An exciting new initiative to boost the number of work placements available to young people across Perth and Kinross will be launched on Friday (May 18).

Specifically targeting small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), the #learnaliving campaign is being delivered by Developing The Young Workforce Perth and Kinross (DYW), and aims to sign up more employers by removing any doubts, barriers or misconceptions to offering work placements, and helping them discover why the process is good for business.

The campaign is being supported by a host of well-known local business leaders – Derek Petterson (CEO, McLeod Gaziers/Meldrum Construction), Scott Hadden (Chairman, Hadden Group), Charlie Taylor (Charlie Taylor Hair & Beauty), Praveen Kumar (Tabla Restaurant), Tricia Fox (Managing Director, Volpa), Mark Riddell (Managing Director, m3), Jim Brown (Group Commercial Director, Binn Group) and Nicola Martin (Managing Director, Small City, Big Personality).

They all agreed to become #learnaliving ambassadors after seeing the tangible business benefits first hand through their own involvement in work placement and programmes.

The #learnaliving campaign was previewed to representatives of the Perth and Kinross business community at a breakfast event in Perth’s Lovat Hotel on Tuesday (May 15).

Titled ‘Why Working With Young People Makes Business Sense’, a packed audience heard from #learnaliving ambassador Derek Petterson, who talked about his ongoing commitment to offering work placements and apprenticeships.

Derek Petterson, CEO of McLeod Glaziers and Meldrum Construction said: “We actively promote opportunities through apprentice programmes and work placements, giving young people the chance to come and work at our sites. I am delighted to be involved in the #learnaliving campaign and would encourage other employers to do the same.”

He was joined by Vicki Unite (Chief Executive, Perthshire Chamber of Commerce), Fiona Reith (Manager, Developing The Young Workforce), Elaine Gorman (Manager, Barclays Life Skills) and Sam Greer (Business Engagement Advisor, Skills Development Scotland) who all spoke about how engaging with young people can bring fantastic business benefits and help support local communities and the economy.

Speaking after the event, Steven Stewart, Chair of the Perth and Kinross DYW Regional Board, said: “Work experience is the key to unlocking the door of work. It opens up opportunities for young people to showcase their talents and build new skills, and for employers it’s a great route to securing their talent pipeline and helping their business grow.

“At present, only around 1 in 10 of the 6,000 or so employers in Perth and Kinross are offering work experience opportunities to our young people. If our City and the wider region is to capitalise on the huge opportunities ahead, we need work experience to be an integral part of how we all do business.

“Our #learnaliving campaign celebrates employers who are already playing a leading role in helping our future young workforce, and we also hope to encourage other businesses to see how easy it is to get involved and reap the benefits.”

To find out more about the #learnaliving campaign, or to sign up to the work placement programme, contact Fiona Reith on 01738 476431 or email getinvolved@dywpk.org.uk

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