Recruitment event planned this week

Major efforts to develop Shetland’s young workforce have been underway with an event planned in Mareel this week.

The so-called Biggest Parents Evening is scheduled to take place on Wednesday as part of the Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

It comes after a career’s event was held late last year which was attended by 50 employers – and was said to be an eye-opener for many of the young folk attending.

Members of the council’s education and families committee heard of the events when they met in the town hall on Monday.

It is hoped this week’s event could also help attract new blood to the teaching profession.

Director of children’s services, Helen Budge, said two young teachers were due to be on hand to provide information to anyone thinking of teaching as a career-path.

Information should also be on hand to encourage people thinking of going into childcare through the modern apprenticeship scheme – a profession which has seen a growth in numbers as the council rolls out its expansion of entitlement hours in early learning.

Mrs Budge added a successful careers event had taken place in November.

Children's services director Helen Budge.
SIC director of children’s services Helen Budge

“A lot of young folk said they did not realise the range of employment here in Shetland, and there were some things they had not even thought of doing, so that was really helpful,” Mrs Budge said.

A report before members showed a number of social work vacancies during the last quarter, forcing the service to take on agency staff.

Questioned by central councillor Davie Sandison, Mrs Budge said the service was encouraging engagement with careers events to help combat the difficulties experienced.

Recent efforts have focused on moves to “grow your own” staff, but Mrs Budge said Shetland was also being promoted through social media.

“We have, in the past, gone to colleges and universities and been part of their career events,” she added.

Religious representative, Martin Tregonning, said it could be worth combining forces with other bodies, such as the NHS, to share the costs of attending other career events on the mainland.


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