Whilst many employers place an emphasis on experience when looking for candidates to fill roles in their organisation, there are tangible benefits to employing young people. Younger workers can be fast learners, highly motivated, and can adapt very quickly to change. The work of Developing Young Workforce (DYW) Ayrshire has been vital in demonstrating how varied the options are for school leavers looking to make a mark in business. DYW Ayrshire has looked to increase the employability skills for the aid of young people who will soon have to make choices about their future. DYW tapped into the versatile nature of Ayrshire’s school age population with a wide variety of projects that school pupils could engage with. These projects ranged from cyber security, to upcycling, to giving pupils the opportunity to run their own businesses within the confines of their schools. All had a large range of units available that could help pupils gain vital skills that will be directly applicable in a number of working environments. Having experience of professional skills will also give pupils flexibility when considering their careers options at the end of their time at school, and could make the idea of entering the workplace immediately seem more attractive than further study at a college of university.

Another one of the projects that DYW aided students with was a horticulture programme, where pupils were given the opportunity to design and create a garden for the Royal Horticultural Society Pop-up Garden Competition. The pupils flourished due to the challenge and ended up receiving a silver award. The success of this project has inspired an increase in the number of pupils working towards SQA qualifications in Rural Skills.

The work of the DYW in Ayrshire has been vital in preparing pupils for the working world and for adding to their versatility as potential employees. Over 900 young people have been supported their innovative projects. They have also facilitated 1288 employer engagement partnerships which has generated 65,265 pupil interactions. The work of DYW is aiding soon-to-be workforces in having as wide a skill range as possible to make them effective employees.

For more information on the work of DYW Ayrshire and to view their full end of year report, visit http://www.dywayrshire.com.