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Parents have been getting the lowdown on the labour market as part of special careers events at two North Lanarkshire schools.

Coltness High School and Airdrie Academy worked with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) on the events for parents and carers whose children were making subject choices.

The events – attended by more than 200 people – were part of work to expand SDS career information, advice and guidance services in schools.

Expertise on offer

SDS Careers Adviser at Coltness High School, Kirsty Byrne, said: “Parents and carers are the number one influence on young people making decisions about their future.

“We are now engaging with pupils with a one-to-one interview at subject choice time as well as the group sessions they’ll get with classmates.

“Parents, carers or teachers are encouraged to be involved in those interviews or set one up at another time.

”The events offered us an opportunity to speak directly to parents about the support and expertise we offer.

“We were also able to advise on where to get help, and how parents and carers can be more aware of the role they play in choices young people make.”

As well as hearing about the future jobs and what skills employers are looking for, parents and carers were also able to find out more about SDS services, subject choices and career management skills.

My World of Work

There was also the chance to use award-winning career information and advice web service My World.

SDS Careers Adviser at Airdrie Academy, Ruth Noble, said: “Parents and carers at the events said they felt better equipped and more confident on where to find information and support.

“There was also a lot of praise for My World of Work, especially the information in the parents and carers section.

“It was a real team effort across SDS and the school, and we’re already looking into how we can build on the success of these events next year.”

SDS careers advisers now offer group sessions at primary 7 transition visits or early in their first year, as well as in second and third year. There’s also enhanced support for pupils who need it most from third year.

”The events offered us an opportunity to speak directly to parents about the support and expertise we offer. We were also able to advise on where to get help, and how parents and carers can be more aware of the role they play in choices young people make.”

Kirsty Byrne, Careers Adviser

It all builds on existing SDS careers services in secondary schools which include group sessions in fourth to sixth year, targeted coaching support for those who need it most, one-to-one interviews, drop-in clinics and SDS careers advisers attending events like parent nights.

Depute Head Teacher at Coltness High School, Dominic Farr, said: “For parents, carers and pupils, having input from SDS at this stage offers insight that can help focus discussions about the future.

“All of us in the school community, including parents, have to work together effectively to ensure young people move in to positive, sustained destinations after school.

“This event was another opportunity to work together to offer further support with that goal in mind. We look to holding similar events in the future.”

“We know that pupils who get good support from home and work with the school are more likely to succeed. Giving parents and carers an overview of labour market information was a key part of the event for me. We need SDS to be able to give that wider context on skills and future jobs, and the parents were really interested and appreciative of that information.”

Mary Jane Hunter, Depute Head at Airdrie Academy

What's next?

 New digital tools and resources are also being developed with teachers to support delivery of career education to primary 5 to 7 pupils. They will be accessed through My World of Work.

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