#NoWrongPath - Eilidh McFarlane

#NoWrongPath - Eilidh McFarlane

“I left school at 16 years old to commence a Hairdressing Apprenticeship where I had been previously working on a Saturday. During this time I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to gain experience on other aspects of running a business and on completion, I decided to pursue going to college to gain a qualification in Business and Accountancy.

During this time I developed a real passion for this and had a job opportunity in a local accountancy firm to work within the payroll department. For three years, I built up payroll skills, knowledge, and experience training members of staff, managing my own clients and progressed to become a senior within the firm. Whilst I was gaining lots of experience I also wanted to gain a qualification so I made the decision to self-fund a foundation degree in Payroll Management through the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.

I had seen the job at Hillcrest for a new Payroll Team Leader advertised and decided to apply following this. In June 2021 I successfully obtained the position. Although, I did not have previous experience managing staff, Hillcrest looked at other qualities and invested in the opportunity to train me through this experience. As I was approaching my final year of my degree, Hillcrest offered to financially support me through this and have been fully supportive and involved in me enhancing my learning. Since being at Hillcrest I have had lots of opportunities for development and have since been given the opportunity to Project Management a change in software for Payroll, HR and Learning and Development Team. Being a young person has never been a barrier in Hillcrest and I have never felt so valued, invested in and optimistic about the opportunities that my future holds.”

-Eilidh McFarlane, Payroll Team Leader, Hillcrest

An Open Letter to Young People

An Open Letter to Young People

We wanted to write to you in our role as Scotland’s business leaders and on behalf of our networks of thousands of Scottish employers to reassure you of our commitment and support no matter what path you follow.


As employers we recognise the challenges you have faced over the last two years and take great confidence in the ingenuity and resilience shown to overcome them.

We want to reassure you that we recognise and value your qualifications as much as any other year and that the skills you have developed, and will continue to develop, will play a crucial role in ensuring a bright future for businesses in Scotland and our economy.


We are committed to creating job opportunities for you so that you can have a positive future. Scotland is fortunate in having a wide range of industries offering many exciting jobs for you to consider for your future career. There are lots of industries continuing to grow and new ones emerging which offer opportunities across all of Scotland. Employers will continue to need young people with fresh ideas and experience to get involved and work together with us.


We recognise there are many different high quality pathways available as you take your next steps and we stand ready to help you take advantage of opportunities to help realise your full potential. We encourage you to be curious, explore all available opportunities, look at different sectors and what they can offer and take the time needed to consider the decisions that will support your future careers.


We all support the ambition of the Young Person’s Guarantee and its commitment to support every young person aged between 16 and 24, will have the opportunity of a job, apprenticeship, further or higher education, training programme or volunteering.


Wishing you the very best of luck with your next steps.




Sandy Begbie, CEO, Scottish Financial Enterprise

Marc Crothall, CEO, Scottish Tourism Alliance

Damien Yeates, CEO, Skills Development Scotland

James Withers, CEO, Scotland Food and Drink

Dr Liz Barron-Majerik, Director, LANTRA

Lee Ann Panglea, Head of CIPD Scotland and Northern Ireland, CIPD

Tracy Black, Director Scotland, CBI

Fiona Hodgson, CEO, SNIPEF Training Services

David Lonsdale, Director, Scottish Retail Consortium

Karen Betts, CEO, Scotch Whisky Association

Martin Crewe, Director, Barnardo’s

Liz Cameron, CEO, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Sara Thiam, CEO, Scottish Council for Development and Industry

Paul Carberry, Director for Scotland, Action for Children

Iain MacRitchie, Founder and Chair, MCR Pathways

Anne Wexelstein, Director for Scotland, Career Ready

Celia Tennant, Chief Executive, Inspiring Scotland

Tim Balcon, Chief Executive, CITB

Craigowl Primary School Museum Project

Craigowl Primary School Museum Project

Earlier this year, Craigowl Primary School participated in a museum project – delivered via a partnership between Craigowl Primary School, HMS Unicorn, Museum Galleries Scotland and Developing the Young Workforce. Developing the Young Workforce Dundee and Angus assisted in the project by allocating funding towards the production of the booklets.

