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Maximising opportunities for young people entering the jobs market in the Highlands

13 June 2024

Leads Day 1 600 x 400 1

In May, the Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland (DYWICH) team brought together educators, public sector stakeholders and representatives from industry. This was to celebrate achievements for 2023-2024, share best practice and develop ideas for how DYWICH, together with schools, can support the young people who would benefit the most from engaging with employers to help them move forward into positive career destinations.

There was a lot of food for thought as the group heard presentations from: Kingussie High School Deputy Head Teacher, Gavin Murphy; Maxine Garson, Senior Education Lead for Skills, Employability and Prosperity at The Highland Council who presented the Highland Council’s Workforce for the Future Plan; and Stephen Sheridan from Skills Development Scotland (SDS) looking at the Highland economy, future skills requirements and emerging sectors.

There were also sector overviews from: Megan Glass from NHS Highlands; Fiona Connor, HR Manager at Glen Mhor Hotel; and DYW School Coordinator for Nairn Academy, Louise Taylor who spoke about how she is engaging the hardest to reach students and seeing some positive results.

Megan Glass, People Partner at Highland HSCP, NHS Highland, said, “I really enjoyed the event. It was a great opportunity to network and allowed us to collaborate, as industry partners, with DYW, SDS and Highland Council. I would hope that these types of events will support us all in delivering against the employability agenda, and how we can work together to support young people into career pathways and support them with the skills they will need.”

Liz Fletcher, DYWICH Programme Lead explains, "This get-together was about building on the success of last year and working with key partners and employers to plan how we develop the future workforce for the Highlands to meet current and future business demand. This might be how we align the school’s curriculum with economic opportunities, with a particular focus on young people at risk of not achieving their potential."

Liz Fletcher welcomes everyone

Liz continues, "We also set ourselves a small challenge based around one of DYW’s National Key Performance Indicators which focuses on how we can increase employer engagement with our young people who would benefit the most. We worked in groups and had some very interesting and open conversations. Our insights were fed back at the end of the session, and we look forward to putting some of our ideas into practice in the next academic year.

“I’d like to thank everyone for taking this opportunity to come together - above all, the day was about networking, sharing practice and chatting with colleagues about how we can maximise joint working in linking with employers and supporting the next generation in the world of work.”

Here is some of our highlights from 2023/24 and we’re looking forward to many more in 2024/25…