Graeme High pupils getting ready for life after the classroom

As part of the programme, pupils are placed in an interview situation to gain experience of what they might expect
As part of the programme, pupils are placed in an interview situation to gain experience of what they might expect

Graeme High is part of an award winning programme that will help pupils get ready for life after the classroom.

It is one of 11 schools across Scotland involved in the ‘Building My Skills’ employability programme sponsored by the ESH Construction Group.

This year with the support of a dozen business partners it will deliver nearly 9000 hours of education to over 1600 school leavers to equip them with the skills they will need to develop successful careers.

Getting first-hand advice from employers through a series of one hour sessions with business people across a range of sectors has proved a positive idea and earned ESH the Business in the Community Responsible Business Award 2015 in the Schools Partnership category.

The Building My Skills initiative supports wider agendas of developing Scotland’s workforce by continuing to combat youth unemployment and boost long-term plans to address industry skills shortages.

Stephen Beath, depute headteacher at Graeme High, said: “We are delighted to be part of this.

“It delivers a structured programme of careers inputs over the course of the year from real life business partners.

“Our pupils benefit from the contact with these businesses and the challenges they are set by ESH which build on what we already offer as a school and help them prepare to enter the world of work.

“A major incentive is that ESH offer each pupil who completes the programme a personal interview with their associated businesses.

“Whether pupils see themselves working in the construction industry or not, that opportunity is too good to turn down.

“We are very excited about this opportunity and its ability to help our pupils build successful futures.”

Simon Phillips, regional managing director of Esh Border Construction which is directly involved in the project, said: “The primary aim is to help prepare and motivate pupils for the next steps in their lives and for the job market and it would not work without the buy-in of our business partners who we would like to thank for their continued support.

“Introducing our value added programmes as early as possible in our growth in Scotland was a key component of the business strategy.

“We did that with the commencement of the Building My Skills initiative last year when we had great support from the schools and businesses involved and consequently delighted the scheme will almost double in size in year two.”