Friday was a day of celebration in different corners of the Council as we marked the contribution of a group of young people who have made a fantastic contribution to the organisation over the past four weeks.
Thirteen passionate and talented interns have been lending their knowledge and ideas to our work since July 1 and they rounded off their month with us by taking part in activities to round-off their stay.
Each has had a tailored placement, based on their career ambitions, and has also had he opportunity to participate in workshops on subjects including compiling CVs, interview skills and presentation skills.
I must put on record my thanks to those students, who are drawn from S5 and S6, for their efforts during the internship – I’ve no doubt they have learnt from us just as we have learnt from them. It is always of great value to get insight from the next generation and they have been able to look at our services and business through a different lens.
Thanks also to each of the mentors from across Aberdeen City Council who have taken the class of 2019 under their wing. As a mentor myself, I found it incredibly rewarding and I’m hugely proud of the development I have seen in the intern I have partnered – she has really pushed to go outside of her comfort zone and that has been an inspiration to me as it should be to us all.
To give some background, the Career Ready programme is a national initiative supported by a growing range of employers. It is designed to give secondary pupils an opportunity to raise their aspirations and take the first steps on the path to rewarding futures.
Twelve schools from across the city and Shire have taken part in the current programme, including our own Harlaw Academy, Hazlehead Academy, Lochside Academy, Northfield Academy, Oldmachar Academy and St Machar Academy.
Looking ahead to the next wave of Career Ready students, we already have 10 Council mentors who have volunteered to take part and there are opportunities for more to get involved. If you are interested in finding out more, please take the time to talk to Alison Paterson in our People and Organisation team. Alison and the team have done a great job in coordinating our involvement.
From my own experience, I would certainly recommend taking part and I’d encourage everyone to consider mentoring.
The Career Ready initiative is part of the wider focus on the Developing the Young Workforce programme, which we have supported over a number of years now. The aim is to build on our reputation as an employer who engages, supports and enables young people to learn and develop skills, qualities and behaviours and in turn provide meaningful employment experience.
Our vision is for a city where all people can prosper and giving every young person in Aberdeen the opportunity to fulfil their potential is something we all have a part to play in, regardless of what area of the Council we work in. Our young people hold the key to the future of our communities, our city and our region. To be able to shine they have to be given the tools – and Career Ready is one of a number of ways we’re working to do that.
With school exam results just around the corner, it’s an opportune time to underline that fulfilling potential means different things for different people. Academic excellence is to be celebrated and we will always do that – but we should also be shouting just as loudly about positive destinations and the young people who are fulfilling ambitions in so many different ways and walks of life.
Friday’s Career Ready celebrations highlighted the brilliant potential we have here in Aberdeen and after the contribution of our interns I’m confident there’s lots to look forward to.