EIGHT SCHOOLS IN MORAY have been included in a ground breaking programme designed to support secondary pupils into employment.
The Career Ready project has been extended in the region thanks to funding mainly from drinks giant Diageo with support from Moray Council.
As a result all eight secondary schools in Moray will for the first time be included in the project, which was launched at Moray College this week.
Joining the programme is Milne’s High School and Forres Academy, embarking on the structured two-year course designed to give participating pupils vital on-the-job experience and help further their knowledge of different sectors and industries.
The highlight of the programme is a four-week paid internship with some of Moray’s top businesses, including Diageo, Forsyths, McPherson Ltd and Morrison Construction.
Diageo, has been at the centre of Career Ready’s employer support in Moray since its launch two years ago.
Keith Miller, Distillation and Maturation Director at Diageo and Chair of the Career Ready Moray Local Advisory Board, said: “It’s great to be launching our 2016-2018 programme today in Moray. Moray is an extremely important area for Diageo and working with local businesses to help develop and release the potential of young people within the region is hugely important to us.
“Diageo is continually building on the relationship with Career Ready, we’re now supporting the programme in a total of five areas in Scotland and the continued demand for growth is hugely encouraging to us. It’s fantastic that we can help to build pupils’ confidence and ambition to set them up for success, as best as possible, in their future careers.”
Sarah McCafferty, a student from Elgin Academy, completed a paid internship with Diageo this summer.
Describing her experience on the programme she said: “The career ready programme has honestly been one of the most beneficial experiences of my life so far. Before my internship I had no idea what to expect from the world of work but my mentor, Andrew Ballantyne from Diageo, helped me so much. I believe I have acquired the essential employability skills looked for by employers worldwide and can confidently say that, I am career ready.”
Susan Macpherson, Career Ready Regional Manager for Moray, commented: “We are delighted to be getting this year’s programme underway with all eight schools – our programme is going from strength to strength and the launch event is an exciting opportunity for the students and mentors to realise what the programme is all about and the community they’re joining.
“There’s always an excited, if slightly nervous, atmosphere. But having the chance to hear from a student like Sarah, who knows exactly how they’re feeling and can describe the journey she’s been on so far, will really help to motivate them to take every opportunity they can over the next two years.”
Sarah Medcraf, Director of DYW and Chief Executive Officer at Moray Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is an exciting moment for the latest Moray students who are starting their two-year Career Ready programmes this month.
“We have already seen the huge impact it can have on young people to build direct relationships with local employers – mentors are inspiring role models and can help the students to tap into their real potential.
“Having all our schools on-board for the first time this year will be a key strand in our Developing the Young Workforce programme as we support our students to be ready for their next steps after school.”
Celebrating the launch of the 2016-2018 programme, students enjoyed an inspiring talk from guest speaker Craig Mathieson, Explorer in Residence with Royal Scottish Geographic Society, and had the chance to network with business leaders and their newly appointed Career Ready mentors.
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