Career Ready - a local employer’s perspective.

Ronnie Sinclair is the Group Human Resource Director at Dacoll, Bathgate. This local business has been involved in a programme called “Career Ready” for two years. Career Ready is a programme administered by West Lothian Council, to help develop high school students for the workplace via internships with local businesses.

Ronnie gave us his perspective on the scheme.

“When we became aware of the Career Ready programme it seemed a natural and logical extension to the Modern Apprenticeship Programme that we have used to great benefit for a number of years. We’ve recruited 10% of our workforce through that programme, so are keen to continue to engage with and support local young people into employment via Career Ready.

Staff at Developing the Young Workforce have been engaging, purposeful and committed. They present a very balanced view of the programme which makes it easy to work with them.

The most rewarding part for me is seeing the presentations the young people do at the end of their internships, and particularly the reactions of their teachers and others who know them very well, witnessing the transformation they have experienced as a result of their internship.

As an employer we benefit from the development that our mentors get out of it. All our mentors are former apprenticeship scheme staff and are under the age of 24, and they mentor the Career Ready internees. They develop so much in confidence, and becoming more rounded people, that it is of fantastic benefit not only to the Career Ready internees, but to my own staff too in their personal development.

There is a lot of organisation involved in the scheme, but no doubt at all that it is well worth it for the employer, the students and the wider community.”

Executive councillor for education, David Dodds, said, “West Lothian Council is committed to ensuring that our young people are equipped with the knowledge they need to enter further and higher education, training and the employment market. The Career Ready Programme raises young people's aspirations and life chances by bridging the gap between education and work by providing access to real experience of the world of work.

“We have to thank the contribution of employers such as Dacoll who have already participated in the programme. Hopefully the experience has been as beneficial to them as it has been for the young people working with them and we always welcome organisations to get in touch if they are interested in taking part.”

If you are an employer if you would like explore how your organisation can transform the lives of young people in West Lothian, please contact:

Michelle Robertson

Larissa Russell

Visit Developing the Young Workforce West Lothian