Students across Ayrshire attended the third Annual Conference of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Ayrshire last week.

It gave delegates the opportunity to hear from young people, educators, and employers who have benefited from being involved with DYW Ayrshire and the partnerships that have been developed.

Employers heard how engaging with education can support them to nurture future talent pipeline, engage with their local community and support young people in their career aspirations.

The conference was hosted by Steering Group member and MSYP, Aaran McDonald.

Keynote speakers included Douglas Hutchison, Depute Chief Executive and Director of People – South Ayrshire Council, Rob Woodward, Chair of DYW Employer Forum and Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills.

David Smith, managing director of Ashleigh Building and DYW Chair closed the event and said: “The conference showcased the many successes that have been achieved in Ayrshire.

It highlighted ways that all sizes and sectors of employers can become involved in education and help develop Ayrshire’s young people into our future workforce”

Rob Woodward, Chair of DYW Employer Forum said: “It was a pleasure to hear more about the great work that is being led by the DYW Ayrshire team. It is clear that DYW is becoming embedded in Ayrshire schools and is beginning to make a difference to the career prospects and aspirations of Ayrshire’s young people.”

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills said: “I was pleased to be able to join the Developing Young Workforce Annual Conference to hear how young people, educators and employers have benefited from being involved with the programme.

“Through a transformation in how employers engage with the education and the skills system, we are improving the work readiness of Scotland’s young people. Across the country we are seeing substantial progress, particularly in Ayrshire where I have seen first-hand that progress in action.

“Developing the Young Workforce is Scotland’s youth employment strategy, with the main aim being to reduce youth unemployment levels by 40 per cent by 2021, which I’m delighted to say has already been achieved – four years ahead of schedule.”