Preparing young people for the world of work is now a crucial component of education in the Western Isles
The job opportunities available locally in the Western Isles were highlighted to crowds of pupils, teachers and employers at the Industry and Jobs Fair, held on 26th March at Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais.
Hosted by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in conjunction with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Developing the Young Workforce, the event saw more than 40 employers exhibit information about their industries, which ranged from tourism and media, to construction and child care.
Companies involved included BASF and Lewis Builders, Stag Bakeries and Digby Chick; Body & Sole and Qinetiq; Highlands and Islands Airports and the Ambulance Service – and many more.
There were also representatives from Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd, the parent company of EVENTS, welovestornoway.com, and Sign Print.
“It’s about real jobs, and where the job opportunities are,” says Dolina Smith, the Comhairle’s Apprenticeship Manager, who was in attendance to promote the apprenticeships available in Health and Social Care, and Child Care.
The event was open to both students and their parents, who will have the chance to experience interactive exhibits and watch films from various employers. The SDS Digital Skills Team was on hand to provide information on digital technology careers.
It’s all part of the effort by the Comhairle and their partners to ensure that young people are aware of the economic opportunities available – now, and in future – and that they are fully equipped to make the most of those opportunities when they leave school.
The event was opened by Councillor Norman Macdonald, convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, who also chairs the Community Planning Partnership. He welcomed people to the event in both Gaelic and English. He said the idea was to repeat the event every two years. The idea was to encourage young people to consider work-based learning and local job opportunities. He said it was fantastic to see so many employers and companies taking part in the event.