Pilot project at Portlethen

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A pilot project has helped to prepare pupils at an Aberdeenshire school for the challenges of life after the classroom.

The Gear Up 2 Go project helps to hone pupils’ skills for gaining and keeping employment, training or further education.

Eight pupils from Portlethen Academy took part in a series of workshops, training opportunities, The Apprentice-style challenges and college and workplace visits as part of the drive to boost confidence and improve life skills.

The Gear Up 2 Go project was developed and delivered by the Portlethen Community Learning and Development team, in partnership with Portlethen Academy, Skills Development Scotland and local employers, further education and training providers.

Certificates of achievement have now been awarded to the eight Portlethen Academy pupils after they completed the 12-session programme.

Senior community learning and development worker, Lynn Buchan, said: “This was our initial delivery of the Gear Up 2 Go project and we are extremely happy with the way that the young people engaged and developed throughout the past few months.

“We have seen great progress from all, with some gaining employment or a college place, while others see continuing at school as the logical step for now.”

Gear Up 2 Go was funded by Findon-based AMC Engineering Ltd, a company which is proactive in employing local school leavers.

AMC’s managing director Andrew Polson and operations manager Graeme Stewart presented the students with their certificates last month.

Mr Polson said: “Both Graeme and myself are very happy with the Gear Up 2 Go project. It is great to see the positivity from students that have been part of the project and we hope initiatives like this continue in the future.”

Plans are underway to continue the project and offer a new group of Portlethen Academy pupils the chance to develop new skills, after the summer holiday.

Chair of the Education, Committee, Cllr Isobel Davidson, said: “In a climate of increasing challenges for Scotland’s young people, it is fantastic to see projects like this one.”