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Irvine Bay schools - forum for regeneration

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Pupils took part in Irvine Bay Regeneration Company’s Regeneration Youth Form

More than 250 pupils from schools in Irvine Bay have benefited from taking part in a project designed to help them better understand employment issues facing young people in North Ayrshire – and developing solutions to help overcome them.

The pupils, led by 20 senior pupils working with ten teachers, were taking part in Irvine Bay Regeneration Company’s Regeneration Youth Form.

Young people from each participating secondary school took the lead in identifying and completing tasks and activities. This programme is intended to enhance community involvement by stimulating interest, inspiring discussion and inviting participation from young people to learn about the work and purpose of Irvine Bay's regeneration developments.

In addition to the teachers and pupils who took part, 30 external partners supported the projects (including Vogel, Stellar, GSK, University of West of Scotland, SDS, Glasgow Uni, Ayrshire College, Menzies Hotel, Hunterston, NAC)

What the schools did:

 Ardrossan Academy – 150 second year pupils gained an insight to what local employers and trainers can offer them and what skills they are looking for in employees. This has enabled them to make more educated course choice options for S3 which will now be more focused on employment and careers.

 St Matthew’s Academy – 30 third year pupils were introduced to training for work options to expand their choices for work after school. Training agencies, businesses and apprentices worked with the pupils in small groups to outline skills required, progression and work opportunities once trained.

 Kilwinning Academy – 25 fourth year pupils improved their chances of gaining employment by taking part in skills workshops and mock interviews hosted by University of West of Scotland PG Career Guidance students. They developed skills for applying for jobs – CV building, interview skills and mock interviews – and now feel better prepared for the ‘real’ work ahead.

 Greenwood Academy – 60 senior pupils studying science will gain an insight into the new life science industry being attracted to the area by Irvine Bay and its’ associated careers, training and employment development in the local area. The pupils hope to highlight work options to their peers and help reduce the flow of young people having to leave the Irvine Bay area for work.

Patrick Wiggins, Chief Executive of Irvine Bay, said: “Senior pupils worked very hard to develop and manage their projects whilst keeping up with their studies over the 6 months and estimated that they each put in about 40 hours of work.

“Every business participating was very impressed by the project, offering to support the schools again, and were delighted to be part of it now and in the future as it was of benefit to them too.

“The targeted groups of pupils were questioned to assess the impact of the projects and overwhelmingly agreed that it had improved their knowledge and understanding of, and skills for, employment, and participation will benefit them in seeking and gaining employment.

“They should be very proud of their achievements which will not only enhance their CV’s and add value in interviews, but will increase their capacity to advance in their careers in the future.”

Posted on Monday 31st March 2014