View from the Chamber: Helping Mallaig High School prepare for work

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Employer-led mock interviews were kick-started by Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) West Highland to provide 19 S3 pupils at Mallaig High School the chance to practice interview techniques at an early stage.

This was done in a supportive but realistic environment with working professionals, who have first-hand experience of recruitment.

Employers on the interview panel included Lesley Benfield, chief executive officer of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce; Danielle MacTavish, HR adviser with Lochaber Smelter; and Douglas Ormiston, programme manager, DYW West Highland.

Douglas said: ‘Mock interviews offer huge benefits for pupils, but they’re not the only ones who can reap rewards from the process. For employers, there are clear social and corporate benefits of being involved with helping to develop better skill sets for young people.

‘I would encourage every business, large or small, to become involved with inspiring and developing the future workforce.’

How to get involved? DYW West Highland will continue to collaborate with schools, colleges and employers in the West Highlands to provide students with a better insight into the essential preparation for the workplace with local businesses.

To get involved contact or 01397 705 765.

Launched in late summer 2016, DYW forms part of the Scottish Government’s youth employment strategy which aims to ensure young people in Scotland have the skills and confidence needed to make the seamless transition between school and the work force.

Working with schools, partner agencies, employers, parents and young people, DYW’s goal is to bridge the gap between learning and working to allow each respective group to engage with one another, fostering a culture of collaboration through a variety of opportunities.

The DYW West Highland area covers Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross.