Scottish Borders Council provided 55 teachers with the opportunity to find out first hand the skills required in local industries.
Sarah Rowson- Teacher of Modern languages from Berwickshire High School shares her experiences
Before the end of the summer term 2018 I spent two days with Rabbie’s Trail Burners as part of my Teacher Industry Insight Placement organised by Developing the Young Workforce Borders .
I spent one day in the Edinburgh headquarters being introduced to employees across the various departments and hearing about their roles in the organisation. This was highly informative and helped me understand the structure and functions within the company.
The second day I spent on a day tour of the “West Highlands, Lochs and Castles” to give me a taste of Rabbie’s business from a customer’s viewpoint.
Since then, I have built on this link with Elaine Brannan, Head of HR, who is going well beyond the call of duty for my pupils. I am running the SQA Languages for Life and Work Award this session, which includes an Employability unit. Elaine has been in to Berwickshire High School to meet my pupils and has committed to coming back on several occasions to help them identify their transferable skills, create CVs and work on their interview skills. She has also offered work experience to a small number. Taking part in all these activities – and especially being interviewed and given constructive feedback – will be enormously beneficial for my pupils. Elaine’s first visit last week was met with enormous enthusiasm, the most I have seen from this group for anything work-related!
My background is business-related (before I became a teacher) and both my experience and that of all the business contacts we have forged are really bringing home to the pupils the importance of identifying the transferable skills that they already have and developing them still further. In this class our focus is not really the academic, but rather developing these young people in preparation to join the workforce in due course. The placement I had with Rabbies has been invaluable here.