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.

Find out more on what we do nationally & regionally for local employers, young people, parents & schools, here; www.dyw.scot

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.

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.


Sharon MacIntosh
Talent Manager

Organisation: Crieff Hydro
Sector: Hospitality 

Sharon’s career started in hotel operations in four and five star hotels. Leading teams, seeing them develop and progress struck a chord with Sharon, leading her to a career change last year, where she could utilise her skills. Now, heading the Talent Team at Crieff Hydro’s family of hotels, Sharon is responsible for recruitment as well as implementing and developing the hotel’s people strategy. Sharon is also an Insights practitioner using their model in Crieff Hydro’s training workshops.

Sarah Russell
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 

Alison Smith
NHS Representitive

Organisation: NHS Tayside
Sector: Health & Well Being

Alison is currently HR Lead in Employability Services with NHS Tayside. The aim of the programmes delivered by this service, is to facilitate positive destinations for those experiencing joblessness and who may have barriers to employment, suitable training or further education.

Alison is involved with local community activity through the Stobswell Adult learning Association and Dundee Speakers Club.

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.

Dr Tom Flanagan
Partnership Director

Organisation: Tactran

Sector: Economic Development

Tom has recently been appointed as Interim Head of Economic Development at Perth & Kinross Council for two years. Tom previously acted as Executive Director Place for Blackburn with Darwen BC in Lancashire where he drove the delivery of an ambitious growth strategy to deliver jobs, homes and secure income streams. Tom holds a Doctorate and honours degree in Civil Engineering specialising in Traffic & Transportation.

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.

Sean Hagney
Head Teacher

Organisation: St. John’s RC Acadmey
Sector: Education 

Sean is the Headteacher of St John’s RC Academy and Leader of North Inch Community Campus in Perth.

Sean has worked within the education sector in a variety of roles for over 20 years. He has particular interests in international education and  assessment.

In addition to roles within the local authority, Sean is a non-executive member of the SQA Board, Depute Convenor of the SQA’s Advisory Council and member of the Qualifications Committee.

David Gourley
Head of Learning and Teaching Enhancement

OrganisationPerth College UHI
Sector: Education 

In his current role David leads on quality improvement activities in learning and teaching at Perth College. David recognises that the current biggest challenge in education is, preparing our students for jobs that don’t yet exist. He realises that order for Colleges to achieve this, courses need to develop transferable skills in their students.

David worked in research in anti-biotic and anti-parasite drug design in universities and industry before moving into educational management in the college sector in 2004.

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, 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 with the directors of the business setting policiesm and 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.