Arbroath collaboration leads the way in eco charge

Multi-national company Veolia has teamed up with Arbroath High School to develop the next generation of leaders.

The waste management company aims to resource the world and constantly analyses what the planet will look like in 2050. Veolia’s team is passionate about educating young people on the circular economy.

Current S2 pupils will be 42-years-old in 2050, an age which sees many professionals step into their first leadership role.

Veolia operates a ‘Future Leaders’ programme which challenges pupils to develop their leadership skills, work as a team and communicate effectively.

“We live in a world of finite resources and Veolia is determined to play its part in ensuring there is positive change by 2050.

“The S2 pupils at Arbroath High are future leaders and we are determined to provide opportunities to them which will see them become effective leaders.”

Veolia’s Community and Engagement Coordinator Matthew Pastellas

The waste management company approached Skills Development Scotland (SDS) as it was keen to engage with local young people.

SDS introduced Veolia to the Dundee and Angus Developing the Young Workforce team and has worked with them throughout the highly successful project.

“Veolia offered an amazing opportunity for school pupils to be involved in their Future Leadership Residential and their Circular Economy Workshop.”

June Gallagher, SDS Relationship Account Executive

“I was delighted to be able to support them in making the right connections and introductions to get this project off the ground.  It was great to hear how the project progressed, the feedback from pupils and of course, some of the related awards Veolia won, demonstrating best practice of school industry engagement.

“Hopefully, this story will hopefully inspire other employers to engage and stimulate future leaders within their sector.”

Veolia delivered a series of engagement days to Arbroath High School pupils. These proved so successful the company worked with the school to develop an application process for those interested young people, which further helped to equip second year pupils with vital skills for the future.

The successful pupils took part in a workshop with a circular economy start-up business, which includes a jewellery maker, and attended a two-night residential trip which focused on developing leadership and teambuilding skills.

These programmes received great feedback from everyone involved and Veolia has offered funding for a second trip when Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

As well as equipping young people with skills for the future, teachers who assisted with the programme have benefited from Continuous Professional Development.

Thanks to the strength of the partnership, Arbroath High School Depute Head Teacher Ryan Laird delivered a leadership workshop to Veolia’s senior management team.

“The programme has allowed our young people to develop soft skills which will be vital to them as they progress through their educational journey and into the world of work. Working with Veolia has challenged our pupils to think about what they want to achieve in life and how they plan to get there.”

Arbroath High School Depute Head Teacher Ryan Laird

Veolia has carried out industry engagement work with Primary 7 pupils and is exploring avenues to expand this to other senior-phase year groups.

The success of the Future Leaders programme has been recognised, with the company receiving two awards for its work from DYW Dundee and Angus and DYW West Lothian.

If you would like to find out more about bringing industry engagement to your pupils, check out our dedicated Marketplace area.

Or if you would like to explore opportunities to engage with local schools, check out Our Skillsforce or contact the SDS Employer Services team on 0800 783 6000.