First ever DYW Forth Valley conference is hailed a success

Ken and Jen at DYW Forth Valley Conference

First ever DYW Forth Valley conference is hailed a success

More than 150 attendees joined Developing Young Workforce (DYW) Forth Valley at their first ever conference today (Thursday 22 November).

Delegates heard about DYW’s success stories, their future plans and took part in a series of interactive ‘Focus On’ sessions at the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel in Polmont.

The conference was specifically designed to energise attendees to consider the challenges and opportunities associated with developing the area’s young workforce to their full potential.

DYW Forth Valley’s ‘Be Inspired’ Conference brought businesses, local authorities, 3rd sector organisations and educators together to inspire innovative partnerships to better prepare young people for the world of work. The local businesses were also encouraged to consider how they could offer exciting, educational and effective employment opportunities for the area’s young people.

Graeme McEwan, Chief Communications Officer, Standard Life Aberdeen plc delivered the motivating opening speech which clearly laid out the national priorities of the DYW Regional Groups network whilst also highlighting the successes achieved so far in Forth Valley and beyond.

Keynote speaker at the event was Forth Valley College Principal Dr Ken Thomson who discussed how the benefits delivered to our young people, when the Educational and Business sectors collaborate to develop the young workforce, can be truly life changing.

Other key DYW Forth Valley partners The Robertson Group, Drummond Laurie and Falkirk, Stirling & Clackmannanshire Councils were also in attendance and led the pivotal “Focus On” sessions with attendees.  These hands-on sessions got everyone interacting and covered themes, critical to both young workers and employers alike, such as Standing Out From The Crowd, Skills for Success, The Impact of Partnership, Improving Equalities and Being Inspired.

Jen Henderson, DYW Programme Manager, said: “It’s wonderful to see local business leaders from so many industries, and the 3rd sector, meet up with representatives from local schools plus further education and training providers to create new partnerships and platforms from which to help further develop the young workforce across Forth Valley. We can’t thank everyone enough for coming along. Our inaugural conference has been such a success that we’re already working on ideas for next year!”

DYW Forth Valley Chair, Margaret Mary Rafferty added: “We hope that delegates will take away at least one key message from the ‘Focus On’ sessions and use it to inspire and prepare young people for the world of work.  Judging by the number of pledge cards that have been filled in, we can see that those who attended have been galvanised and intend to commit to making a difference to our young people.  Further to this, the launch of our DYW Innovation Fund will help to support putting some of the pledges and innovative ideas into practice for Forth Valley’s young people.”

Forth Valley College Principal, Dr Ken Thomson, said: “I was delighted to give the keynote speech at DYW Forth Valley’s ‘Be Inspired Conference’ and contribute to what was a very important event to help improve the opportunities available to young people in this area. DYW Forth Valley are carrying out excellent work in this regard and Forth Valley College take great pride in supporting them in their efforts.”

To find out how you can get involved please call 01259 726690, e-mail getinvolved@dyw.forthvalley.ac.uk or visit dywforthvalley.com. Follow on Twitter @DYW_forthvalley

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