In Scotland we have this wee quirk in the school year, where young people who celebrate their 16th birthday between October and February can leave school at the end of the winter term.
Realistically how many of these young people are going to attend school from August until December when all they are doing is marking time until they can finally pull off that tie and say cheeribye to their school days. Then, where are they to go - college courses don't start until September (yes, I know there are a few exceptions) and jobs are few and far between in January / February.
This is where we come in at Enterprise North East Trust, in conjunction with the Education Department of Aberdeen City Council. We are offering up to 15 young people the chance to join our Recruit programme. This will be the third year we have offered the Recruit and as with most programmes it's still growing and developing but the aim is to help our young people become more enterprising and more employable than their peers who don't join the programme.
We offer them the following experiences:
- Team building events
- Business challenges – developed, hosted and delivered by private sector business partners; these are real life business scenarios
- Listen to business speakers – who will share their business experiences with the group
- Take part in Enterprise Activities and raise funds for a local charity
- Work towards SQA Employability Skills qualification
It is a wee bit like The Apprentice where they are set tasks that they should go off and complete; but win, lose or draw they should all learn from it.
Now this is not a programme for the faint hearted, or those who just want to escape from school for two afternoons a week. We work them hard, after all, if you are paying someone to do a job of work for you then you expect it to be done, you don't want people sitting around texting mates or posting updates on Facebook!
When the young people are accepted on to the programme, we make it quite clear that we will treat them as they would be treated in a normal workplace - turn up on time, dressed appropriately for the task and most importantly with the right attitude to get the task done. They attend Tuesday and Thursay afternoons from 2.00 pm until 5.00 pm with no break in October.
The Projects team will be visiting interested schools over the next two weeks to pass information on, but if you know of any young person that falls into the Winter Leaver category can you let them know about The Recruit and ask them to get their Guidance Teacher to drop us an email or give us a call (01224 289799).
If you are interested in setting these young people a business challenge, coming to do a talk about how to get into your industry or if you are a charity that would like to take part in the Dragons Den style pitch for funds raised then please contact the team asap.
We can't write the programme fully until we know what the young people are interested in but we can gather names and contact details at the moment.
Our young people have a really difficult time getting a foot in the jobs market - let's make it a bit easier for them by supporting them and pointing them in the right direction.