DYW Case Studies & Testimonials

Case Studies, Testimonials and Amanda's Diary

On this page you'll find a lot of exciting and inspiring case studies of businesses and how they're supporting the DYW Fife initiative.

You'll also be able to hear the brilliant feedback that we've been left with. Maybe it'll encourage you to sign up to DYW and help us get Fife's youth into employment.

Lastly, you'll be able to see what our DYW Business Engagement Executive, Amanda has been up to, from her busy diary updates!

DYW Case Studies

On 16th June, DYW Fife hosted its Cake, Coffee and Careers session at Dunfermline Athletic Football Club.

The morning was an opportunity for local businesses to find out a bit more about DYW Fife and the different employability programmes that are running in the area.

During the event, delegates attended two 30-minute sessions with a representative from either Career Ready, Apprenticeships or Hand Picked from CR Smith. During these sessions they learned more what each of the programmes do and what the benefits are for their business getting involved in helping deliver the programmes. This also provided a great opportunity for our delegates to network with each other.

The morning was a huge success and had over 25 attendees from businesses across Fife including BAE, Balfour Beatty, Campion Homes, DPS Group, Ember Technology, Fife College, Flexcon, Forth Tech, Fife Gingerbread, Henderson Logie, Kingdom Group, Reel Service, Skills Development Scotland, TDC Parsons, HR Booth and Vilana Natural Beauty.

Amanda Liddell, DYW Fife’s Business Engagement Executive, organised the event and said:

“DYW Fife is employer led and it is so important to us to build and maintain relationships with local business leaders and educate them, not only on the work we already do but more importantly, on how they can get involved in providing career opportunities for Fife’s young people.”

Six of Auchmuty High School’s young people recently got the opportunity to undertake professional Barista training followed by a week-long work placement in a local coffee shop.

DYW Fife and the Fife Council Employability team worked together with the owner and CEO of Modern Standard Coffee, Lyndsey Harley, to provide employability skills to a group of young people in the form of Barista training.

Lyndsey is a former pupil of Auchmuty High School and both her and her team are very enthusiastic about their business and being able to give back to the community. It is hoped that this will be the start of a relationship with the school going forward.

Our young people visited Modern Standard Coffee’s new, purpose-built training facility at its factory in Glenrothes where they were given Barista skills training by Lyndsey and her team. Our young people were taught how the high-end barista coffee machines work and were given lots of opportunity to use them and make different coffees until they felt confident using the machines. Our pupils had a fantastic day learning these new skills.

Following their Barista training at Modern Standard Coffee, our young people had the opportunity to put their new skills into practise through a week-long work placement. Local businesses such as Caffe Caffe, Savage Kitchen, Madhouse Bakery and Devine Cakes provided the work placements, where our young people were treated as a member of staff and served real customers in busy coffee shop environments. It was hoped that some of our young people could secure a part-time job following their placement.

Feedback from the employers has been overwhelmingly positive. Mags from Devine Cakes said:

“I’m surprised at how quickly our work placement pupil got the hang of the work. I was originally only going to offer three days of placement but was so impressed that I kept the pupil on for the full week.”

Three of Glenrothes’ young people are currently undertaking summer work experience placements at Semefab.

Semefab has been in operation in Glenrothes since 1986 and is a silicon wafer foundry operation, manufacturing microelectronics and Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS).

Each year, Semefab runs its ‘Dr John Bruce Memorial Awards’ where it celebrates excellence in STEM subjects for S4, S5 and S6 pupils across Glenrothes, Auchmuty and Glenwood High Schools.

The awards were introduced in honour of Semefab’s late director, Dr John Bruce, himself a lover of STEM subjects. As well as marking his memory, the awards aim to promote STEM subjects and related careers and spark an interest in our local young people.

As well as receiving a trophy, the winners of the award are given a cash prize and the offer to take up paid summer work experience, working at Semefab’s vast production facility in Glenrothes.

Ciara McCulloch, who attended Auchmuty High School, was one of the award winners last year and took up the summer placement before heading off to the University of Edinburgh to study Biomedical Science.

Ciara had such a successful time during her placement last summer that she has come back this summer and has since been offered a permanent part-time position at Semefab which she intends on staying in until she finishes her studies.

Craig McGowan, another of Auchmuty’s award winners last year, was too young to undertake the work experience at the time but has come back this summer to gain valuable experience working in both the Quality Assurance and Probe and Test departments at Semefab.

Craig said:

“I was so pleased to still be able to take up the opportunity for work experience here a year later. It is such a positive and friendly environment to work in. I was a bit worried about coming in at first because I’m still so young, but I was worrying for nothing. Everyone is so welcoming and kind, they’ve really gone out of their way to make sure I get the most from the experience.”

