Learning while earning at DYW Moray
Every member of the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Moray team is currently undertaking or has completed a learning course while continuing to carry out their everyday roles and responsibilities.
Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) is the Scottish Government's youth employment strategy to better prepare young people for the world of work. Across Scotland, there is twenty-one DYW regional groups and DYW Moray is one of these.
Learning starts at the top with DYW Moray's Programme Manager, Sarah Barnes, who is studying a Masters of Business Administration.
Sarah said: "I chose the course to enhance my knowledge on theory related to business management, particularly my strategic thinking.
"I really enjoy learning and being able to apply what I have learned in theory to my role in a practical sense.
"It is very flexible in how it is delivered. Classes are in the evening, and I really enjoy some of the core topics including leadership and change management."
The employer-led organisation also employs four School Co-ordinators who work in all of Moray's secondary schools and work with a wide range of employers.
Jolene Young, a School Co-ordinator with Lossiemouth High School and Speyside High School, is currently carrying out a British Sign Language course and a BA (Honours) Business Management (Leadership Practice) degree.
Jolene said: "I am just coming to the end of the fifth year of my (part time) degree programme and will complete in May 2023. I chose my degree so that I could get the qualifications needed for my future role aspirations and I really enjoy the challenge of it!
"As well as a degree, I also chose to do a British Sign Language evening course because it is something I had always been interested in and I wanted to be more inclusive. The BSL experience is great, and so are the people who are on the course."
Amanda Hedley, a School Co-ordinator with Elgin High School and Milne's High School, is taking part in an introductory counselling course. She was offered this through working with DYW Moray and has completed some short courses in counselling in the past.
Amanda said: "I feel this course will help when I am engaging with people and more so as a mentor with Mentoring Young Talent.
"The course has just started, although it has been very interesting so far in relation to listening and paraphrasing skills."
Carinne Taylor, a School Co-ordinator with Forres Academy and Elgin Academy, is completing a Modern Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing.
Carinne said: "I chose the Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship because I wanted to gain a qualification to cover the knowledge I had gained in previous and current employment."
"The apprenticeship is enjoyable because it allows you to use aspects of your daily work tasks and build on the skills continuously gain."
In 2021, Kelly Cormack, a School Co-ordinator with Buckie High School and Keith Grammar School, completed her Masters of Business Administration (Executive) and passed with a distinction.
"I chose my Masters to increase the possibility of becoming a lecturer in business, which I am now doing as well as working with DYW Moray, and I really enjoyed my Master’s research project and writing my dissertation." she said.
Two former Foundation Apprentices, Phillip Wood and Emma Milton, are also both completing Modern Apprenticeships in Digital Marketing while working with DYW Moray.
Phillip said: "As well as working with DYW Moray, I also work with DYW North East and I am involved with a variety of different tasks and work with different people.
"I enjoy being able to put what I have learned working with both groups into the context required for my course and I enjoy being able to put what I have learned with my coursework into practice with DYW Moray and DYW North East.
"A Modern Apprenticeship is completed over a longer period of time and this is something that I like. With school exams, I think it is unfortunate that your strong capabilities are judged only by the work that you do in an hour or so instead of the hard work that you carry out throughout the rest of the year."
About her course, Emma said: "I chose a Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship because I gained an interest in social media from my previous apprenticeship and thought that it would be interesting to find out more in-depth knowledge about digital marketing.
"I enjoy the fact that I am able to go at my own pace and I enjoy learning through presentations and notes, as well as being able to put that knowledge into evidence and adding it to my course portfolio.
"I also enjoy being able to choose some of my units as they are more tailored towards the tasks that I undertake with DYW Moray."
DYW Moray's Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeships are delivered by the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA).
Aimee Stephen, DYW Moray's Business Liaison, has travelled the full apprenticeship journey and has carried out a Foundation Apprenticeship with NHS Grampian, a Modern Apprenticeship with DYW Moray and then moved onto a Business Management Graduate Apprenticeship in BA (Hons) at Robert Gordon University with DYW Moray.
About her course, Aimee said: "I decided to do the Graduate Apprenticeship as I wanted to undertake an Honours degree but also wanted to continue working. The fact that this course involved work-based learning is what made it most attractive as it brings the theory that I am learning to life.
"I enjoy the flexibility of the course as I can learn the course material when it best fits around my personal and working life. I also find it interesting to find out how other businesses operate and approach different scenarios."
If you would like to find out more about DYW Moray, check out our About Us page.