Number of young people in a 'positive destination' longterm on the rise


The figure, published by the national skills agency, Skills Development Scotland, is 4.6% higher than the previous year.

Testament to hard work and commitment

Councillor Bob Constable, the cabinet member for education, said: “This is testament to the hard work and commitment of our Lifelong Learning and Employability team, schools and all of our partners.  This is also an encouraging improvement which follows on the back of the previously announced 3% increase in school leaver destinations back in June.

“We realise it’s vital to continue to support teenagers, not just when they leave school, but also for two or three years afterwards to make sure they don’t  slip through the net.”

Neil is just one of our success stories

One such person is Neil Kerr, 17, who has secured a job at Dobbies. The former Newbattle pupil was unemployed.  He had come to the attention of the council’s Lifelong Learning and Employability team as the national skills agency, Skills Development Scotland provide the council with a list of local young people who are not in a positive destination

Key worker Mirella Crolla literally knocked on Neil’s door to offer help and support. Neil said: “It was a bit unexpected but I felt relieved as I’d been trying to get a job but nothing was happening.”

Helped him get a job in retail

Mirella started working with Neil in April with the aim of helping him get a job in retail.

Neil said: “Mirella suggested I do some work experience, which I thought was a really good idea.”

Mirella contacted the Dobbies garden centre in Lasswade.  The depute manager, Dee Rutherford arranged a meeting with Neil. Mirella helped coach Neil on how to handle an interview and Neil was taken on a work experience programme on Friday, Saturday and Sundays.

Within a couple weekends of starting, a customer, who trained staff in customer service skills, was so impressed with Neil’s skills she brought this to the attention of the Customer Service Desk. 

Now working with Dobbies

In June, a vacancy arose at Dobbies and Dee encouraged Neil to apply. He was successful and he is now working 16 hours per week on a temporary contract.

Neil said: “I’m really enjoying it. It’s fast-paced, everything is new and I love working with the public.”

Nominated for Employee of the Month

Neil has been so successful that he has been nominated for Employee of the Month. “I was surprised but proud,” he says.

The Lifelong Learning & Employability team provides support for young people by, for example, working on their life and employability skills, helping them prepare for an interview, write a CV, as well as securing training and work experience placements.

Please get in touch

Cllr Constable urged every young person who has left school but feels in need of extra support to get in touch. He said:  “You can either phone the council’s Lifelong Learning and Employability Service 0131 271 3923/3450 or get in touch with Skills Development Scotland on 0800 917 8000.”

Neil is pictured with Mirella Crolla, of Midlothian Council’s Lifelong Learning and Employability Service on the left and the Depute Manager of Dobbies, Dee Rutherford, on the right.

31 Aug 2016