Making May Meaningful

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Some of the young people involved in the Meaningful May initiative

An organisation set up to bring together young people and employers has been taking part in a local authority initiative geared towards young people during the exam leave period.

Developing the Young Workforce Moray along with the Moray Skills Pathway partners has been running workshops as part of the Meaningful May Programme which has been put together by Moray Council.

Meaningful May is a three-week initiative aimed at secondary school pupils during exam leave when the normal school timetable is suspended.

It is geared to those who pupils who are below the school leaving age with a selection of national qualifications that do not require external exam.

Pupils have been offered a range of workshops run by DYW Moray, local businesses and other partner agencies and then do a two-week work placement, leading to an employability qualification.

Maxine Scott, education support officer for skills with Moray Council’s education department said Meaningful May, now in its fourth year has been another success.

She said: “Meaningful May is an excellent partnership programme that intensively supports our young people to develop employability skills and consider next steps as well as open their eyes to the opportunities available in Moray. The combination of tasks and work placement allows the pupils to gain employability and work placement qualification during the three-week programme. The partnership is key to making the programme successful.”

As part of Meaningful May, DYW Moray delivered several ‘Your Digital Presence’ workshops which explained how the negative use of social media can affect employability potential.

They also worked with Elgin Museum, Johnstons of Elgin, Moray Leisure Centre and NHS Grampian to arrange a series of work place visits, and organised mock interviews to give the young participants the opportunity to experience this crucial stage of securing a job.

Sarah Baxter, manager of DYW Moray said she was pleased to be able to play a key role in the initiative: “To be involved again is great and the whole initiative sums up what DYW Moray is all about. Our aim is to get educators, young people and employers all working together so that we create a strong, educated workforce for the region. We also want to make young people aware of the wealth of opportunities that are available in Moray.”

She added: “Meaningful May does what is says, it provides opportunities for youngsters whose timetables are suspended and otherwise may not have a way to spend their time in a ‘meaningful’ way. The range of opportunities available through the three weeks, from the workplace visits, to the mock interviews and the workshops give the young people a real experience of what to expect when applying for jobs and once those jobs are secured.

“In the past, we have had young people secure employment by taking part in the Meaningful May work experience opportunities so it is a worthwhile programme, which is now embedded in Moray’s secondary schools’ yearly plan.”