The Career Ready programme has marked a major milestone with a record number of students graduating since it started back in 2011.
Around 500 students from 114 schools in 12 local authority areas across Scotland celebrated completing the Career Ready course during a special ceremony at Perth Concert Hall on Thursday, March 28.
In Aberdeenshire both local and national employers have supported Career Ready students, including Aberdeenshire Council, Amec Foster Wheeler, Anderson, Anderson & Brown, Associated Seafoods and Bon Accord Care Group.
They do this through mentoring, providing a paid internship, running masterclasses and opening their doors for workplace visits.
As a result of a four-week paid internship for each Career Ready student last year, £525,000 was injected into the Scottish economy.
In addition to celebrating the achievements of those graduating the programme in 2019, the ceremony gave special recognition to those who made significant progress as a result of the programme with a selection of special awards.
Abbie Welsh, of Meldrum Academy, was named ‘Aberdeenshire Student of the Year. She said: “My internship was one of the best things I’ve ever done, it made me feel more confident in myself and allowed me to do things I never thought I could do.
“My mentor, Helen, helped me feel sure of myself. She encouraged me to talk to more people and pushed me to do my best.
“I would like to thank her so much for believing in me and supporting me through every step of my internship.
“My plan for the future is to work in journalism or in media, and Career Ready has given me confidence to be able to question people and fully engage in this area.”
Her Mentor, Helen Low of Bon Accord Care, added: “When I first met Abbie, she was very shy.
“In her internship for Bon Accord Care at Balnagask House Care Home she worked with other staff and the residents, who really enjoyed spending time with her, and I could see her developing her people skills.
“As her mentor, it is tremendous to see how the programme has given her so much confidence and how this will benefit Abbie as she goes forward in her chosen career.”