngsters in Moray and keep business thriving, we all need to help do our bit to support the workers of the future.”