Jacqueline McMillan is first pupil to take up the opportunity from Glenwood High School and will begin studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh in September. She said of the experience:

“This has been my first work experience and I’ve loved every second of it. Working in the fabs has allowed me to pick up so many transferable skills from working on different machines and making sure I’m working to the specifications set out by the engineers.”

Semefab has long supported the work of DYW Fife through providing funding to buy Lego League items and iPads for departments across the Glenrothes schools, as well as the ongoing Dr John Bruce Memorial Awards. George Smith, Production Manager at Semefab said:

“We love having the young people come in and get a first-hand taste of what working for a company such as Semefab is like. We like to give them exposure to as many of our different departments as possible. For us, it’s not just about getting the award winners in for work experience, we’d also like to do more to get those who are less engaged with school in for tours and work experience. For us, it’s about setting up Fife’s young people to have the most successful start in their career as possible.”

A new pilot programme, funded by Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Fife and the Interreg RIGHT project, and supported by Fife Council Employability Service and Culture of Enterprise, has been launched enabling 60 pupils from four of Fife’s high schools to gain an introduction into the construction sector.

The Westrigg Windfarm Project consisted of three days of site visits where young people worked together to plan and construct a working wind turbine and powerhouse from two-dimensional drawings. The young people were split into teams and had to assign themselves roles and plan on how to tackle the challenge of building the wind turbine. They were supported with the more technical aspects of the project but had to problem solve most of the planning themselves and were allowed to make mistakes. They were responsible for preparing the site, excavating, constructing the turbine, and wiring and electrics to make it a fully functioning wind turbine.

Speaking of the project, Ryan Hepburn, DYW Fife Lead at Fife Council, said:

“The project has exposed our young people to the construction sector, providing simulated hands-on experience and through this multi-phased development programme, makes our young people better equipped for the world of work.

“The enthusiasm shown by the young people and the collaboration of all involved to make the project a success has been fantastic.

“Providing such opportunities to learn about construction and renewables will hopefully allow our young people to make more informed decisions regarding their future career path.”

Brian O’donnell from the RIGHT project added:

“The RIGHT project has taught us that we need to create more opportunities for learning the skills required for the energy transition, from construction through to decommissioning. Projects such as the windfarm project are essential in achieving this aim.

“The young people were very engaged and have had the opportunity to learn some very useful, real world practical skills. Even just the experience of being on a building site will serve them well by giving them more confidence in the work situation.”

The project was delivered by ConStructEd Scotland at the Sibbald Training Facility in Armadale. The pupils also took part in an e-learning Site Awareness course and a one-day Site Safety Plus course prior to attending the site. The students are now being supported to complete the CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme) touch screen test, which is a minimum standard requirement for anyone wishing to work on a construction site.

Dale Lyon from ConStuctEd Scotland said:

“This was an opportunity well taken by Fife Council and its partners to give some of their young people the opportunity to develop their employability skills within a live working environment prior to launch of the project across the wider Scottish Schools network.

“The young people visibly matured as their projects progressed, becoming more confident as individuals but even more effective as team players and leaders as they delivered their functioning wind turbines and powerhouses safely, on time and within budget with a degree of quality to their workmanship.

“Anyone of them, on the completion of their CSCS touch screen test, would be a great addition to anyone’s workforce whether in or out with the construction industry.”

Pupils from St Columba’s RC High School, Queen Anne High School, Lochgelly High School and Beath High School participated in the project.

Jake Telford, an S6 pupil at Beath High School reflected:

“I really enjoyed being outdoors and getting hands on experience. I felt I gained more confidence in my ability to use my own judgement and work as part of a team.”

Kian Hendry, also an S6 pupil at Beath High School added:

“I was able to learn so many new things throughout the three days. I am delighted that I can now apply for my CSCS card.”

DYW Employer Engagement Testimonials

"I just wanted to say a huge "thank you" for all your help in facilitating connections with DYW Coordinators in Fife schools. You are evidently fully engaged with this initiative and I appreciate all the support you have given and the professional manner in which you have gone about putting me in touch with DYW Coordinators regarding the help I have to offer their young people.

I have made a number of good connections, with arrangements already made to go into two of the high schools. Additionally, I have been offered a stall at the Career Fair being held in Kirkcaldy High School. Discussions are ongoing for potential arrangements to go into other high schools as well.

Many thanks once again, and please do keep up the excellent work you are doing!" - David Weir from DiscoverYou.

“A massive thank you to Amanda and the rest of the DYW Team. International Testing Services have had a very successful introduction to Levenmouth Acadamy, and I am sure we will do further with them being our local school. We received very good feedback from the Students and Teachers involved in the day.

We are in communications with Levenmouth and other schools in the local area to bring more hands-on experience to the Engineering programmes and it is a fantastic initiative to be involved.” - George Sheilds from International Testing Services Ltd.

Amanda's Diary