Mackie Academy pupils score with Aberdeen bypass project
A new programme which has given pupils from Mackie Academy the opportunity to undertake work experience on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project has been hailed a huge success.
The Goals and Work Experience programme was offered to pupils who are considering leaving school with few or no qualifications, enabling them to swap the classroom for the AWPR/B-T head office in Stonehaven for five consecutive days.
Topics as diverse as personal goals, interview skills, career development in the construction industry, the AWPR/B-T project, the use of technology in construction, design, geology and the environment, were all included in the programme.
Malcolm Findlay, General Manager for Aberdeen Roads Limited, explained:
“We work closely with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire employability and training providers and it became clear that we could offer some school pupils very valuable work experience at our head office.
“The five day programme was designed by our team to help the pupils gain the confidence they need to enter the workplace for the first time.
“When we initially met these young people we told them that they faced a very challenging week and, although the week was jam-packed with activities and extremely fast-paced, they all rose to that challenge. They now feel much more confident and ready to enter the world of work.”
One of the participants, Lewis Christie, said:
“It was really worth it and I would recommend it to other people. You definitely learn a lot. It was awesome and helpful.”
Kieran Kenny, deputy head for Mackie Academy, added:
“The AWPR Goals and Industry Experience week-long programme presented Mackie Academy pupils with a wonderful opportunity. The support and encouragement offered by the AWPR/B-T contractor was exceptional and this was reflected in the enthusiasm displayed by those taking part.
“The reports we received from our pupils and parents have been very enthusiastic about the structure of the programme, the positive experiences which empowered the pupils and the interaction with the AWPR Community Liaison Team. The pupils have clearly benefited from the opportunity to develop skills which will support them into the world or work.
“Staff and pupils are already looking forward to experiencing this opportunity again with our new partner, the AWPR Community Liaison Team.”
Fraser Mitchell from Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services department said:
“We are very grateful to the AWPR contractor for offering the Goals and Industry Experience motivation programme to our schools. Against the background of “Developing the Young Workforce”, there is a move towards work placements being augmented by employability skills and the Goals programme is an excellent means of achieving this.
“The motivational training element of the course is something which every pupil can access and offers a highly effective method of personal development. When linked with the industry phase of the programme, which combines an overview of the AWPR project linked to team-building and project work, it makes for a comprehensive and rewarding experience.”
Scott Shaw from Transport Scotland said:
“This course, along with the many other opportunities provided on the AWPR/B-T project, has had a really positive impact on the young people who took part, giving them a real sense of what the work place is really like. This is invaluable experience for young people who are getting ready to look for their first jobs.
“As part of the AWPR/B-T construction works, we have been working with the contractor to identify opportunities for people who want to enter the construction industry. This has included offering positions to graduates and apprentices; developing courses for young people from the Prince’s Trust; providing schools across the north east with information on careers and now, of course, creating the Goals and Industry programme."