Developing the Young Workforce Perth and Kinross is a partnership between employers and education to help boost youth employment, improve our skills base and help our region grow.

Backed by the Scottish Government, we work on a range of programmes with many of our region’s 6,000 businesses, primary and secondary schools, Perth College UHI and other organisations, including the skills and voluntary sector. We also work with other young workforce groups in neighbouring regions and other parts of Scotland.

We have a great base here in Perth and Kinross, with many successful partnerships and initiatives already up and running. Some 95% of local school leavers go into employment, apprenticeships, higher education, further education, training, or voluntary work.

But we need to do more. That’s why £500,000 is being invested locally to ensure none of our young people are left behind. And to help more of our employers enjoy the benefits from supporting and employing young people.

Don’t miss out. Find out more about how we can help you and how you can get involved.

Our Team

Developing the Young Workforce Perth and Kinross has a small, friendly and experienced executive team. They provide a vital link for businesses and schools to work together to engage, inspire and develop our future young workforce here in Perth and Kinross. Our team can help:

• Bring employers and schools together to build mutually beneficial partnerships

• Generate a pipeline of skilled and talented employees for your business

• Support you in working with young people with vulnerable or disadvantaged backgrounds

• Put you in touch with partners and programmes to help develop the skills of your own team

• Support employers to recruit apprentices and trainees

Get in touch and they can help you find the best way to get involved to fit your individual circumstances


Fiona Reith


Following a successful career in business development I started working on transition programmes for school pupils in Tayside over six years ago.

Stints volunteering with Career Ready and developing work experience and employer engagement for Perth and Kinross Council lead to me to be involved with DYW from the outset.

My job satisfaction comes from connecting like-minded people and seeing young people grow in confidence.

Donna Kudarenko


To date I have gained over 18 years experience, working in both strategic and operational marketing roles across various industry sectors including IT, education and economic development.

These roles have involved extensive stakeholder management, building sustainable and successful partnerships between both private and public sector organisations. My job satisfaction comes from getting results for all and making a difference.

John Robertson


12 years of Business Development in the education sector, preceded by 18 years of Operations Management with National Training Providers has  given me a deep understanding of the interaction between Employers and the Education and Training sector.

Working with this exciting initiative will allow me to put together Employers with the young people who will hopefully become their workforce of the future.

DYW board

The Developing The Young Workforce Perth and Kinross Board is responsible for setting our local strategy to:

• better prepare young people for the world of work

• encourage more employers to engage with education and recruit more young people

Led by the private sector, our Board brings together all of the key partners who have a role to play in making a positive difference. They include small, medium and large employers from key sectors of our economy, Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, Perth and Kinross Council, Perth College UHI and Skills Development Scotland, as well as organisations representing the third sector


Steven Stewart
Director of Communications

Organisation: Stagecoach Group 
Sector: Transport 

Steven is Chair of the Developing our Young Workforce Perth and Kinross Board and a Director of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce. A former journalist, he has more than 25-years’ experience in communications in the private and public sector. Steven is passionate about young people and helping them achieve their potential. He is a mentor for Career Ready, a national initiative helping prepare students for the world of work, and is also Vice-Chair of the local advisory board. Steven also takes a close interest in the future of his home City of Perth. He represents the Chamber on Perth City Development Board, is an Ambassador for the Invest in Perth programme, and also sits on the Board of Ecotechnic, a renewables and clean-tech business network. 


Liz Jackson
Managing Director

Organisation: Fairways Recruitment 
Sector: Recruitment 

Liz is a Business Mentor with Scottish Chamber of Commerce and until 2013 was Chair of CIPD Scotland after a tenure of 7 years.  She brings in excess of 25 years working at board level across a number of large organisations and industries during periods of significant change and severe budget constraint prior to taking on her own business at Fairways in 2010.  She specialises in reviewing and implementing robust systems, performance and efficiency measures, recruitment and selection processes, employee engagement, TUPE transfers and providing HR employment law advice to clients with 100% Employment Tribunal success rate.


Shona Bell
Head of People

Organisation: Crieff Hydro
Sector: Hospitality 

Shona has worked in various generalist and strategic HR roles for a number of organisations including M&S, Reliance Group, Barclays Bank, Hakkasan and Sainsbury’s Bank.Shona is currently Head of Organisational Capability and Change at Crieff Hydro which includes responsibility for the HR and internal communications functions with an employee headcount of around 1000 across the family of hotels.

Sarah Bradley
Operations Manager

Organisation: Giraffe/Checkin
Sector: Charity 

Sarah is the Operations Manager for CheckIn Works/Giraffe, an innovative and successful social enterprise based in Perth. She engages with local employers and facilitates vocational training and support for their jobseekers. Sarah has previously been involved in a number of local Perthshire businesses and has more than 20 years’ experience in other hospitality settings, both locally and abroad.

John Duncan
Measurement & Insight Consultant

Organisation: Aviva
Sector: Insurance

John has worked for Aviva in Perth for the last 15 years in multiple disciplines and roles including Credit Management, Claims, Finance, Measurement and Insight. He has worked for Aviva in Perth for the last 15 years in multiple disciplines and roles including Credit Management, Claims, Finance, Measurement and Insight.