The aim of the project was to highlight the exciting, varied roles behind the scenes in museums and give the pupils a flavour of the practical skills required for these jobs.  The young people were also challenged with bringing interesting stories from HMS Unicorn’s past to life, by designing activity books for different visiting school groups.

Most of the pupils who attend Craigowl Primary School live in the Ardler and St Marys districts of Dundee. These areas are recognised to be in the 10% most deprived areas in in the Scotland where many children and families live in poverty and often have very limited resources and there are high levels of unemployment. A further aim therefore of the project was to give the children involved an opportunity to engage with an employment sector that they may have a limited exposure and access to.

In total 29 pupils were involved from the P7B class at Craigowl Primary School in Dundee, and two booklets were produced – one aimed at P1-4 on Life in the Georgian Navy, and the other aimed at P5-7 on HMS Unicorn – History and Design.

The project entailed a class visit to HMS Unicorn to discover information about the ship and its stories, as well as to have discussions on the design brief for activity books. The children were then split into two groups, with subgroups in Research, Design and Promotion. After the initial session on the ship, the pupils carried out the work back at their school over another six sessions on a weekly basis. Following this the pupils created a presentation based around the work they did for the project. The presentation included what went well and what they found challenging, the new skills they learned and a guide through the newly designed activity books.


The number of different parts to the project and tasks that needed to be completed meant that the children gained a greater number of transferrable employment skills that will be useful for their future careers, including careers in heritage. In the end, a majority of the pupils thought that they had improved to their transferable skills to some extent. The skills improved included; adaptability, design, listening, marketing, problem solving, research, teamwork, time management and working independently. In addition to this, the pupils gained a far greater knowledge of the type of work that happens ‘behind the scenes’ at museums.

The booklets have now since been printed and are available for school groups to use on board HMS Unicorn.

“HMS Unicorn loved having the opportunity to work with Developing the Young Workforce, Museums Galleries Scotland and Craigowl Primary School on this fantastic project. We were impressed by the passion, creativity and hard work from the P7B pupils and the activity book they created for groups visiting our museum.”

– Caroline Taylor, HMS Unicorn Volunteering, Engagement and Learning Officer

“It was a huge amount of work, but the children got a great sense of achievement and pride with the completed work.”

– Rachel Mcwalter, Craigowl Primary School P7B Class Teacher

Carnoustie High School Alumni Day

Carnoustie High School Alumni Day

Carnoustie High School’s ‘Alumni Day’ was a careers inspiration event for S3 pupils, involving former Carnoustie High pupils talking to current students about their career path.

The objective was to inspire young people and improve their knowledge and understanding of the variety of career pathways available both locally and nationally. The event was delivered via a ‘speed networking’- type setup, where the school alumni were to sit at a station each and talk with a different group of S3’s every ten minutes. A further objective, by giving pupils the opportunity to talk to former Carnoustie High pupils of various ages and backgrounds, was to provide the opportunity for the young people to meet someone they could relate to. It was hoped that this would help the young people feel reassured about their school-life and the possibilities when entering the world of work.


Around 14 former pupils of various ages, backgrounds and careers visited on the day to meet the S3’s. There were individuals from a range of employers such as Police Scotland, E W Edwardson Electricians, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Thorntons Law. There were also representatives from several other industries including engineering, agriculture, performing arts and fitness.

The whole of Carnoustie High School’s S3 year group participated in this. Small groups of 3-4 pupils spoke to each Alumni member for 10 minutes. The pupils had prepared questions that they used to interview the Alumni about their current job, career path so far, what they enjoyed at school and whether or not this all linked together to give them a straight or winding career path. The preparation and subsequent discussion of interview responses provided the young people with a rich experience that developed their understating of the world of work.

