An initiative which started at Breadalbane Academy is opening up to S5 and S6 pupils across Perth and Kinross.
‘Next Steps’ is a ‘conference-style’ event that sets pupils into conversations about developing a ‘growth mindset’, using social media to find a job and giving them mock interviews.
Transport Scotland and the Highland Perthshire school in partnership first started the event in 2017 with the academy, now Next Steps is being recorded and made available for all Perth and Kinross S5 and S6 pupils.
John Devine, Headteacher at Breadalbane Academy said: “Our pupils have really benefited from the opportunity to understand the range of pathways on offer beyond their time at school, direct from people who have experienced them first-hand.
“We have had apprentices, graduate apprentices and graduates contribute to Next Steps and they share their own experiences of why they made these choices, what went well, and what they might have done differently.
“In due course, we also hope to be able to host the event in school again. Next Steps is just one of the many experiences in Breadalbane Academy’s employability programme through which we aim to equip all our young people with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in work and life.”
This time round, pupils will also be given a package with materials to support them in developing CV’s, email etiquette and what to expect on their first day in the workplace.
Transport Scotland’s Academy9 Coordinator, David Pollock said: “Next Steps is a prime example of what can be achieved by education working in partnership with industry.
“When Academy9 was approached to assist with this initiative, we listened to what was needed to make Next Steps a meaningful event for the young people who would be attending. As a consequence it was quickly included in the suite of core events delivered by Academy9.
“Adapting the event to an online format has involved a great deal of work, but at this time of uncertainty for young people, this investment is one we’re happy to make given the obvious benefits of increased, real-life knowledge when they’re considering their own journey into further or higher education, training or work.”
And this year the event is focusing on how the workplace has changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lifelong Learning Vice-Convener, Councillor John Duff commented: “There will always be a requirement to prepare young people for their journeys after leaving school.
“By involving the world of work in this process, it helps to ensure that the advice they receive is relevant and up to date and gives them the right tools to pursue the career of their choice and thrive in their chosen workplace.
“This is a brilliant initiative developed by Breadalbane Academy with support from Academy9 and now Next Steps is online, all our secondary schools will have access to the programme each year.”