Pupils take part in workshops to prepare them for employment and training

Neil McKinlay worked with fifth year student Dylan Carruthers as part of the JET Programme run in partnership with Queensferry Community High School and The Rotary Club of South Queensferry

Neil McKinlay worked with fifth year student Dylan Carruthers as part of the JET Programme run in partnership with Queensferry Community High School and The Rotary Club of South Queensferry

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Going for a job interview has to be one of the most nerve–racking experiences in life.

However, a group of pupils are working hard with members of The Rotary Club of South Queensferry to ensure they are as prepared as they can possibly be.

Pupils at Queensferry Community High School took part in an interview skills workshop with members of The Rotary Club  of South Queensferry

Pupils at Queensferry Community High School took part in an interview skills workshop with members of The Rotary Club of South Queensferry

Through the JET programme (Job Experience & Training) the young people attend workshops facilitated by members of the Rotary club which allows them to pass on their valuable experience and advice for the future.

On Wednesday this week, four fifth year pupils at Queensferry Community High School met with Neil McKinlay, the Rotary Club’s junior vice president, to take part in a mock interview session.

Since summer, the group has worked on various topics relating to the world of work, including making career choices, how to succeed in the workplace and CV preparation.

Neil said: “The workshops include real life mock interviews where members of the Rotary Club and the local business community provide the young people with their first experience of a job interview including the provision of post-interview feedback.

“As a result, a number of pupils have already secured part-time or permanent jobs with local business.”

Neil said the workshops help prepare the students for the world of work, in particular they help them understand how the workplace differs from school life and much focus is directed on the type of behaviours and attitude that are essential to get on in the workplace.

It might come as a surprise that Modern Apprenticeships are offered by a wide range of employers including the traditional trades like plumbing and joinery, as well as technology, finance and beauty industries.

He hopes to be able to offer information sessions to parents in the near future, to allow them to become better informed about the full range of options that are open to their children.

The partnership between the Rotary Club and the high school has been in place for four years and has grown with each passing term. Neil said there are always new opportunities for students to get involved with extra–curricular activities, like the Duke of Edinburgh Award or the Girl Guides, which look good to potential employers and colleges or universities.

The pupils also have the chance to participate in the Rotary Young Leadership Awards at an outward bound week held in a centre in South Tayside to enable them to become future managers and leaders in the community.

He said: “Being a manager is one of the most responsible jobs. Just because someone is technically good at their job, doesn’t mean they have the DNA to manage people.

“People are very fragile things and it doesn’t take much to affect them. One ill-conceived comment can have huge consequences.”

The work Neil and his colleagues do compliments the existing careers advice offered by the guidance teachers and a careers advisor.

Neil said: “This is a great example of the local community working in partnership and I am sure the great news about the new high school will provide even more opportunities to prepare youngsters for the working environment whether they choose an academic or vocational pathway.”