Dave Fernie
‎Director of Energy Contracts

Organisation: Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE)
Sector: Energy 

Clare Humphreys
HR Manager

Organisation: House of Bruar
Sector: Retail 

A committed HR professional with over 12 years’ generalist experience. Clare joined The House of Bruar as the HR Manager in September 2015 and is responsible for delivering against the business objective of attracting, retaining and developing a highly talented and diverse workforce. The House of Bruar has established an unsurpassed reputation for itself as the preeminent Scottish country clothing provider in the UK.

Donna Murray-trail

Organisation: Care & Wellbeing Coop
Sector: Health & Social Care

Donna is Co-ordinator of The Care and Wellbeing Co-operative based in Highland Perthshire. The Co-op represents 25 micro enterprises providing care, support and well-being activities for communities in rural areas. Donna promotes innovation in the provision of care for an  increasing number of older people and people with health conditions. The Co-op recognises young people have great values, enterprising ideas and are often ideally placed to provide support and care for their community. 

Rodger Hill
Head of Education Secondary & Inclusion

Organisation: Perth & Kinross Council
Sector: Local Authority 

Rodger currently works at Perth and Kinross Council as Head of Education – Secondary and Inclusion. Following various teaching positions, Roger then became an Education Officer with Dumfries & Galloway Council. From there he moved to Angus Council where he worked as Service Manager Schools and Learning with secondary school responsibility.

Jill Hunter
Area Manager

Organisation: Skills Development Scotland
Sector: Training 

As Area Manager, Jill oversees the multidisciplinary team of advisers at SDS who work with young people and adults to develop their career management skills. She works collaboratively with a range of partners ultimately supporting people to realise their potential. Jill’s first “real job” was as a Careers Adviser working in schools in Perth and Kinross and latterly as the Careers Adviser within Perth College.

Graham Innes

Organisation: Creation Social Media
Sector: Training 

An experienced business professional, Graham is currently Co-Director at Creation Social Media. Creation Social Media offers the set up, Training and management of business Social Media Platforms along with training and coaching on the use of Social Media.

Bev Leslie
Head Teacher

Organisation: Blairgowrie High School
Sector: Education 

Bev has been head teacher of Blairgowrie High School for almost 3 years and has had a varied and interesting career path. After completing her probationary teaching period, Bev worked as a Training Analyst for Scottish Amicable. She then moved back into teaching – her subjects being Business Education and Accounting.

Johnny Lothian
Head Teacher

Organisation: Perth Academy
Sector: Education 

Johnny is the current Rector of Perth Academy, a caring community that promotes inspiring learning and celebrates success. Johnny has led the development and implementation of an improved curriculum offering and the introduction of the Developing the Young Workforce agenda at the Academy. He is a member of the Career Academy Local Advisory Board and the Perth & Kinross Secondary Schools/ Perth College/UHI Senior Phase Strategy Group.

Margaret Cook
Principal & Chief Executive

OrganisationPerth College UHI
Sector: Higher Education 

Margaret has over 20 years’ experience in the College and HE Sectors. Most recently she was Chair of Glasgow Colleges’ Regional Board, having previously been a member of the Lanarkshire Board and Vice Chair on Cumbernauld College Board.

Margaret is an HR professional and was HR Director at Bell College, Heriot-Watt University and latterly Edinburgh Napier University.

Gillian McEwen
National FSB Board Member

Organisation: Federation of Small Businesses
Sector: Consultancy 

Gillian is a small business owner as well as being a national FSB Board Member. She became a Non-Operational Director for FSB in March 2015. She previous held the post of FSB Regional Secretary for North East Scotland (all positions for FSB on a voluntary basis). 

Graham Morgan
Deputy CEO

Organisation: Elevator/Business Gateway
Sector: Consultancy 

Graham Morgan is Deputy CEO of Elevator, a not-for-profit organisation that works in the area of entrepreneurship and employability. Most of Elevator’s work involves working with young people, assisting them to find opportunities that match their ambitions.

Julie Stewart
Group HR Manager

Organisation: John Clark Motor Group
Sector: Motor

Julie has worked in the automotive industry for 30 years in various roles, starting her career at reception and progressing through the business enjoying various roles ranging from payroll to accounts.

Today, Julie is the Group HR Manager working closely with the directors of the business setting policies which impact positively on the groups 1200 colleagues. She is responsible for all colleague activities from recruitment to disciplinary procedures and importantly colleague engagement.

Ron Sutherland
Construction Manager

Organisation: AJ Stephen 
Sector: Construction 

Ron is a time served Carpenter / Joiner having served an apprenticeship with A & J Stephen (Builders) Ltd. At age 22 he joined Perth & Kinross Council as a Clerk of Works and latterly as an Architectural Technician in the Property Department. He moved back to A & J Stephen (Builders) Ltd in 1998 in a site management role and shortly after progressed to the role of Construction Manager.

Melanie Thomson

Organisation: Thomas Thomson Ltd 
Sector: Agriculture 

Melanie joined the family business in 1987 having originally worked as a horticultural advisor. The business was originally textile spinning in the Blairgowrie mills, with raspberry growing, traditional to the area, a secondary enterprise. The mills closed in 1979 and the fruit side of the business grew and developed and now serves supermarkets throughout the UK with the finest fresh fruit including raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.

Representative TBC
HR & Workforce Development

Organisation: NHS Tayside
Sector: Healthcare 

Information to follow.