Happy first birthday for Borders work-school link project

From left, Morgan Gowans, Alan Wheelans, Polly Bell, Andrea Hall, Anthony Barlow, Lara Mills and Sara Ward celebrating DYW Borders' first anniversary.
From left, Morgan Gowans, Alan Wheelans, Polly Bell, Andrea Hall, Anthony Barlow, Lara Mills and Sara Ward celebrating DYW Borders' first anniversary.

The Scottish Government’s Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) initiative is celebrating its first anniversary in the Borders, having brought together more than 2,500 youngsters and almost 150 businesses over the last 12 months.

Selkirk High School is among the educational establishments involved and town security firm Border Safeguard is one of the employers to have taken part, so both were only too happy to wish the scheme a happy birthday.

The Dunsdale Road company’s operations director, Alan Wheelans, joined pupils from the Hillside Terrace school and the region’s DYW team, one of 21 nationwide, to mark the first anniversary of the programme here.

The programme aims to establish links between employers and schools to prepare young people for the world of work and showcase the range of opportunities available to them.

Over its first year of operations, the Borders team has held 63 events, introducing more than 2,500 pupils at all nine high schools in the Borders, and some primaries too, to representatives of 148 businesses.

DYW Borders national link member Jim Duffy, founder of business start-up backer Entrepreneurial Spark, said: “I am in awe of the progress being made.

“The team in the Borders, working in true partnership with so many others, are developing a blueprint that has captured the attention of others in Scotland.

“It is a privilege to work with them, and I just know 2018 will be one to watch.”

DYW Borders works with partners including the Construction Industry Training Board, Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber, Youth Borders, the Royal Highland Educational Trust and businesses of varying sizes.

Programme manager Andrea Hall said: “We are thrilled with the response we’ve had from everyone who has been involved with the first year of Developing the Young Workforce in the Borders.

“The commitment from both employers and education has been exceptional, and there is clearly a real desire to make a difference to our young people’s future.

“We look forward to building on these partnerships and providing even more opportunities for young people in the Borders in 2018 and beyond.”

DYW Borders chairman Anthony Barlow is confident of the programme’s continuing success as it enters its second year of readying youngsters for life after school, saying: “The exceptional success is a tribute to the Borders community –business, council, college and schools – embracing DYW and working together to help our young.

“Everybody involved should be very proud of what has been achieved.

“The delivery of initiatives such as careers fairs, workshops, work experience and apprenticeships, ensures a foundation is now in place to reach out to thousands of pupils in 2018.

“Andrea and her team are making a huge difference and deserve praise for their inspirational work.”

For further details of the programme, call 01750 505058 or email ahall@dywborders.co.uk