DYW Tay Cities also participated, allowing pupils to interview them using the prepared questions. The team also asked the pupils what they found useful when finding out about possible careers – many agreed that hearing first-hand by speaking to people is effective.


By running this event, Carnoustie High School pupils were able to gain a first-hand insight into what life can be like once they have left school. It helped them better understand the range of careers and the variety of possible career pathways.

This is an annual event in which the school runs, and therefore it has allowed them to develop positive relationships with the employers of the Alumni.

The event has also been identified as a model for other Angus secondary schools to adopt. School coordinators from Brechin High School and Montrose Academy are interested in this and plan to implement it.

“In total, over six years, more than seventy guests have thoroughly appreciated the invitation to return to their Alma Mater to explain to our young people their own career path since leaving school and answer questions the pupils were keen to ask. Feedback from both pupils and guests has been extremely positive and we look forward to next session, when we plan to repeat what has become, in terms of career education at CHS, a signature event.”

– Carolyn Joss, Carnoustie High School DYW School Coordinator.

“I definitely think that when you’re at school people push on going to university and getting a degree but that doesn’t work for everybody and I think it’s good to know that there are other options especially speaking to people and not just seeing it online or reading a book. I would definitely say to get involved, you might find your future employee, I think it’s a really good thing to be involved in.”

-Lucy Rourke, Carnoustie High Alumni, Former MA at Thorntons Law, now working there training to be a paralegal.

Breadalbane Academy Jobs Fair

Breadalbane Academy Jobs Fair

On Monday the 20th June, Breadalbane Academy pupils were invited out of their regular classes to chat with around 20 different employers from the local area at the school’s Jobs Fair. The event was created after multiple employers who work closely with the school voiced that they were struggling to recruit staff. Due to it taking place just before the summer break, it also allowed pupils to find Summer work, learning and earning whilst on break from school.


Pupils enjoyed the fair, finding out from employers what opportunities were available on their doorstep, what different careers are available outside of school and much more. The event was split into 3 sessions, S3 & S4, S5 & S6 and then parents had the opportunity to attend after school. Pupils made their own way around the event, choosing to speak to the organisations and industries that they had an interest in. Attendees left feeling successful with many waiting to hear back from employers for evening, weekend and summer opportunities! 

DYW Tay Cities was also there with 10 virtual reality headsets, which brought pupils to various employer’s sites without the cost and time implications of traveling to the various locations.

Monica Young, Project Officer – Wider Achievement & Equity at Breadalbane Academy and Perth and Kinross Council said, “Breadalbane Academy has a long history of working in close partnership with the local business community and we were delighted to able to support them to overcome challenges around recruitment.  Part-time work plays an important role in pupils developing the skills they will require when they leave school and they enjoyed finding out about opportunities across Highland Perthshire.”

Young People Are Great Campaign - Spotlight on Hillcrest

Young People Are Great - Spotlight on Hillcrest

Hillcrest are a local organisation helping to lead the way with their commitment to the Young Person’s Guarantee. They offer Modern Apprenticeships in various specialities, support the progression of young members of staff, run a panel group of 16–24-year-old employees and facilitate work experience placements for school pupils.

As a result, we want to showcase how they value their young people, and highlight their successes and resilience.

“Hillcrest are delighted to be investing further in our young people.  It is important to us that we can offer the opportunity for our young workforce to grow and develop their career paths.   Not only that, we have found that as an organisation, working with young people brings new energy and perspective that generates new ideas and helps us think differently, and as a business, we need this.”

– Lesley Don – Director of corporate Services Hillcrest .

“I joined Hillcrest in March 2022 in their newly created role as Apprenticeship Development Officer.  I feel this role is an exciting challenge for me and feel grateful to work for such a forward-thinking organisation who are fully investing in their young workforce to address skills shortages and succession planning.

