A campaign to encourage employers to offer work experience to young people has received an overwhelmingly positive response from Perthshire’s small businesses.
Newly recruited businesses have joined ranks with the region’s largest employers in signing up to the Developing Young Workforce Perth & Kinross programme that helps bridge the gap between education and the workplace through its work experience programme.
DYW Perth & Kinross launched its annual #LearnALiving campaign to encourage more local employers to offer school children valuable work experience opportunities in 2019. Since its conception last year the organisers have had interest from over 250 local employers.
Recent recruit, Michelle Maddox, owner of Clootie Mctoot, a traditional Scottish dumpling maker based in Abernethy explains why it was important for her to offer work experience: “I have always employed young people in the kitchen and shop because I love the buzz that young people bring to business. The DYW programme seemed like a no brainer to me as I have three young children, and I believe work experience will be paramount for them to learn basic life skills.
“I did work experience as a youngster, which really helped develop my own confidence and communication skills, something I don’t think can be taught in a classroom. It’s great to see the transformation in a young person once they have gained some valuable experience.”
Maddie also recognises the unique contribution young people can make to her business. She added: “Having young people in gives me great insight into how we should be communicating to that audience, particularly when it come to social media and digital marketing. There is a true transfer of skills between the business and young person.”
She joins the likes of Aviva, Stagecoach Group, Castle Water and Crieff Hydro all of which offer several work placements through the DYW programme.
Steven Stewart, Chair of the Perth & Kinross Developing Young Workforce regional board, commented: “It’s encouraging to see businesses like Clootie Mctoot value work experience placements in their business. Not only are placements hugely beneficial to young people but by offering work experience, businesses are helping to shape our future workforce, local communities and economy.”
“Those who have welcomed placements have found it a great way to attract new talent to their organisations. We would like to urge local employers who haven’t joined our campaign to sign up and be part of nurturing and inspiring young people as they venture into the world of employment. The enthusiasm and drive to learn is palpable amongst the next generation.”