The second Young Person’s Conversation Day on 10th March 2015, organised by the Skills Team (3-18) in Education Scotland attracted almost 180 young people from schools, colleges and universities across Aberdeen City, Angus, Dundee and Paisley and another 30 colleagues from Scottish Government, Local Authority, SDS, Parent organisations, Third Sector and Industry/Employers.
Everyone gathered together in Montrose Town Hall to discuss key issues from the Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce (DYW) agenda and how we can work more closely together on them.
The event was opened by Joan Mackay, Assistant Director, Education Scotland and Project Lead on DYW who set out the national and policy context for the work and then young people engaged in discussions at their tables around Work Experience and Profiling.
The first part of the morning was led by Andrew Millar, Development Officer, Education Scotland and provided the opportunity to analyse and feedback upon a version of the new draft standard for Work Experience. Initial reactions were very positive and the evaluations gathered in will help to develop the standard further. There were suggested improvements to the standard and also innovative contributions as to how they themselves could be involved in the delivery of professional learning around DYW for school staff. Colleagues involved in these conversations were impressed at how confident, insightful, and articulate the young people were in taking to the microphone and delivering their comments publicly.
‘This is the most inspiring event I have attended and it shows that we should involve young people more in our work’ was a comment from a local authority employee.
Young Enterprise Scotland led group activities around skills for work and there was an opportunity to engage in employer/ third sector discussions at pop-up stalls. Investors in Youth have collated responses to their table top activity ‘what makes a good employer?’ and parents from NPFS shared their ‘skills in a nutshell’ series with the young people. Key speakers were the civil engineering MA of 2014 and a student from Dundee and Angus College who hopes to be a doctor having left school at 15 and worked in construction for 6 years. Both Sean and Jaye captivated the audience with their personal triumphs promoting the ideal that there are many learning pathways that can lead an individual to success and fulfilment.
Work from the day will be followed up in schools and by colleagues who attended. The young people who were interviewed in the afternoon appeared suitably pleased that they were involved in work around a national agenda and that their views were being listened to seriously.
‘We are important, I am important and we get ignored. It’s all about exams and university but it shouldn’t be. We want to know what’s out there and school should be more about this’ a Dundee S4 explained to her table.
The whole event was filmed by Education Scotland and clips will be used for further events.