Meaningful Work Experience Award – James Pirie & Son Butcher

How was the partnership formed?


This is another partnership which was formed between a school and an employer meeting to discuss what potential there would be for partnership working.

Webster’s High school recognised one of their current S4 pupils was at risk of disengaging from school, so met with James Pirie & Son Butcher to discuss further. After some discussion a work placement was created which would work around classes.

The young person attended the work placement at James Pirie & Son Butcher in Newtyle every Monday and Wednesday from December 2018 as part of their blended curriculum. Prior to the start of the placement, the employer was made aware of the pupil’s needs and they have supported him accordingly.


Process taken


A full induction process was provided with training on health and safety, hygiene, use of equipment, food preparation skills etc. There is regular contact between school & the employer. Mr Pirie is absolutely delighted with the pupil and the contribution they have made to the business and cannot sing their praises highly enough.

The pupil gave up some of their time during the Christmas holidays to help out at what is a very busy period for the business. The pupil is full of enthusiasm and appreciation and their confidence and self-esteem have grown immensely due to this experience as well as their insight into, and preparedness for the world of work.


How did they win?


This is only one example of how a pupil has been supported in a placement by this employer over the years. A number of other young people have also benefitted from a placement with James Pirie & Son Butcher and have subsequently gone on to be given apprenticeships with the business. Everyone is friendly, the working environment encourages the young people to thrive and really develop their skills for work as well as their confidence.

The ongoing partnership between Webster’s High School and James Pirie & Son Butcher shows that having a meaningful work experience is so important to any young person.


Outcome from the opportunity


The pupil is a Christmas leaver and will definitely be offered an apprenticeship when the time comes. The change in the pupil has been astonishing: their communication and social skills have improved dramatically and has described the feeling of knowing now that there is so much more out there. The young person finds learning in the workplace far easier than in a classroom and the progress made is evident in all aspects of this young person’s life.

The benefits of this placement have been immeasurable for the pupil, allowing their confidence to grow and making attending school for the remainder of the blended timetable much more manageable. This young person has experienced a real sense of achievement through this placement and has really thrived, with a clear benefit to their wellbeing as well as their ability to achieve within school.