Which path will you choose?

The countdown is on for The Press and Journal Skills and Apprenticeship Show with Skills Development Scotland. The biggest skills show in the Highlands will take place at Inverness College Campus on Wednesday, November 23.


Whether you have dreams of going into the Army or doing an apprenticeship, we can show you the way, with dozens of exhibitors on hand to give invaluable advice.


Supporting sponsors Highland Council, Inverness College and Developing the Young Workforce could be the start of an exciting new future for you, and the exhibition will be open from 10am till 7pm. There will also be a spotlight speaker stage and industry experts will cover a wide range of topics.


Scotland is a thriving hotbed of diverse culture which needs to be reflected in the workplace, from a wide range of career paths to schemes specifically aimed at minorities.


Apprenticeships are a brilliant jobs stepping stone into the world of work, and you don’t need a university degree to get ahead.



The Press and Journal Skills and Apprenticeship Show is back for the second year in a row, and hopes to inspire hundreds of youngsters taking the first steps into the world of employment.


The biggest skills show in the Highlands will see industry experts provide invaluable advice, whether you’re thinking about higher education or want to get more hands-on with an apprenticeship.




The Skills for Life, Learning and Work Team in the Highland Council are delighted to be supporting the event on November 23.


Head of education Jim Steven said: “Our aim is to enable all young people to access and progress in learning and to equip them with the skills, knowledge and positive attitudes they need to participate and progress, where possible, to employment.


“In this way we look to improve the life chances of all of our young people, including those with additional support needs, through the provision of learning and training opportunities and the personal support they need to help them achieve and progress.”


“Our employers are best placed to inform young people, their parents and carers and school and support staff what skills our young people need to secure employment in specific sectors.


“Schools are working with Developing Young Workforce Regional Groups in each chamber/college hub to assist them with employer engagement and work experience.


“For a number of years, our schools have been providing an excellent range of opportunities to up-skill our students. With the introduction of the Wood Report recommendations and the Developing the Young Workforce Strategy, we’re going to continue to build on this excellent practice by being advised by our employer networks.


“This knowledge will be used by schools and the authority to support young people access the most relevant experiences for their career choices.”


Some of the learning and skills opportunities we provide are:



Opportunities for All is a commitment by Scottish Government to ensure a 16+ offer of learning or training to every 16-19 year old whether in school or out of school. Highland Council has a lead role in respect of Opportunities for All and works closely with partners to ensure that young people are offered early interventions to support post-school participation.


The long-term aim is to enable all young people to access and progress in learning and to equip them with the skills to participate and progress, where possible into eventual employment.


As part of this commitment, Highland Council leads and maintains the Hi-hope website (www.hi-hope.org), where opportunities and services for all young people in the Highlands are promoted, with a particular focus on planning for the transition to adulthood and consideration of opportunities post-school.




In partnership with Inverness College, North Highland College and West Highland College, pupils have the opportunity as part of their education the option to study a wide range of courses.


Most courses are delivered one day a week based at the college with some delivered online or a mix of blended learning.


The vocational courses offered through the partnership include car mechanics, engineering, hairdressing, construction, hospitality and childcare.


There are also options to study courses at higher, degree module levels along with a select number of Foundation Apprenticeships.



In recent years work experience has been expanded to include the opportunity for students to access extended placements as part of a blended timetable.


Work experience opportunities continue to grow with increasing links being established with schools and employers.


The developing Young Workforce Regional groups are working closely with schools and Highland Council to promote employer engagement with young people, providing increased opportunities for work-related learning.


Andy Maxtone, programme manager of Developing the Young Workforce Inverness and Central Highland, said: “The DYW regional group’s role is to facilitate engagement between young people, schools and employers to help young people gain the skills and confidence they need to make the seamless transition between school and the workforce.”


“We are working closely with schools and Highland Council to promote opportunities and enhance employer engagement and work experience for young people”.


A new work experience tab is being developed on the Hi-hope website in partnership with the DYW Regional Groups. This will enable young people to search and access a wide range of work-related learning opportunities including work placements. Young people will apply for opportunities linking their understanding of skills, job roles in different sectors and the importance of the application process.





This offers pupils the opportunity to gain employability skills throughout the senior phase. Participating in a range of activities and events run by the Highland Council, LifeScan, SSE, Capgemini and UHI, pupils gain skills to better enable them to leave school into opportunities that best suit them.



A range of careers events such as Health and Social Care are run annually supported by industry to better inform young people of the opportunities that are available and the pathways that will enable them to reach their potential.




An activity agreement is a plan of learning and activity which an advisor will help a young person put together, so when they are ready they can move on to further education, training or employment. It can include volunteering, short courses, supported learning and practical experiences. Each agreement is individually tailored to the person and is for young people who are eligible to leave school.




Part of the national programme announced in March by Rosanna Cunningham MSP, Developing the Young Workforce Inverness and Central Highland is now fully active in the region, having launched with a packed programme of events this summer.


Led by Inverness Chamber of Commerce, DYW Inverness and Central Highland’s goal is to ensure local young people have the skills and confidence they need to make a seamless transition from education to employment. This in turn will help reduce youth unemployment in the area for the long term, with support from schools, DYW partner agencies, employers, parents and, of course, local young people.


Throughout the three-year programme, DYW Inverness Central Highland’s role will be to foster a culture of collaboration and establish lasting links between educators and employers. This will drive the creation of meaningful work-experience opportunities, helping to bridge the experience gap between the classroom and the workplace.


This September, Highland Business Week provided the perfect launch platform for the DYW Inverness and Central Highland programme, which was also headline sponsor.


Throughout the festival, Highland businesses enjoyed plenty opportunities to find out more about the programme and learn about organisations from across the Highlands that are already engaging successfully with young people.


For example, the Highland Business Awards introduced the DYW award as a new category, inviting regional winners from Caithness, West Highland and Inverness and Central Highlands to compete for the Highland-wide title.


The winner, Daviot Group from Inverness, faced tough competition from BSW Timber (West Highland) and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (Caithness), however came up trumps for its tailored training and qualifications programmes, which are structured around each employee’s personal goals. Judges also commended Daviot’s commitment to young people, pledging to pay all apprentices and trainees in excess of the living wage.


Most recently, DYW Inverness and Central Highland has been working with the Highland Council to promote www.hi-hope.org. This Highland-wide resource lists a range of services, jobs and employer engagement opportunities developed especially for young Highlanders and those who support them, helping them to gain experience and build strong foundations for future employment.


In addition, Inverness Chamber of Commerce, inspired by the DYW cause, has been welcoming local secondary school children to join its team as Chamber Chief for the day. This has created valuable opportunities for young volunteers to find out more about the business community on their doorsteps as well as build their all-important networking skills at Chamber-hosted events.


These are just a few examples of the ways in which DYW Inverness and Central Highland has been flying the flag for local young people and supporting links between learning and earning.


If you would like to find out more about opportunities to get involved in the DYW Inverness and Central Highland programme please contact programme manager Andy Maxtone at andy@inverness-chamber.co.ukFor more information about Developing the Young Workforce Inverness and Central Highland visit www.inverness-chamber.co.uk/developing-the-young-workforce

Back to listing