Pupils from Lochgelly High School are taking part in an innovative new programme designed to help them into employment. The Employability Skills Programme which will equip pupils with a range of skills to tackle the process of securing a job, was launched at the school by Provost, Jim Leishman.
The programme is being led by Acting Principal Teacher of Design, Engineering & Technology, Ray Fernie, who identified that pupils were being unsuccessful in finding employment due to a lack of training in things like CV writing, and not having a grasp of the type of skills and behaviour expected in the workplace.
Ray explained, “Over the past two months we have been meeting with local businesses and it was clear from their feedback that pupils lacked the skills to get as far as an interview and therefore find a job. They were keen to help though, and by working together we have now developed a range of support for pupils which will be delivered in partnership with these local businesses.
“Pupils will go through the process of applying for jobs using real specifications supplied by the businesses. The applications will be assessed and successful applicants will then be interviewed for work placements which will take place next year. Throughout the process there will be support from the school, the employers, Carnegie College’s Careerzone and Fife Council’s Employability Team.”
In her introduction at the launch event, Lochgelly Rector Carol Ann Penrose-Campbell gave the project her full support and encouraged pupils to take full advantage of this innovative programme. She also highlighted the amount of hard work carried out in a short time by the group of teachers behind the programme. There were also a number of guest speakers from the organisations involved, who talked to the pupils about employability and the skills and motivation they will need to be successful in their careers.
One of the speakers, Archie Smith, Managing Director of FiFab, explained why his company have got involved in the Programme. “FiFab celebrated 40 years in business recently and are now recognised as a world leader in the sub contract engineering field. We have invested over £1.25 million in the latest technology this year, and this along with the recruitment of a further five apprentices represents our commitment to the Fife economy. Our partnership with Lochgelly High School is part of our commitment to the communities we operate in.
“FiFab along with other companies in Fife must ensure that we can provide high value opportunities for this generation and in the future. Some of these kids might never get the chance to realise their ambition of becoming a machinist, an engineer or even a manager. We offer them a chance to try all positions at Fife Fabrications whether it is IT, working with CAD/CAM computers, or operating key machinery. We try and instil the belief in the young people who come through, that whatever they would like to achieve, we are here to encourage and guide them, so that they can make positive choices for their future. We teach them good work ethics and how to become a team player.
“We consider the sponsorship not only a necessity for the future of manufacturing but also for future generations who may never have thought of going into the manufacturing business”.
Cllr Tony Martin, the newly appointed Ambassador for Youth Employment praised the school’s innovative approach, “Youth employment is a high priority for the Council. Since 2005 there has been a 48% increase in the total number of 18-24 year olds claiming job seekers allowance and figures released recently showed the levels of young people out of work or training is continuing to grow. We will be working with local employers, schools and colleges to get people into work, and what is happening here at Lochgelly is a great example of putting this into practice.”
Provost, Jim Leishman, added “I was delighted to launch this new programme at Lochgelly High School. Young people in Fife have a lot to offer employers, and with support and encouragement from the school and its partners we can give them the best possible chance of gaining employment in the future.”
The businesses involved in the programme are FiFab, Purvis, Carbon Financial Services, SM Baynes, Dynamic EMS, MacDonald strategy and Fife Fire and Rescue.