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Scotland’s careers web service has become a vital stepping stone to success for Girvan Academy’s pupils.

The South Ayrshire school has built My World of Work’s Profile tool into career learning for its pupils.

Depute Head Joanne Frew said: “Using My World of Work’s profile tool means all of our pupils have an electronic profile, stored securely online, that they can access from anywhere by the time they’re in S4.

“Across their time in the senior school they can build this up, adding skills and qualities so that they have a head start for CVs and personal statements.

“Because it’s online and owned by them, they can continue to reflect on and update the profile even after they’ve left us.

“It’s a huge leap forward from the paper system we were using previously.”

My World of Work is Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) online career information and advice service. SDS delivers Scotland’s careers services, with professionally qualified careers advisers in every state secondary school, its network of careers centres and a network of partner and community premises.

The profile tool was developed in partnership with schools and Education Scotland for secondary pupils across the country, helping them to continue to develop their career management skills.

"Using My World of Work’s profile tool means all of our pupils have an electronic profile, stored securely online, that they can access from anywhere by the time they’re in S4."

Joanne Frew, Depute Head Teacher, Girvan Academy

S3 classmates Jenna Mackinnon and Sophie Jenkins are enjoying using the tool.

Jenna said: “My World of Work and the profile tool helps us to find out what skills we need for careers we’re looking at, to see if they’d suit us.”

Sophie said: “It’s really useful as it gives us a taste of how to write a CV or personal statement for the future.”

Joanne added: “It’s government policy that every pupil in Scotland should have a profile by the end of their time in S3, using My World of Work supports us to meet that entitlement as well as those set out in the likes of Developing the Young Workforce, Building the Curriculum and How Good Is Our School.

“The added bonus from a literacy point of view is that the tool equips pupils with the language they need to describe their skills and attributes as well as improving their digital dexterity.

“I could go on and on about the benefits, it really just ticks so many boxes.”

SDS Careers Adviser Susan Wood is based in Girvan Academy.

She said: “The profile tool helps pupils to round out to a more personal profile, discovering the valuable skills they’re building up outside of school.

“Pupils are now able to articulate how being part of a sports club might make them a team player, or that walking their dog shows they are organised.

“Embedding the profile tool into the S3 curriculum has been a great team effort between the school, SDS and a range of partners in the community including employers who have been able to come and talk to pupils about the skills they look for in prospective employees and how that could relate to their lives now.

“And everything a pupil does on My World of Work links back to the work I do with them to develop their career management skills one-to-one and in classroom sessions.”

Pupil Haydn Brown said: “It’s helped me to realise how much I do outside of school and how much I contribute.

“I have so many more skills than I thought I had. It’s a confidence boost when you see that.”

SDS supports schools to embed My World of Work into learning, with every school able to call on their own SDS Partner Development and Integration (PD&I) Executive.

“My World of Work and the profile tool helps us to find out what skills we need for careers we’re looking at, to see if they’d suit us.”

Jenna Mackinnon, S3 pupil, Girvan Academy

Fiona Paterson, SDS PD&I Executive for Girvan Academy, said: “My team will be there to support schools and teachers every step of the way as they build confidence in the use and embedding of My World of Work in the school and the wider school community.

“The profile tool is a fantastic addition to the web service, because it allows pupils to pull together all the evidence of their skills they’re building up in school and outside too and how they can communicate that to future employers, or when applying to college or uni.

“It also pulls in their results from the other tools on the site which look at strengths, skills and more about the person and their likes and dislikes.”

The team effort in embedding My World of Work has included Girvan Academy’s My World of Work Ambassadors.

The voluntary programme sees senior pupils volunteer to promote My World of Work within their school community, with pupils, teachers, parents and carers.

The Girvan Academy Ambassadors have been supporting during sessions on the Profile tool with S3 pupils. S6 pupils Harry Flower and Zak Jenkins were two of the Ambassadors involved.

Harry said: “During the session we were helping people to get logged in if they’d forgotten their passwords, and generally we were there to support and trouble shoot.

“We also helped talk about the meaning of some words they maybe weren’t as familiar with, or to talk over the results of the other tools.

“You could see it really helped them to widen out the ideas they have about themselves.

“There were some unexpected results from the strengths tool too, which was great for starting conversations with the younger pupils about their career possibilities and reflecting on how they felt or thought about what they discovered.”

Zak said: “My World of Work is really easy to use. It’s laid out well so whether you’re tech savvy or not, you can find your way around and starting using it quickly and effectively.

“I’ve learned a lot being a My World of Work Ambassador and taking part in activities like these sessions. It’s helped me work on leadership and build up confidence and patience as well.”

Using My World of Work’s Profile tool is now a rolling programme for S3 pupils at Girvan Academy.

Joanne said: “The support we get from SDS and our other partners is huge, they are part of the school team and we’re all working towards the same goals.

“For other teachers looking at how to use the profile tool I would say that like anything new, it takes time to get to know it, but it’s worth it in terms of the benefits for pupils and the wider school.

“And that’s the case not just for the profile tool, but for My World of Work generally.

“It will support your whole staff to increase interest, engagement and uptake in subjects because it helps pupils build an understanding of how their learning in class relates to their future career, it opens up their world to the many options they have.

“SDS are there to call on for support and ideas when you need it too, and it’s all for free.

“I honestly can’t recommend My World of Work enough to other schools.”

 

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