From far left: Graham Lorimer (Mentor), Jack Morrison, Amy Anderson, Amy Stevenson (Mentor) and Dianne McGregor (Internship Supervisor)
Walkers Shortbread have been involved in the Career Ready Programme for several years now to create better links to our local schools, such as Speyside High School in Aberlour.
Career Ready is a 2-year programme which links students with local employers to develop their understanding of careers, the right attitudes and the professional skills needed to gain employment. It involves matching the students with a mentor to guide them on their journey from education to the workplace. It involves masterclasses for both mentor and mentee along with workplace visits and a 4-week internship for the students. This whole programme is designed for those students who don’t necessarily have a clear career path.
This year Walkers had two Career Ready Students who completed the programme, Amy Anderson and Jack Morrison who both joined us from Speyside High School in Aberlour.
Amy Anderson spent her internship with HR, Marketing and Export:
“I decided to get involved as I knew the effect that the programme can have on students. The internship was a big step for me, having never have been in a workplace environment before.
Throughout the programme, I grew without even noticing. My confidence has since stretched and this programme has acted as the fuel to making me a better person. I’m able to network and enquire when I’m stuck or simply interested, something I struggled with before the programme. I’m able to work with new people and build relationships in short periods of time. I’ve learnt new skills and developed ones I never knew I had. I really enjoyed my time and everyone made me very welcome.”
Jack Morrison was paired with Graham Lorimer in our Maintenance Department due to his interest in Engineering and Electrical work. In the time that they had together, Jack grew in confidence and his communication skills with other people greatly improved. He learned a lot about general maintenance but was also given the opportunity to participate in some “real” projects.
“Being able to take part in projects helped to make me feel part of the team, I was treated the same as anyone else and learned a lot more about the world of work.”
Jack’s understanding of Electrical work also improved greatly and he found it very beneficial to see the Physics theory he learned in School being used in a practical environment.
Amy Anderson’s mentor, Amy Stevenson, went on to say:
“I first wondered what I could possibly give to anyone going through this stage of life however as soon as I met Amy we got on very well although she was very quiet and shy. I was hopeful I could help her with confidence during the 2-year programme and Amy really blew the department away during her internship. It was all about having the confidence to believe in the great work she produced – which I think she did by the end! She really was an integrated part of the team and I look forward to the next year exploring Amy’s next steps into her chosen History career path way and hope we can continue to help each other develop different skills from this experience.”
Dianne McGregor, Amy’s internship supervisor also added:
“I was thoroughly excited to be asked to be Amy’s Internship Supervisor albeit nervous as I have not had experience mentoring in the past. We developed projects for Amy which would benefit not only ourselves as a department, and a Company, but also Amy herself. They were specifically designed to enable her to develop her communication, analytical, research and presentation skills; which she absolutely excelled at. All of her recommendations and findings have been implemented and we could not be more proud of what she has achieved so far in her Career Ready journey. I personally found the experience very rewarding, so much so that I have enrolled to be a Mentor this coming year.”
It is our desire at Walkers that we continue to be involved in projects which add value to the community but also support the learning and development needs of our employees.