On the first day back in the office after the winter break, Melissa from the team caught up with Steven McLaughlan from Rockwell Offsite Learning Centre to find out more on their partnership with Piperdam Golf and Leisure Resort. Learning about the great work being done in this amazing partnership has been a great way to kick-start 2018!
In early discussions with the DYW team, Steven was clear that ideally he wanted a workplace that could offer something long term, with various departments, to allow the young people in Rockwell to have varying options, where they could potentially offer a 6-8week work experience rotation. Steven felt that for a partnership to work, a more personalised model was required, to give young people flexibility and variety.
From there, Claire from the DYW team worked to set up a meeting between herself, Steven and Moira Leck, GM at Piperdam to discuss the potential for partnership working. The meeting was productive and very positive, and the partnership developed from there, with three young people from Rockwell attending interviews with Piperdam, including a tour of the facility, where they were able to choose an area of work they felt suited them best.
The young people went on to work experience for 1 day a week, over 6 weeks in Hot Tub Engineering, Sports and Maintenance. For two of the pupils this was not sustained long term, but for Liam Anderson, Pupil at Rockwell, working with the maintenance team has led to further opportunities. Liam received great feedback from Moira and the team for his work, with the school also noticing a positive impact on his learning and attainment. Liam’s time at Piperdam increased from one day to two days a week, with him gaining broader experiences in joinery work as well as in the kitchen. Liam continues to impress, and he has been offered an apprenticeship place later in the year, with Liam saying he would like to pursue joinery, providing all goes well. He will also shortly start a Saturday job in the kitchen.
Thanks to this partnership, Liam has developed a great insight into the world of work, gained valuable work experience, his studies have improved, he has the potential to begin an apprenticeship in an area he knows he enjoys and he has managed to secure part time employment. Other young people at Rockwell are now asking for similar opportunities after seeing the successes of their fellow class mate. This very positive outcome for one young person is due to a great partnership working between industry and education, and is testament to the rewards that the DYW approach can bring.