Culloden Academy pupils get taste of job interviews via education / industry partnership

Students at HIGHLAND schools received an intensive course in job interview skills thanks to a partnership between teachers and local industry leaders.

Employees from 15 companies in Highland conducted mock interviews with more than 125 S4 students at Culloden Academy to help improve employability and teach interview technique, preparing them for the world of work.

The event was facilitated by Inverness and Central Highland’s Young Workforce Development (DYWICH), which works in partnership with schools and business professionals to help find new ways for young people in the area to find work.

Don Gillis, DYWICH School Coordinator at Culloden Academy, said: “As young people progress through their studies, many will start looking for part-time jobs – or work after leaving school. It is essential that we equip them with the skills they need to enter the world of work.

“In just two and a half hours, more than 125 students participated in mock interviews with representatives of some of the largest employers in the region. Students were able to choose a company in an industry they would like to work in, and gain real-life experience of what it is like in a situation Apply for a job.

“Students received feedback on their performance, as well as CV reviews, helpful hints and tips for the future. Employers are keen that students begin to explore future opportunities in employment, apprenticeships, and mentorship with them.”

Companies in the Highlands are encouraged to support young people in the world of work by subscribing to the Youth Guarantee – a government program that allows companies to commit to helping the workforce of the future. This commitment can take many forms – from attending school events to providing work experience training or career advice.

Johnstons of Elgin had already signed up for the guarantee and was one of the Highland companies participating in the session at Culloden Academy. Emma Hay, Director of Learning and Development, said: “At Johnstons of Elgin, we are always looking for new ways to engage with young people in a meaningful way, and support them in discovering the world of work.

“We had the pleasure of being asked to participate in the mock interviews for S4 students at Culloden Academy. It provided our staff with interviewing experience, while building young people’s skills and confidence with the time they needed to apply for part-time jobs and out-of-school pathways.”

Highland businesses who participated in the interview session at Culloden Academy included the Johnstons of Elgin, Morrison Construction, and Capgemini – who all subscribed to the Young Person Guarantee. They are joined by NHS Highland, Highland Hospice, Redelk Design and Marketing, Ironworks Venue, Crofting Commission, Forestry and Land Scotland, Lifescan, BAM Nuttall, MacLeod & MacCallum, Munro & Noble, Smart Media Scotland and Dynam Marketing.

The development of a young workforce in Inverness and Central Highlands is part of a national framework for employer-led regional councils across Scotland. Formed as part of the Scottish Government’s youth employment strategy, and hosted by the Inverness Chamber of Commerce, the group aims to develop sustainable links between schools, colleges and employers. DYW Inverness & Central Highland, in partnership with employers, shapes the workforce of the future and helps better prepare young people for the world of work.

For more information on DYWICH, School Participation and the Youth Guarantee, visit or follow DYWICH on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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