A bridge to employment for the Great Glen

In the coming weeks SSE will welcome a raft of new talent to the business, with 172 new apprentices, trainee engineers and graduates joining us. Many are young people fresh from school or college and taking the first steps in their careers.  

At this time of year it’s common to hear some businesses question the need for qualifications to have a stronger link to the ‘real world’ of work.  Of course, exams are vital, they are a key part of learning but it’s also important employers help support their new recruits in the transition from school, college or university into the workplace.

That’s why we're pleased this year in the Highlands to have the chance to do more to support students coming to the end of their time at high school to make the most of all the challenges and opportunities ahead.  

As part of The Bridge to Employment programme, SSE is working with three schools in the Great Glen - Charleston Academy, Glenurquhart High School and Lochaber High School - to provide support and advice to help pupils in the practical application of the academic skills they’ve gained.  

The programme was first brought to Inverness in 2008 by Lifescan Scotland with support from Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the University of the Highlands and Islands.  

Employees from business get involved in a wide range of activities, from hosting site visits to give a glimpse into industry, delivering training in confidence, teamwork and presentational skills and providing mentoring.

It offers a structure for businesses to build relationships with high school students from fourth year until they move on to college, university or work.

With SSE’s support this year, the programme will benefit young people right across the Highland Council area for the first time.

SSE is a major employer and investor across the north of Scotland, in both our renewable generation and electricity networks businesses.  Making sure the career opportunities that exist are opened up to young people is one of the strongest legacies we can deliver.  It brings a lasting benefit for individuals and communities, but it’s also a big positive for the future of our business too.

Of course, some of the students we work with in the Great Glen will go on to exciting careers in other sectors.  Likewise, the work of our partners in The Bridge to Employment programme will help to bring good people our way.  

The programme is already underway so watch this space for updates on the exciting first year ahead.

About the author

Dave Mckay Director of Transmission Projects (North)

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