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Developing the Young Workforce

Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) is a national programme that aims to better prepare children and young people for the world of work. The programme looks to build on the foundations laid by Curriculum for Excellence.

A government report known as the Youth Employment Strategy was published in December 2014 which summarised ambitions for local authorities, schools and partners to work towards under the following themes:

• Increasing the route from schools into employment, or further education which is closely linked to employment

• Engaging with young people, parents, teachers and practitioners, partners and employers around DYW

• Supporting teachers and practitioners to develop children's and young people's learning about the world of work

• Providing earlier relevant, labour-market focused career advice when young people need it, leading to better outcomes

• Embedding meaningful employer involvement

• Consolidating partnership working with colleges and other training providers

• Young people able to access more vocational options during the senior phase of secondary school, which delivers routes into good jobs and careers, developed through effective partnership between schools, colleges, local authorities and other partners

• Improving opportunities and experiences for all learners

• Development of foundation apprenticeships in schools

• Stronger partnerships between employers and education.

Within Thurso High School, Developing the Young Workforce has been embedded into our Personal and Social Education curriculum with units of work which seek to build each pupil’s knowledge of understanding of their strengths, transferable skills and personal targets and to prepare them as fully as possible for their individual post school aspirations.

What's involved

In S1, pupils focus on learning about transferable skills, attend a workshop to identify these and develop them in a practical way and reflect on their strengths and targets within their school curriculum and in extra curricular interests.

Our S2 unit introduces pupils to ‘My World of Work’, an informative website developed by Skills Development Scotland designed to support pupils in learning about the world of work and accessing up to date career advice, developing their knowledge of Health and Safety in the workplace and to build their confidence communicating with others whilst thinking about how interviews are carried out and preparation ahead of this. The S3 unit asks pupils to reflect on skills they use and have used in past and present experiences, to think about how these skills would be important for employment or other education opportunities and to think about what kind of career they may be interested in. S4 pupils will learn how and where to search for employment opportunities, will work to complete CVs, will undertake tasks around preparing for interview scenarios and will receive mock interviews from local employers as arranged in conjunction with the careers service. All pupils from S1 to S4 will complete a personal statement at the end of each unit, which they will progress each year. This will further prepare them for college, university, or employment applications.

In addition to the above, Thurso High has worked with Skills Development Scotland to provide relevant and comprehensive career advice as well as building on links with local employers through work experience opportunities and contact with pupils. Pupils can receive guidance and support on the work experience website ‘Hi Hopes’ through their guidance teacher. Contact has included pupil talks, career events and excursion opportunities. Employer input has ranged from information and events on specific career paths such as Health and Engineering sectors, running a business independently and skills and qualities employers look for in their employees.

A strong partnership with North Highland College has allowed our young people further opportunities including Foundation Apprenticeships and vocational options during the senior phase to further promote routes into employment most suited to each individual. In S3, every pupil will have the opportunity to visit various sectors of the college ahead of completing their S4 choice form. These visits are also optional for senior phase pupils in S4-6.



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Thurso High School
Ormlie Road, Thurso, Caithness, KW14 7DS


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