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Moray pupils Career Ready after paid internships with 17 local employers

By Lorna Thompson

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SOME 38 Moray pupils last week completed paid, four-week internships with a host of local businesses.

Seventeen companies across Moray – including Diageo, Associated Seafoods, Moray Council, James Jones & Sons, A J Engineering and Gordon & MacPhail – backed the two-year Career Ready programme to boost S5/S6 pupils' career readiness and social mobility.

The internships took place from June 21 to July 16, giving young people from all of the region's eight secondary schools the chance to develop key workplace skills, confidence and their professional network.

Keith Miller, distillation and maturation director at Diageo and chair of the Career Ready Moray Local Advisory Board, said: "Diageo has been at the centre of Career Ready’s employer support in Moray since its launch in 2014.

"Speyside is critical for Diageo and working with local businesses to help develop and release the potential of young people within the region is hugely important to us.

"It’s fantastic that we can help to build pupils’ confidence, knowledge and ambition to set them up for success in their future careers."

Keith Grammar School pupil Alexandra Young was enjoying her placement at Diageo. She said: "I am loving having the opportunity to try new things I never would have thought I would be interested in and meeting new people through the internship.

"I have loved learning about all the different roles within Diageo and what they entail. Career Ready has helped me build my confidence in speaking to new people and helped me see what jobs are available that I may never have thought of."

The Career Ready programme in Moray was established in partnership with Moray Council and Diageo. It supports The Young Person’s Guarantee to help young people across Scotland into education and employment.

Laura McFadden, Career Ready regional manager in Moray, said: "We’d like to thank our amazing network of employers and their staff for working with us and dedicating themselves to developing Moray’s young talent and boost their social capital and confidence.

"The paid internships are key in helping young people develop and practice the work skills they need for their future success. This is especially important at the moment due to the disruption and impact of Covid."

All students are supported by a mentor throughout S5 and S6 or their post-school destination.

Research carried out by Opinium has found that 98 per cent of Career Ready students go onto sustained work, education or apprenticeships following the programme; 72 per cent of employers would hire their Career Ready intern; and 87 per cent of former interns said the Career Ready programme had a positive impact on their life.

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