Welcome for young workforce funding
The award of £330,000 from the Scottish Government towards an initiative to help Orkney’s young people find fulfilling jobs and careers has been welcomed today (Monday 26 June).
The funding was announced by Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Employability and Training, during an event at Orkney College UHI.
It will support a project aimed at strengthening links between education and employers called Developing the Young Workforce (DYW).
Orkney Islands Council Leader James Stockan said: “The project is aimed at ensuring our young people have the right education, training and experience get into employment and fulfil their career ambitions.
“In our schools we are already getting children from a young age to think about jobs they might do in future. From fourth year onwards, there are opportunities for young people to mix education in our secondary schools with work experience, college courses and work placements.
“The funding announced today will mean that we can build on these firm foundations, improving employment opportunities for young people and helping to plug any gaps in the local jobs market.”
The award of financial support follows a successful bid made earlier this year by Orkney’s Developing the Young Workforce Regional Group Board.
The group brings together local industry sectors with representatives of the Council, the College, Skills Development Scotland and NHS Orkney.
Stephen Kemp, who chairs the board, said: “It's great to be part of an employer-led initiative that will enable us to proactively engage with young people at a suitably early stage.
“We will aim to ensure that students are properly guided in terms of their chosen fields of study, careers advice, and work experience with the aim being to properly prepare them for their chosen career path when they leave school.”
Links have already been forged with businesses and other employers across the county.
The Government funding will help increase the range of high quality work experience and work placement opportunities for young people.
It will also support the development of new courses in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).