Youth invited to extend their skills using new database

Prior to leaving school, pupils are encouraged to find volunteering, training or employment opportunities through the Youth Opportunities Database Aberdeenshire (YODA). The Database helps young people to develop themselves further and add relevant experience to their CV.

YODA was launched earlier this year, developed by young people who gathered the relevant information themselves, including the opportunities available. The site can be used by any young person and they can use the website to find opportunities from a variety of providers across Aberdeenshire, developing their skills and improving their prospects.

The resource is linked to Aberdeenshire Council’s own website, making it easier to find other useful information, such as bus timetables, leisure opportunities and health and financial resources.

It is envisaged that the YODA site will be used by employers as a central point for employment opportunities. This is a relatively new section and will be developed over the coming months, and hopefully supported by business partners.

Effectively the site gives providers free advertising for opportunities they may have and it can help fill vacancies while displaying them in an accessible central database.

YODA coordinator Pamela Munro said: “YODA provides an excellent opportunity for young people to develop their skill sets and improve their CV as well as getting more actively involved in the community.

“It can also raise awareness about opportunities and services, especially for those who might need more choices or chances in their lives.”

A result of a Scottish Government Initiative, through Skills Development Scotland, YODA was set up by approximately 20 young people, some of whom gained qualifications.

Mrs Munro added: “We hope that the programme will continue to have a positive influence on youth in the area and that this will become an increasingly important resource, which they will see as their own.”

It is also a valuable resource for council staff and teachers in the area who deal with young people leaving schools and in the following years.

Since its launch it has been continuously updated to include additional sections for events information, current news, a jobs section and to improve accessibility.

Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, Richard Stroud, emphasised the value of the database: He said: “YODA has proved to be a valuable resource already, and as it continues to improve, I hope we will see even more opportunities emerge to help develop young people’s skills and widen their experience.”

“It allows them to be proactive about their own future while giving providers an excellent opportunity to advertise their vacancies.”

Vice chair Isobel Davidson commented: “We hope that through this service local providers can help increase the chances of a young person reaching a positive destination on leaving school and also benefit from what they can offer.”

To view the YODA website please visit: http://bit.ly/ocZExa