One month on from its launch, an online resource which aims to improve engagement between North-east employers and schools has seen employers of all shapes and sizes sign up to host events.
All 29 local authority secondary schools across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire are on Marketplace and have connected with around 20 employers staging a variety of workshops, talks and workplace visits aimed at building young people’s job readiness and increasing their career options.
Activities open to schools through Marketplace have included a session exploring practical engineering with ITCA Limited, an ‘Influence the Influencer’ event, a dive into the work of a laboratory technician with SpecSavers opticians; an information session to help young people prepare for recruitment processes from Richard Irvine and an apprenticeships awareness raising session from Aberdeenshire Council.
A series of events are also being staged for employers interested in finding out more, with the next one, entitled ‘Your Business is their Future’, taking place at Fife Lodge Hotel, Banff, onNovember 22.
James Bream, director of DYW North-east Scotland, said: “There is a growing appetite among businesses to create more meaningful partnerships and foster stronger engagement with schools in their area. We have seen this in the breadth of activities being offered to young people through Marketplace from businesses both large and small and representing a wide range of sectors.”
Launched in the North-east following the successful piloting of the scheme in the Central Belt, Marketplace was developed by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with Scotland’s regional Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce (DYW) groups. It aims to make it easy for employers to connect with education establishments in order to shape their potential future workforce and talent.
The digital platform allows employers to create offers to schools to pass on knowledge of their sector by hosting a range of opportunities from workshops, talks, workplace visits and even offering placements, all of which build young people’s job readiness and increase their career options. In addition, schools can also make asks of employers, for example by attending career sessions, in Marketplace via Founders for Schools.
For students, it helps bring the curriculum to life by providing them with an enhanced learning experience through increased insight into the world of work, helping them make more informed choices while gaining the skills, knowledge and qualities they need to be successful in the workplace.
“Building young people’s skills around employability, enterprise and raising their aspirations while at the same time giving employers a way to help shape young talent, address skills gaps and source their future workforce is a vital step towards ensuring we are giving young people in the North-east the best possible start to their working lives,” added Mr Bream.
“We would actively encourage more employers to get involved and see what Marketplace can do for them. It’s simple, easy to do and hugely rewarding.”