LOCAL students are looking forward to starting an employment programme next year.
Eight Forres Academy pupils will get a taste for working life on the Career Ready project, a structured two-year course designed to provide on-the-job experience with knowledge of different sectors and industries.
Career Ready school coordinator and Academy depute head teacher Mrs Sandra McCulloch thinks the programme will set the pupils in good stead for life after education.
She said: “All have already expressed enthusiasm for this programme and are delighted with the relationships they have begun to form with their mentors.
“I am extremely grateful to the mentors for their time and support and I know that these students will have a fantastic experience as they make the journey towards their future careers.”
Career Ready is a national charity that links schools with employers to help prepare 15-18-year-olds.
The programme includes: face-to-face mentoring, masterclasses to help develop key skills and attitudes, workplace visits and paid internship between S5 and S6.
A few of the work experience students told the Gazette what they are looking forward to most.
Ashleigh Young (15) will be working with Morrison Construction on administration and technology.
She said: “Seeing real working life will make me realise the reality of work and could change my thoughts of future career.
“It’s also a good opportunity to meet new people.”
Heather Welsh (16) will be mentored by Moray Council’s volunteer and community participation development officer, Margaret Cowie.
“The programme is a great opportunity to show me all my options for when I leave school in a more relatable way than being given a list of universities,” said Heather. “It will be good for me to establish how I feel about my options.”
Owen Walters (16) will attend Moray Council under the tutorage of ICT strategy for schools and curriculum developer Stuart McQuaker.
Owen Said: “The programme is an opportunity to develop aspects of myself such as confidence and networking.
“My mentor is responsible for teaching our teachers how to use technology – this could end up with me working in schools.”
Fabian Hall’s (16) mentor Jacqueline Maclaren works for TsiMoray.
“I will go to various masterclasses which will help me to find out more about skills and qualities needed for the workplace,” said Fabian.
Natalia Wencel (17) is looking forward to mentoring from Brigitta Szutor at Johnstons of Elgin.
“I have already shown Brigitta around my favourite areas in Forres Academy,” said Natalia. “That was a big step forward.
“Recently, we met at her work and she showed me everything that goes on which gave me a clear image of what it’s all like.
“I feel very fortunate to have Brigitta as my mentor and I’m sure she will help me find my future career path.”