Caithness Councillors have paid tribute to the work being done to ensure young people in the area are more prepared to enter a ‘positive destination’ on leaving school such as higher education, further education, training, employment, and voluntary work.
My Future, My Success (MFMS) is a partnership approach to empower young people across the Highlands to think about their future careers and aspirations by connecting them with a network of support, employability and enterprise learning, mentoring and personal skills building, ensuring that their future is determined by potential not by background, barriers, or the postcode that they come from.
A report presented to the Caithness Committee today provided a 6-month progress report on activity currently being undertaken within The Education and Learning Directorate and across partners in relation to MFMS in Caithness.
There is one dedicated Development Officer based in Caithness brings together Mentors, Employers, Partners, and Education in a professional, efficient, accessible, and mutually beneficial community to support some of our most vulnerable learners who are all referred with barriers to attending, engagement and achieving positive destinations post school.
Currently MFMS has 316 referrals from 31 schools across The Highland Council area, both Thurso High School and Wick High School have referred pupils.
91% of young people in Caithness have engaged with MFMS and of the 7 young people due to leave school soon, 6 are expected to achieve a positive destination.
The report included information on some of the projects underway.
- Healthcare Pathway Pilot
The Highland Council is one of 5 NHS Huddle groups who are piloting the Healthcare Pathway pilot through NHS Academy, Skills Development Scotland and UHI beginning in session 2023/24.
There are 29 young people from 6 schools involved, including Wick High School.
They will work towards a SCQF 5 qualification with the qualification leading into a direct NHS pathway through a Modern Apprenticeship, college related course or direct employment.
All young people will have a combination of online learning, site visits and mentoring by NHS professionals trained as part of MFMS.
- Pharmacy Sponsorship
In partnership with My Future, My Success, NHS Highland has created a pilot sponsorship scheme on the premise that people educated and trained in their local community are more likely to continue to work in that community when they have completed their education and training.
The programme offers:
• up to 20 weeks of paid work per year during their university holidays and employment within Caithness General Hospital throughout the scheme.
• £3,000 per year to support with expenses, travel, accommodation, and specifically for materials to support study such as laptop, books, or materials.
• Provide the student with a mentor from the service who is accessible to them throughout their studies.
• Work in partnership with NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to ensure that, on graduation, the foundation pharmacist enters the (NES) Foundation Pharmacist Training Scheme based in Caithness General Hospital with cross sector training in other hospitals, primary care, and community pharmacy.
One pupil from Wick High School has successfully secured an offer and once the young person has met the UCAS conditions they will be able to start in post.
Chair, Cllr Ron Gunn praised the work and efforts taking place in Caithness schools and by the wider Education service to make sure that young people are in the best position possible to achieve the career and life they desire.
“There is a lot to be celebrated with all this excellent work taking place to support our most vulnerable young people and help them achieve opportunities and skills to prepare them for life after school, I would like to congratulate our young people on their achievements.
“I would also like to thank and acknowledge the joint working of school staff, parents, and partners who are working together to make sure My future My Success continues to make a positive impact.”