DYW Dundee & Angus has worked closely with two schools to help deliver successful Language and Business events for S3 pupils. In October 161 pupils attended Monifieth High School’s event, and in January 98 pupils took part in the workshops at St John’s RC High School.

Without language skills, the UK has less opportunities for overseas work experience, a lack of international business sense, a failure to appreciate that other cultures have different ways of doing things and a potential tendency to overestimate the global importance of British culture. That’s why businesses are keen to engage with young people to help them see the value of studying a second, or third language.

Both events followed the same format – a carousel of workshops over a morning, with businesses telling the pupils their story of how languages have helped their careers, through interactive and fun activities.  Andrew Gillespie from Dundee based Ace Aquatec enthusiastically talked about how his Spanish language skills have allowed him to travel and work in South America – a major market for Ace Aquatec, while Mel Gourley from Dundee United Community Trust talked about the importance of languages within professional football.

Pupil feedback from the events showed that almost all who participated said that the workshops helped them understand how having languages can help their career choices as well as the types of careers that would be open to them (98%).  In one school 88% of the pupils said they would be more interested in taking a language in the senior phase, with 50% of pupils at the other school saying this would be the case.

Dundee Heritage Trust’s Judy Robertson summed up the feeling of the businesses that took part

“I was really impressed with the level of engagement from the young people; it was a great opportunity for us to connect with them.” 

Thank you to all the businesses that contributed to the events; Ace Aquatec, Al-Maktoum College, Business Gateway, Dundee & Angus College International Team, Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, Dundee Heritage Trust, Dundee United FC, Global Languages, MVV UK, Royal Marines, Sleeperz Hotel and University of Dundee – Languages Department.