A partnership between a North-east secondary school and an international engineering services company has been recognised as being best in class.

Score Group and Mintlaw Academy have a relationship of more than 20 years of co-operation including shared activities such as work experience placements, workplace tours, career talks, mock interview sessions and support at Careers Fairs.

The partnership was recognised as inspirational by the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce at the recent Northern Star Business Awards when it scooped the Inspiring Futures accolade.

“Score and Mintlaw Academy have a high degree of mutual respect and a relationship based on mutual trust and are very worthy winners of this year’s award,” said Mary Holland, director of DYW North East.

“The range of activities they carry out have many positive results from motivating pupils preparing for exams and building their confidence to engage with employers, to raising the number and quality of female apprentices and providing a practical understanding of local job opportunities.”

Developing the Young Workforce is a key priority in the school and in the past four years it has driven this forward through increased partnership working – including faculty links and regular school/employer meetings; staff/pupil industry visits; staff/pupil work experience; further development of NESCol/University links; working with Skills Development Scotland to support career planning; and from S1-S6, there is a key focus on skill development both through the curriculum and extra-curricular activities.

“Theirs is not just a partnership but a relationship based on an understanding of each other’s needs,” added Mary. “Score is an employer which provides resources and plans and executes many activities in support of a school which directly supports the preparation of its pupils for the world of work and gives them a clearer understanding of the potential employment and training opportunities available.

“The relationship addresses finer details as well as big ticket needs. For example, Mintlaw Academy staff are offered short placements to experience the work undertaken at Score and the specific needs of individual pupils going on work placement are discussed to ensure learning and support needs are handled sensitively and supportively.

“The net result is that a relationship which has been nurtured for more than two decades continues to grow and flourish as more students enter the Score apprenticeship programme or benefit from Mintlaw Academy’s access to Score’s resources.”