BT Scotland is working with Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) to help 200 young people plant their feet firmly on the employment ladder.
They’ve launched a new initiative called EMPOWER, a training programme designed to give high school students the edge as they hunt for jobs in an increasingly competitive market.
BT Scotland is funding 16-week training courses for pupils from 10 secondary schools around Scotland, culminating in successful candidates gaining an SQA Enterprise and Employability qualification.
Weekly two hour sessions are being held with facilitators from YES and backing from BT Scotland volunteers.
The schools taking part are Springburn Academy and Kingspark High School in Glasgow, St Thomas High School and St Margaret’s High School in Edinburgh, Blairgowrie High School and Braeview Academy and St John’s High School in Dundee, with a further three due to join soon.
The modular based programme tackles the real world issues which must be overcome to progress from a secondary school or tertiary learning environment into a fulfilling working career or further study.
Students are being equipped with the confidence and motivation to project their careers into any field or type of employment they desire.
The target group is students between the ages of 15 and 16 in secondary years 3-4 who will gain all the necessary skills and knowledge in employability through active participation in the programme,.
The programme focuses on career development and personal development, helping pupils understand the key ingredients and formality of a good CV. It also gives them the capacity to prepare and answer most interview questions and highlights the need to stay motivated and maintain healthy levels of self-esteem.
BT Scotland director Brendan Dick said: “As a major employer we are extremely well aware of the intense competition that young people face when they enter the jobs race. This year BT celebrated the 50th year of its formal apprenticeship programme and we were inundated with 33,000 applications for the 500 apprenticeships on offer.
“That’s just one example of how difficult it is to get a foot on the jobs ladder in these tough economic times, so it’s even more vital today that we support our students and transform their youthful enthusiasm into valuable skills that can shape their future careers.”
Della Martin, Chief Operating Officer, Young Enterprise Scotland, said: “Contributing to the economy of Scotland is a big challenge which involves an ambitious strategy which could not be fulfilled without support of partners.
“The YES journey continues to link the world of education to the world of business through our SQA Centre, matching programmes to Curriculum for Excellence and expanding our volunteer base to deliver the BT Scotland and YES empower programme.
“Raising the aspirations of our young people throughout their journey by giving them the opportunities to achieve a suite of enterprise skills relevant to current working practices and jobs is made possible through support from BT Scotland.”
For more information please contact Mitch Reid or Anna Steven at the BT Scotland Press Office on our free, 24-hour number
0800 085 0660
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In the year ended 31 March 2011, BT Group’s revenue was £20,076m with profit before taxation of £1,717m.
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About Young Enterprise Scotland
Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) charity (SCO18180) operates throughout Scotland providing opportunities for young people to gain personal experience of how business works, to understand the role business plays in providing employment and in creating prosperity. It aims to prepare young people for the transition into the work place and to inspire them to seek to improve their prospects.
For the last 39 years YES has provided a link between schools and businesses delivering practical based enterprise learning involving pupils setting up, running and winding down a small business. Seven years ago YES successfully extended access to this learning through working with young people considered hard to reach: young offenders, children and young people in secure and residential units, young people leaving care and young people leaving school with no positive destinations. In June 2011 YES took another step in our journey by achieving SQA Approved Centre status (3012786) and can award qualifications from SCQF 1 through to Level 7.