Within my role I have the opportunity to facilitate Hillcrest’s young person’s group which meets every 6 weeks where I consult and canvass opinions from them to help shape future decision making for the organisation.

Should you wish to know more about my role or our organisation please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing me on LEnglish@hillcresthomes.org.uk

– Lesley English – Apprenticeship Development Officer

“I think the benefits of recruiting young people into our business is to give them a place to learn and to obtain a qualification while gaining the invaluable on the job experience.

Nothing beats real life situations – meeting people, learning with colleagues, using the systems, helping customers – putting the theory into practice.

And the benefits for Hillcrest is that we get to support and work with young people with fresh ideas, no limitations, bringing their knowledge and expertise, paving the way for innovation and collaboration.

I have seen the change in confidence and this is growing all the time for the young people we have recruited.”

– Sarah Duncan – Accounts Payable Team Leader

As part of the Young People Are Great campaign, we also want to highlight some success stories from Hillcrest’s young members of staff:

“My name is Laura Bremner and I am a Communications and Media Assistant at Hillcrest. When I left school I applied for a college course but decided that I would rather just go straight into work.

I saw an Apprenticeship in Business and Admin at Hillcrest and decided it would be a good first step in my career. From this I have moved into a job role that I am really interested in and hope that the skills I develop will help me take my next step.”

– Laura Bremner – Communications and Media Assistant

“My name is Lottie Ireland and my current role is Learning and Development Assistant for Hillcrest. Before this I was doing my SVQ2 Level 3 at Developing the Young Workforce Dundee and Angus, so I did my Modern Apprenticeship there and then got a job here as a Learning & Development Clerical Assistant.

Working with DYW was a tonne of experience and it really forced myself to be in situations I didn’t want to be in but were good situations for me to be in.”

– Lottie Ireland – Learning and Development Assistant

“I joined Hillcrest straight from 5th year at St Paul’s in Dundee. I joined Hillcrest in January 2022 working as a Finance Assistant Trainee, I am currently studying for my AAT level 2 in accounting.  In the finance team I have worked between the account payable, receivable and the payroll teams.  The work between all three teams has varied from processing invoices to raising invoices.  Since joining in January I have really enjoyed my time here.”

– Dylan Austin – Finance Assistant Trainee

Thanks for sharing your success stories Hillcrest!

Young People Are Great Campaign - Spotlight on Haitham

Young People Are Great - Spotlight on Haitham

Haitham was brought to Dundee in 2017 from Egypt and was put into the care of the local authority. He was unable to speak any English at that time but engaged well with secondary school, despite having complex needs that mean that he relies entirely on the use of a wheelchair and requires significant personal support. However, Haitham remains an extremely positive, self-motivated and aspirational young man, who is exceptionally popular at school and is well regarded by both pupils and staff alike. Haitham was referred to the Stepping Up transition program run by Enable Works and engaged really well with his Employment Coordinator (EC).


Haitham had originally been interested in attending college to enrol in a course around Creative Media or Computer Gaming. However, due to his circumstances he did not meet the academic entry requirements for any of these courses and may have had to settle for something that wasn’t particularly meaningful to him or perhaps in a supported education environment.


Knowing that Haitham was an animal lover, having his own dog “Shadow”, and that he often watched nature and wildlife programmes on TV, it was mentioned to Haitham that he might be interested in finding out more about college course in Animal Care. This immediately piqued his interest and he was supported by his EC and his school career adviser to make an application for a suitable course. He was then supported by his EC to a visit to the college to show him the animal care facilities, to get a flavour of what would be involved and the animals that he could be caring for, and to also discuss and assess his needs in terms of logistical and personal challenges and potential considerations or adjustments in terms of learning and education supports.

Since, Haitham was subsequently invited to attend a group assessment and interview and he was successful in obtaining an unconditional offer of a course place of which he is extremely proud.


