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Innovative schools partnership sets young people on the right path

Young people in Paisley are looking to the future as part of an innovative schools partnership which outlines prospective career options and learning pathways.

Five Paisley primary schools – Lochfield, St Charles, St John Ogilvie, Todholm and Williamsburgh – have adopted the partnership approach which has seen the schools host a series of workshops for pupils examining further career paths.

Pupils are informed of the expectations of teachers, parents and employers in a number of fields including digital, healthcare, construction and events to ensure they can fully consider the skills and approach needed to succeed in that industry.

The initiative forms part of Renfrewshire’s commitment to the Career Education Standard (CES) 3-18, published in support of the Scottish Government’s strategy to tackle youth unemployment – Developing the Young Workforce.

CES 3-18 offers children and young people the opportunity to experience a curriculum through which they can learn about the world of work and develop career management skills.

Each school decided to host a session for a particular sector or theme and allowed pupils to select which one they would like to visit.

The sessions included:

Lochfield – IT, Digital and Social Media
St Charles – Early Learning & Childcare, Healthcare and Education
St John Ogilvie – Construction, Engineering and Science
Todholm – Customer Service, Hospitality, Retail and Sport/Leisure
Williamsburgh – Arts, Culture and Events

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, said: “We’re determined to give our young people the best start in life and ensure they have the foundations to pursue a successful career when they complete their education.

“Recent statistics show that more than 90 per cent of our school leavers are going into higher or further education, employment or training, and this stems from providing them with the right opportunities from a young age.

“This pilot is giving primary school children the chance to examine a range of careers and see which sector is best suited for their interests and talents, even ones which they may not have thought were for them.

“It’s fantastic to see our schools working together to ensure their pupils have every opportunity to find the right pathway and I look forward to seeing the aims of the pilot come to fruition.”

Pupils will be able to reflect on their learning by engaging in further career research through peer review and outlets including Skills Development Scotland’s My World of Work.

Claire Macgregor Duncan, Lochfield Primary Head Teacher, said: “This has been a very successful pilot and all the pupils have gained a real insight into the world of work and future careers.

“Their eyes have been opened to new possibilities for careers. It is lovely to have a partnership with our local schools and hopefully this is something we can build on in the future.”

Lochfield Primary pupil Calum Hunter, said:  “I thought it was interesting as I didn’t realise there were so many jobs that were related to technology. All of these jobs seem really fascinating.”

Classmate, Abby Hutchison, said: “I found learning about the nurseries exciting as I would like to do that. However, I didn’t realise all the things you need to do to be able to have that sort of job.”

Pupil, Alex McEwan, said “I thought it was really instructive and you got lots of information about what we need to do to get a job in the care and education sector.”