SQA helps Motherwell pupils get work ready

                                        Pupils from Our Lady's High School, with SQA volunteers

Pupils from North Lanarkshire’s Our Lady’s High School are now better prepared to join the world of work, thanks to a visit by volunteers from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

The workshop saw fourth, fifth and sixth year students gain valuable employability skills by taking part in mock interviews, which allowed them to identify their skills and experience.

It is hoped that the young people will now be able to approach a real interview with greater confidence. The Scottish Government’s Developing the Young Workforce programme aims to reduce youth unemployment, and as an employer and the national qualifications body, SQA is well placed to assist.

The team from SQA, who spent the morning at the school, were able to do so thanks to the organisation’s volunteering scheme which sees staff use their allocated volunteering hours.

One of the volunteers was former Our Lady’s High School pupil Yvonne Beggs (pictured right), who is now a Senior Operations Manager at SQA. Yvonne said that she enjoyed returning to the school to assist current students, adding: “Our Lady’s High School has always been a progressive, forward thinking school offering a diverse range of support and skills for its pupils. I am glad to be able to give something back to such an inspiring institution that helped and supported me in my education and subsequent career.”

Maidie Cahill, SQA Director of Corporate Services, said: “SQA staff embraced the opportunity to provide pupils at Our Lady’s High School with some of the skills they’ll need for a successful move into the jobs market. SQA offers a range of qualifications that recognise wider achievement and the development of skills. These include Employability Awards, which help learners gain the confidence and skills required to thrive in today’s world.”

Andrew Smith, Head of Personal, Social and Health Education said the event was a fantastic experience for pupils. He added: “It was great to see pupils who can sometimes be hard to motivate working very hard in their small groups and engaging really positively with adults they had only just met. The mock interviews were daunting for some more than others, but even those who were initially apprehensive found the experience very worthwhile and felt much more confident and at ease afterwards.”

One of the pupils who attended the workshop comment: “Interviews aren't as scary as you think – just be yourself!”

A fellow student added: “Everything the SQA has done today was interesting, helpful and useful which can be applied to future interviews that I may be invited to.”

Find out about SQA’s full range of wider achievement qualifications.