Employability Award training has led Dornoch Academy pupil Reece MacLeod to follow his passion for horses, by helping him to secure a place at the British Racing School in Newmarket.
16 year old Reece plans that the course will be a pre-cursor to joining a two year apprenticeship for becoming a jockey in the future.
Reece said: “I’ve always been passionate about horses, just like everyone else in my family, so this is a dream come true for me. I’ve been involved with my family in showing horses as far back as I can remember, both locally and at national events such as the Blair Castle Horse Trials and the Royal Highland Show. Through the Employability Award I got help with finding out how to prepare my cv and then to make an application to the course.”
High Life Highland youth worker, Yvonne Ross, said: “The great thing about the Employability Award is that it supports young people to get experience of the kind of jobs they think they’d like to do. When we found out about Reeces’ passion for horses, we looked at various options that would allow him to do this – and the course in Newmarket came up trumps!”
Chief Inspector Iain MacLelland, chair of Sutherland Community Partnership, said: ““Reece’s story, and those of others like him, underlines the value of the Employability Award programme we have introduced for young people in Sutherland. I know I speak for all the team in the Sutherland Partnership and wider community in saying how delighted we have been able to support the Award, helping to introduce young people in a practical way to the world of work when they might otherwise be unsure about how to gain and sustain employment. I wish Reece all the best in pursuing his chosen career and look forward to hopefully seeing him in the Grand National one day, who knows what lies ahead for him.”
The Employability Award, led by the Sutherland Community Partnership, offers an introduction to the world of work for young people, leading to a certificate at the end of the course. Through the Award, young people like Reece MacLeod develop skills and attitudes that will help them make a successful move into the job market, including looking at their existing skills and experience, how these might apply to work, and considering what kind of employment would suit them.
Part of the course involves building ‘Employability Skills’, helping young people to practise skills such as contacting employers, filling in application forms, and writing a CV. It also covers what being an employee means — how to behave at work and how young people should expect to be treated by their employer – as well as how build effective working relationships.
As well as the skills based part of the course, pupils from Dornoch Academy, Golspie High School, Kinlochbervie High School and Ullapool High School have had the opportunity to take part in a wide-ranging programme of activities giving valuable work experience, provided by organisations such as Police Scotland, Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, HM Coastguard, NHS Highland, Highland Council, Assynt Mountain Rescue, and High Life Highland.