Skills for Life, Learning and Work Programme

After the success of last year’s programme, we worked closely with Lochaber High School again this year to put together a four week employability activity programme. The programme would enable S4 students to participate in a number of employability workshops in addition to attending various sector talks and industry tours to increase their skills and knowledge of employment opportunities.

The Four Week Programme

This was an ideal opportunity for senior phase students to try their hand at writing a CV or participating in a employer-led mock interview as well as taking the time to liaise with many employers. During the course of the programme, students enjoyed multiple employability workshops, run by Skills Development Scotland which taught them how to write a CV, answer tough interview questions and realise their strengths and weaknesses in preparation for mock interviews conducted by Alyson Smith, Manager of Lochaber Hope and Emma Robertson, HR Administrator at MOWI.

The programme was organised by sector genre so students enjoyed learning about beauty and media careers in the first week followed by health and emergency service careers in the second week, hospitality in the third week and outdoor careers in the fourth with employer visits to: Nevis Radio, Stramash Outdoor Nursery, Fire Station, Police Station, Inverlochy Castle, Glen Nevis Youth Hostel, Ardtornish Estate and Nevis Range. Pupils also enjoyed various sector talks delivered by beautician, Daisy Burns, Alice Cant, Advertising Sales Executive at the Oban Times and staff nurse, Aileen MacLean from NHS Highland.

During each employer visit, students learned a wealth of knowledge about careers and apprenticeships, desired application criteria and qualifications whilst also enjoying a tour and in some instances, participating in activities to boost teamworking, communication, leadership and presentation skills. S4 students commented:

“The activities were beneficial because they made us think about future careers and it was good to be allowed to visit local places. It makes you think of other things that you could do.”

Programme Completion: A Brilliant Achievement

On completion of the programme, DYW West Highland along with Nevis Range staff were delighted to award the students with an employability skills achievement certificate which pupils can take along to any future interviews and will hopefully use their acquired knowledge from the programme to do well in any job selection process. Depute Head, Isobel MacKenzie commented:

” From our point of view, the opportunity to visit and explore a variety of career sectors was extremely beneficial to pupils. The commitment by DYW West Highland and local employers to work with pupils was greatly appreciated. It is our plan to extend these opportunities to other pupils across the school.” 

Well done to all the pupils and many thanks to the employers that hosted visits and talked to our students about career opportunities!

If you are a school or business who would like to become involved in future DYW activities or for any further information on DYW WH, please phone us on: 01397 705765 or pop in and see us at: Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, 15 High Street, Fort William, PH33 6DH. Alternatively, you can email us on: