Funded by UK Steel Enterprise, the SAPhIR Employability Programme has been created and delivered by recruitment specialists to give pupils a valuable insight into what is expected in today’s employment market.
Students at Carluke and Lesmahagow High Schools were offered the free course thanks to Anne Clyde, regional manager at UK Steel Enterprise, who has links with the two schools.
Anne said: “The SAPhIR programme provides young people with the skills they need to be successful when leaving school and looking to go into employment.
“UKSE is proud to support such a fantastic initiative and we wish everyone who took part in the process the very best of luck in finding a job in the future.”
The half-day workshop aimed at pupils in S4 to S6 consisted of interactive presentations, as well as group and individual tasks.
SAPhIR – standing for Search, Application, Presentation and you’re Hired – offers a selection of techniques which help young people to prepare for interviews, apprenticeships and college interviews, giving pupils the knowledge and confidence to present themselves well.
Each student received a workbook packed with practical advice and examples, provided as part of the course.
Pupils who are not quite ready to start their job search straight after leaving school will have their completed workbook for reference in the future.
Helen Salt, a recruitment expert who delivered the SAPhIR programme along with Cameron Shearer, said: “Preparing pupils for life beyond school is hugely important in an age when young people are faced with an increasingly challenging employment market.
“Thanks to the funding support from UKSE, we were able to provide pupils with support, advice and insight on how best to prepare for interviews and recruitment processes.”
The course was delivered to more than 20 S4 and S5 pupils at Carluke High School last Monday.
Head teacher Kathleen McCormick is in little doubt that it will help the youngsters as they prepare to leave school.
She said: “We’re very grateful to Anne for offering our pupils this opportunity.
“Our pupil support teachers chose students who would benefit most from the workshop; many are likely to leave after this academic session.
“Helen and Cameron were able to give them practical advice on how best to stand out and make themselves unique, both in their CVs and during interviews.
“They also explained how employers now often use assessment centres to select prospective candidates.
“Their conduct during that process is closely studied at all times – from how they are dressed to their interactions with others and how many times they check their mobile phones.
“Cameron was able to tell one pupil, for example, how many times they’d checked their phone during the course – I think that really brought it home to them.
“They were also given good advice on social media – to carefeully consider what they’re posting as employers may well look at it.
“The workshop built on the work we do in our personal and social education classes, preparing pupils for the world of work.
“But we’ll be looking to see how we can enhance our own programme, using some of the advice from the workshop, to benefit all of our senior pupils.
“We can’t thank Anne enough for offering us the course and we’d love to offer it to more of our senior pupils in the future.
“I have no doubt the techniques, tips and strategies the pupils learned will support them in their future job searches.”
Pupils at Lesmahagow High took part in the course at the end of last month.
Barbara Lee, depute head teacher, said: “We’d like to thank Helen and Cameron for leading the workshop.
“It taught our pupils invaluable employability skills, preparing them and developing their confidence in the application and interview process.
“We’d also like to thank Anne Clyde at UKSE for funding this opportunity.”
Also delivered at Dalziel and Coatbridge Highs, the workshop was funded with £2500 from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) to cover the cost of teaching materials and recruitment experts.