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Maximise May: Taste of work life for more than 1000 school pupils

From selling cars to promoting sports to making music, more than 1000 Glasgow pupils got a taste of working life last month.

Bringing together 18 secondary schools and 20 local companies, the Maximise May event aimed to inspire youngsters and help them understand what work is all about.

In a bid to make them more ready for the workplace, employers from across the city gave school pupils the chance to take part in a wide range of activities, including hands-on digital sessions and advice on how to apply for jobs.

There were practical workshops in areas such as building and construction and the car trade, and opportunities to get a handle on how different industries work.

Part of the Scottish Government funded Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) strategy, DYW Glasgow aims to do more to prepare children and young adults for the world of work.

By strengthening links between schools and businesses it aims to reduce youth unemployment by 40 per cent by 2021.

Alison McRae, Senior Director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s great to have so many well-known brands working with young people across a variety of sectors.

“It’s vital that we instil our young people with a sense of confidence about the world of work and create better links between schools and businesses.”

She said the Maximise May scheme had shown pupils there are lots of different routes into a job and helped them to work out what their own skills and strengths were.

More employers are joining the scheme all the time and DYW Glasgow - launched in 2014 - is now the biggest schools and business programme in the country, she said.

Paul Grady a lecturer at the SAE Institute in Kinning Park, which offers courses in video and music production, animation, and creating games, said: “Having small groups of pupils onto our campus offered us the means to open up some insight into the various careers available in the creative media industry, and we very much look forward to expanding on the relationships we have made, and developing new ones”.

Meanwhile Dawn Ritchie, of Arnold Clark Automobiles Ltd, said the company’s “interactive apprenticeship vehicle” had been a big hit.

She added: “The vehicle features six interactive boards, all relevant to our apprenticeships, an ipad bar and televisions.

“We were able to raise awareness of the hugely rewarding career paths that our apprenticeships can lead to.”

Scott Graham, Progressions Coordinator at fitness charity Street League, said pupils had been able to find out about options they wouldn’t otherwise have been aware of, such as the opportunities Street League provides for young people to find a sports or fitness sector they like and build a career in it.

He said: “Maximise May activity has enabled us to create links with schools, training providers and most importantly the pupils."

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