Congratulations Haitham! The DYW Tay Cities Team wish you all the best!

Warddykes Primary School Museum Project

Warddykes Primary School Museum Project

Tayside Careers in Healthcare Festival

Tayside Careers in Healthcare Festival

NHS Tayside, DYW Dundee & Angus and DYW Perth & Kinross have come together to organise this four-day online event targeted at S2 and S3 pupils, showcasing a wide range of careers within the NHS and Healthcare.


With various speakers from different professional groups the Tayside Careers in Healthcare Festival will give young people a real flavour of the variety of careers open to them, including Medical Physics, Nursing, Occupational Therapy and much more.


This event will be hosted over 4 days and teachers are welcome to sign their classes up for 1 or all 12 seminars!


The key Career Education Standards the Tayside Careers in Healthcare Festival meets are:


-I can identify my interests, strengths and skills and use them to make informed choices.


-I can choose a blend of subjects, courses and experiences to enable my career pathways.


-I can access advice and support to help me make informed choices about further learning and opportunities.


The key meta-skills developed through the Tayside Careers in Healthcare Festival are:






Critical thinking


For more information about each seminar and to book a space for your class via Eventbrite please click on the seminar titles below:

Monday 21st February

09:50 – 10:25

Anna Richardson

14:15 – 14:50

Derek Riley

Tuesday 22nd February

09:50 – 10:25

Sharon Young

11:00 – 11:35

Bernadette Brophy-Arnott

14:15 – 14:50

Jade Nixon

Wednesday 23rd February

09:50 – 10:25

Monica Hunter & Debbie Stafford

11:00 – 11:35

Carol Ann Bain, D&A College

14:15 – 14:50

Gill Reid

Thursday 24th February

09:50 – 10:25

Alix Mitchell

11:00 – 11:35

Kirsty Dalrymple, University of Dundee

14:15 – 14:50

Lily Hosie

Any queries contact:

Lynn Cunningham

DYW Dundee & Angus


John Robertson

DYW Perth & Kinross


Kitmart Dundee Stars Mentorship Programme

Kitmart Dundee Stars Mentorship Programme

The Kitmart Dundee Stars in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce Dundee & Angus (DYW) are delighted to announce that  they have chosen the candidates to become mentees.


Aaron Blake has won the opportunity to become a mentee with the Kitmart Dundee Stars for a 6-month period and Breann Mitchell has won the opportunity to become a mentee for a 3-month period.


Both of these young people will be mentored by GM and Head Coach of the Kitmart Dundee Stars, supported by Commercial and Community Manager Michael Ward and Community Officer Stephen Swann.


The mentees will be encouraged to keep a diary, blog, vlog and take pictures throughout their learning journey, that will enable them to finalise a report at the conclusion of each of their mentorship period.


Developing the Young Workforce Dundee and Angus team said, “We wish to congratulate Aaron Blake and Breann Mitchell on their successful applications for the Dundee Stars Mentorship programme. We are delighted that two young people are being given this opportunity where they will be equipped with skillsets needed for the workplace and given contextualized learning opportunities through being involved in various parts of the Dundee Stars business. We also want to thank Dundee Stars for providing this opportunity which will help the young people involved make decisions about their future career.”


Omar Pacha said: “We were impressed with all the shortlisted candidates and we thank those who entered the competition for their time and effort applying.”


“The successful mentees will get the chance to experience different aspects of the Kitmart Dundee Stars business and team, allowing them to interact with a wide range of roles and help them make an educated choice about their next steps in life.”


“Running a successful professional sporting team takes input from a vast array of experts, so this is a way of getting insight in a compressed way that could truly help shape their future career path.”


“Everyone at the Kitmart Dundee Stars look forward to welcoming Aaron and Breann to Dundee Ice Arena and the Stars family.”


“The mentees, along with our new marketing intern Jack Crerar will all gain confidence, while developing better communication and digital skills, that can translate to future employability and studies.”