As one of 20 regional groups dedicated to connecting employers with young people, the team at Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) North East are surrounded by year-round examples of the value that young people add to organisations.
So what to focus on for the Young People Are Great 2023 campaign? The answer – when it came – was simple: a celebration of our first Foundation Apprentice, Drew Smith, whose Business Skills work placement with DYW North East has just drawn to a close.
Martin Johnstone, Senior Project Officer was Drew’s workplace mentor during his time with DYW North East. He was particularly impressed by how quickly and easily Drew became a part of the organisation, saying:
“Drew has been very consistent with his approach and was easy to work with – a good fit for our team. He settled in really well and got on great with everyone.
“Drew has been keen to learn throughout, took instructions very well and had the confidence to ask questions to clarify things, if necessary. His attendance has been excellent and we never needed to remind him about his submissions – he always had this under control.”
One of Drew’s final tasks on completing his placement was to present to the full DYW North East team and his assessor from North East Scotland College. During his presentation, Drew touched on some of the highlights of his Business Skills Foundation Apprenticeship, singling out the work-based element.
“One of the best bits for me was getting in to a real workplace so I could understand and develop an impression of the world of work,” he says. “I was able to learn from the DYW North East team and enjoyed seeing how they connect with employers to give young people like me the opportunity to gain work-related insights.”
Inspired by his time with DYW North East and his Foundation Apprenticeship experience, Drew applied for – and has accepted a place on – the JC Futures programme. The programme provides a direct pathway for school or college leavers to become fully qualified accountants with Johnston Carmichael. Drew had always planned to pursue a career in this area but previously assumed that a full-time university course was his only option.
“The entire DYW North East team have been bowled over by Drew’s enthusiasm and contribution,” says Margo Milne, Director, DYW North East. “We, in turn, have certainly tried to give him a meaningful experience.
“It is particularly gratifying to know that Drew’s Foundation Apprenticeship has given him a springboard for what we are sure will be a very successful career in finance.
“For any employer reading this who is considering offering a young person work experience, an apprenticeship or some other form of support, just do it. You’ll get back equally as much – if not more – than you give.”
The Young People Are Great campaign 2023 takes place on 6 June. Find out more here.
Discover how DYW North East can help you to connect with, and employ, young people by contacting the team here.