Inspiring the Young Workforce: Career options and apprenticeships in Dundee, Perth, Kinross and Angus
An organisation which helps young people to follow their passions and find different career opportunities whatever their background is helping build the workforce of the future.
DYW Tay Cities works with companies of all sizes to inspire young people from S1 onwards to open their eyes to the wider career paths available to them whilst encouraging employers to think beyond exam results as the only measure of potential and talent.
It also places apprenticeship ambassadors and guest speakers into schools, opening young people’s minds to positive alternatives, including earn-while-you-learn apprenticeships. This can be life-changing for young people at a crossroad.
Former soldier Lisa Laidlaw, who joined the British Army straight from school with no qualifications, carved out a career over several decades before becoming the Developing the Young Workforce Tay Cities – Regional Lead.
Lisa said: “The choices teenagers make shouldn’t define their entire future; there are lots of ways into work, and today’s young people have incredible passions, ideas and a work ethic that would be an asset for many organisations.
“By working with young people and through employer engagement to offer them alternative options and inspirational activities, we hope to inspire young people into the apprenticeship family and other career paths.”
While Lisa’s own story is admirable – she came from a poor educational background with little support– another DYW employee is truly inspirational.
Natalia arrived in Scotland as a child immigrant with no English, and by the age of 14 she was pregnant. Now aged 21 and bringing up a seven-year-old son, she works for DYW Tay Cities and has just completed her modern apprenticeship, giving her powerful testimony to schools in Perth, Kinross, Dundee and Angus.
Lisa added: “People like Natalia have amazing stories to tell, and show that life’s hurdles don’t always mean an end to your dreams. We aim to facilitate meaningful partnerships between business and education to provide work-based learning opportunities for young people and better prepare them for their future.”
DYW Tay Cities brings together schools, , further education providers, young people, their parents and employers to ensure more young people during their school years and beyond are aware of local employers and their needs to enable them to get excited about career opportunities.
Lisa said: “We are firmly of the belief that there is #NoWrongPath to your career – we have case studies from people who started in one career, or none, or with no practical experience, and found their way to become a valued addition to the workforce.
To achieve this there is a DYW Tay Cities school co-ordinator in every high school, each aiming to ensure young people have the skills and experience they need to lead fulfilling careers and grow the local economy by developing the next generation of workers.
“We want to work in partnership with local businesses to pair them with the talent that will be their future whether we are working in primary schools teaching engineering through Lego, or presenting inspirational talks and videos from people who have gone the non-direct route to lead young people into successful futures.”