Rising Stars – helping young people into training, education or employment

Friday, 23 September 2016

Eleven young people recently participated in a two-week Rising Stars programme to support them into training, education or employment.

This joint initiative between Fife Council and Tree of Knowledge (TOK) helps Fife’s disengaged young people to gain the skills and confidence required to move into employment, modern apprenticeships or further education and, ultimately, into a positive destination.

Now in its fourth year, the results from the innovative Rising Stars programme are overwhelmingly positive, proving that these programmes work and are sustainable.

So far, over 40 young people from 19 high schools across Fife have benefitted from a Rising Stars intervention, with some participating in a work placement as part of ongoing support.

Work placement opportunities have included health care, joinery, construction and beauty. Some of these students have gone on to gain apprenticeships, others have accessed Further Education or other training to gain additional qualifications.

This year’s programme included a 5k hike along the Fife Coastal Path with a residential element taking place on the Isle of Arran at an activity centre. Through challenging, hands-on activities, educational and motivational workshops, students have improved their team-working skills, creative thinking and resilience.

These workshops helped the young people identify purpose and new methods of self-motivation. They were challenged to think differently about opportunities and, more importantly, take them and make the most of potential future career choices. Ultimately, the young people involved finished the programme equipped with skills for learning, life and work.

Councillor Lesley Laird, Depute Leader and Spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said: “I am delighted that our fourth Rising Stars programme has been such a success. This is a pioneering programme that supports young people to gain employment or take up modern apprenticeships.”

“In Fife we’re committed to improving social mobility through education and giving all young people the opportunity to prosper. This scheme helps to develop crucial soft skills that young people need to succeed in the work place. The experiences offered can be life-changing for our young people, and they benefit local employers who need a well-skilled workforce.”

Through Fife Council and TOK’s unique Enterprise Challenge activity, Rising Stars students were challenged to develop their own company, build revenue, manufacture products and turn a profit.

A celebration event to mark programme completion took take place recently at Cambo Estate near St. Andrews. Tree of Knowledge and Fife Council were joined by the Rising Stars families and teachers, along with invited dignitaries, to congratulate the participants on their massive success.

For more information visit www.opportunitiesfife.org