Careers Events Held Across the Western Isles

Developing the Young Workforce Outer Hebrides marked Scottish Careers Week 2022 by hosting Careers Events across the Western Isles last week.

Careers Fair, Uist

The week’s events started on Tuesday 8th November when Nicolson Institute and Sir E Scott Pupils joined employers in Lewis Sports Centre for the first, full scale, Careers Fair in the Western Isles since 2019.

The event, opened by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Convener Cllr Kenneth Macleod saw more than 700 pupils in attendance to hear from over 30 employers as well as local education providers UHI Outer Hebrides and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Employability and Apprenticeship teams.

All employers present provided an engaging insight into their businesses with MG Alba allowing pupils to get in front of the camera, use green screen technology and operate equipment; the fire brigade giving pupils the chance to try on equipment and Bakkafrost showcasing the stages of salmon development.

Local construction company O’Mac gave one lucky winner 2 tickets to next year’s TRNSMT Festival and thanks to support from Lewis Builders, the Western Isles Construction Training Group, Stornoway North Councillors, Skills Development Scotland and Woody’s Express Parcels pupils had an opportunity to try a heavy plant simulator. The simulator, which proved popular at the event, gave pupils the opportunity to experience what it’s like to operate a digger.

On Wednesday 9th November the week’s events continued as Castlebay Community Hall hosted 24 employers and 123 pupils.

The event in Barra engaged pupils from primary 7 to secondary 6 and showcased the wide range of opportunities for local young people to live work and learn in their own community.

In Barra a strong focus was placed on work based learning with good representation from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s employability and apprenticeship teams alongside Skills Development Scotland.

On Thursday 10th November 279 secondary 1 to secondary 6 Sgoil Lionacleit pupils, members of the public and parents attended the third and final careers fair at Lionacleit Sports Centre. 

Pupils had an opportunity to talk to a total of 27 employers, support services and local learning providers.  Employers from a diverse range of businesses including childcare, vets, police and fisheries. 

There was representation from larger organisation including NHS, MOWI and Security and Defence Contractor Qinetiq.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Leader, Cllr Paul Steele, said: “It is crucial that young people across the Western Isles are made aware of the range of employment, education and training opportunities available to them. It has been fantastic to see the engagement and genuine interest of young people at these events and equally the commitment of the business community to inform and inspire.

 “To see three events such as this take place across the Western Isles on 3 consecutive days demonstrates the fantastic work of DYW Outer Hebrides and partners in narrowing the gap between local employers and every young person in the Western Isles.”

It is crucial that pupils are aware of the employment, education and training options available to them. Any individual who would like support should contact or call into Stornoway Town Hall the new base of Skills Development Scotland, DYW Outer Hebrides and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Employability and Apprenticeship Teams.

Developing the Young Workforce and Skills Development Scotland are interested in engaging with and hearing from parents. Any parent who has a suggestion on how they would like to see this take shape should contact detailing what information they would like to be given (details of how to arrange work experience, support with subject choices etc.), how they would like this engagement to take place (in person evening session, online etc.) and how regularly they would like this to take place. 

Thanks to all the employers who participated, the schools for their continued commitment to the DYW agenda, the pupils for their fantastic engagement and a special mention to the teams at Lewis Sports Centre, Lionacleit Sport Centre and Castlebay Community Hall.