How an event in Midlothian filled the gap between employers and youngsters looking to start out on their careers ...

Youngsters seek advice at the roadshow.
Youngsters seek advice at the roadshow.

Around 30 employers, including the Scottish Government, Edinburgh Airport and Apex Hotels were set to feature in a Midlothian-wide careers event for local young people.

Organised by Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian, the Jobs Road Show event for school pupils and young people took place at Newbattle Abbey College on Wednesday.

It comes after last year’s event, the first held, was crowned a huge success.

DYW asks business to be more involved in shaping and recruiting youth talent.

Its aim is that eventually all young people in the region will leave school and go on to what’s known as a positive destination, for example, an apprenticeship, work, further and higher education, training or volunteering.

Michelle Fenwick, programme manager, said: “Our remit is to support employers in shaping careers for young people.

“From talking to employers it was very clear that there was a gap we could fill. What we heard is that they wanted to meet face to face with young people.

“We came up with the concept of the jobs roadshow to help link employers with employees.

“The Midlothian event attracted about 370 young people, and went further than normal careers days so that not only would it inspire young people to consider a career in any given field, but they could leave with the prospect of a job as well.

“It was a great success – we had a tonne of feedback from employers, schools, and young people.

“It’s all about the quality of jobs and having a good breadth of sectors involved, with a decent coverage of all industries.”

Councillor Bob Constable, Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “It’s a great chance for staff and businesses to help create a skilled workforce for Scotland’s future.”

Last year was the first time the DYW regional group held three careers events in Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian. In total around 850 young people attended, and over 300 young people were matched into vacancies.

In 2016,DYW launched Marketplace, an online tool that makes it easy for you to build connections with schools and colleges.

Businesses can share their knowledge through workshops, talks, workplace visits, or even competitions.