SCHOOL pupils are being given a helping hand into work after Inverclyde Council signed up to a national training and employability programme.
The local authority is involved for the first time in the Career Ready mentoring scheme, which pairs employees with senior secondary students to give them an insight into the world of work.
Three pupils, Kieran McGeown, from Inverclyde Academy, and Tyler Forman and Darcy Milne, of Port Glasgow High, have been allocated mentors across a variety of council departments, including corporate communications, libraries, economic development and the Watt Institution, as part of a trial to see what extra support can be given to young people as they turn their attentions towards employment opportunities.
It is a two-year programme beginning in Fifth Year and typically involves regular meetings between mentors and students, and a paid internship.
Councillor Jim Clocherty, pictured, depute leader of Inverclyde Council and convener of education, said: “It’s great to see these young people being given an early introduction to the world of work through the Career Ready programme.
“We’re always looking at ways to give our young people the best possible start to their working lives and to encourage them to follow their dreams and achieve their career ambitions.
“I hear from the staff running the programme that the young people are already demonstrating the key skills that employers want –- communication, problem-solving, time management, research, IT, team work and, most importantly, a positive attitude and strong work ethic, and have clear ambitions for their career paths.”
Darcy said: “Career Ready is an experience I needed as it has given me a sense of direction for my future. I’ve gained many skills and it’s given me a drive to pursue the career path I’m interested in.”
Kieran said: “It’s been a great experience so far and I’ve learned so much, particular in the last two weeks with the internship. My knowledge and understanding of the whole world of work has increased massively, as has my confidence.”
Tyler said: “There is nothing quite like this programme and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It’s given me a great insight into a variety of different jobs and services across the council and will stand me in good stead for when I join a working environment.”