Developing the Young Workforce Outer Hebrides joined partners and employers on 24 February in Stornoway Town Hall to host the first Careers Fair in the Western Isles since 2019.
More than 400 Nicolson Institute pupils attended the landmark event following two years of Covid enforced virtual alternatives.
Employers present on the day were the Scottish Salmon Company, Lews Castle College UHI, Skills Development Scotland, Western Isles Employability, Ishga, BASF, Bord na Gaidhlig, Calmax, O’Mac, Lewis Builders, HHP, Clean Squad, Cala Group, CNES Care, CNES Technical Services, NHS, Fire Service and NHS Paramedics.
All employers took the opportunity to provide young people with information on their own careers and the range of opportunities available within their organisations.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Apprenticeship team presented information on the apprenticeship pathway from Foundation Apprenticeships in school to Modern Apprenticeships and on to Graduate opportunities.
Sarah Reap Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Apprenticeship Team Leader, said: “Comhairle nan Eilean Siar offers apprenticeships across a range of frameworks and qualification levels to suit the needs of all young people in the Western Isles. It was fantastic to once again have the opportunity to talk directly to young people about what we can offer them and to learn how we can shape future delivery to meet their career aims.”
The Scottish Salmon Company demonstrated the stages of Salmon development while the Fire Service and Paramedics displayed their lifesaving equipment.
Lews Castle College UHI gave practical demonstrations and information on the maritime skills, business, Computing, Engineering, Construction, Hairdressing, Gaidhlig and Hospitality courses. Set up on the Town Hall balcony school pupils had the chance to try computer programming, CAD drawing, hairdressing as well as crepes made by the hospitality team.
Cllr Paul Steele, Chair, Education, Sport and Children's Services Committee, said: “When the Western Isles Employability Hub was opened in 2021 a commitment was made to engage directly with young people in the Western Isles. The work of DYW, employers and partners in providing virtual careers information has been commendable but there is no real alternative to direct conversations between young people and employers. I hope that this will be the first of many similar events in the Employability Hub and look forward to seeing similar Careers Fairs throughout the Western Isles.”
Dolina Smith, DYW Outer Hebrides Lead, said: “Yesterday’s event showcased the dedication of Western Isles employers to developing our young workforce. It is important that young people of all ages know what is on offer to them when they leave school, and I am confident that these conversations with local employers will have helped generate ideas for their future.
“DYW Outer Hebrides relies heavily on participation from schools, employers and partner organisations. Thanks must go to all who helped made the event possible.”
DYW Outer Hebrides provides a link between employers and young people across the Western Isles. If you are an employer, young person, parent or interested member of the public who would like to find out more please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.