DYW Aims to Cut Youth JoblessnessNeil Hardie
The Internet has proved a vital link for the Dundee and Angus group of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) being able to stay in action during the current pandemic.
The body, which started in 2016, plays a vital role in cutting joblessness among young people in the area.
In the last academic year alone, the local team engaged with more than 3,500 youngsters, bringing them career inspiration and increasing their chances of getting a job when they leave education.
It is one of the 21 DYW groups north of the border, which help implement the Scottish Government’s strategy to slash youth unemployment and help young people get the right skills and experience to move from education into employment.
Hilary Roberts, manager of DYW Dundee and Angus, said the aim of the bodies was to help reduce 2014 levels of unemployment by 40% by 2021.
She added: “This target was achieved way ahead of that date, but of course has since been affected by the impact of Coronavirus.”
DYW Dundee and Angus provides employer led career inspiration activity for young people, building partnerships between education and industry, and promoting positive career pathways such as apprenticeships.
There is a team of five at the local group, which has and employer led board.
Hilary said: “We work closely with partners in both local authorities, Skills Development Scotland, and third sector organisations such as Barnardo’s Works, giving a joined up approach to providing youth employability services in the area.
“We are always on the lookout for local businesses who are willing to give up a little bit of time to help inspire the next generation through offering apprenticeships or work experience, giving talks, attending careers events, or setting work based projects and challenges for young people.”
Hilary said that, as well as helping young people into employment, the group brings benefits to businesses.
“We work with local industry to identify where there are skills gaps, and what we can do to fill those gaps.
“We give businesses the opportunity to influence what is being taught in schools and further/higher education, so that young people leave education with the skills they need. This keeps young people in the area, and also keeps business here.
“A good example of this is the Dundee Digital Forum we recently established – working with public and private partners to increase the digital skills base across the area.
“This is an approach that has been welcomed by successful local businesses such as Waracle.”
Hilary said her group has worked hard to make sure that every secondary school in the area has a strong partnership with at least one large, local business that can provide input across different areas.
“Pupils have been offered work experience, an apprenticeship, or even full-time employment through this relationship.
“A lot of our work was around getting businesses into schools to work with classes on projects, organising careers events, site visits and work experience – none of which can happen at the moment.
“However, we have been very quick to respond to the restrictions and have moved as much of our activity online as possible.”