Bridge to employment builds inter-school teams

Tomorrow (Wednesday 30 September) it won’t be just squirrels swinging through the trees in the Cairngorm National Park as over 70 pupils from six Highland secondary schools will be taking part in outdoor activities as part of an educational programme aimed at helping the youngsters gain insight into careers in health care.

The Johnson & Johnson Bridge to Employment programme encourages young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths by providing activities such as workshops, teacher placements and mentoring. It aims to encourage more students to enrol in further education and to address the health care worker shortage.

Secondary pupils from Invergordon, Alness, Fortrose, Grantown and both Millburn and Inverness Royal in Inverness will be taking part in the activity day. Held at The Highland Council’s Outdoor Education base at Badaguish Outdoor Centre, the young people will embark on team building exercises, including both physical and mental challenges designed to bring the groups of young people together, break down any barriers and let them get to know each other and members of LifeScan staff in a fun and informal way.  These teams will work with each other for the duration of the Bridge To Employment programme.

Part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, LifeScan Scotland is one of the first European companies selected to host the Bridge to Employment programme.

LifeScan Managing Director, Willie Printie, said: “We are delighted to be able to deliver this highly respected initiative.  Since Johnson & Johnson launched Bridge to Employment in America in 1992, thousands of pupils have benefited in several countries.  I believe LifeScan employees will also benefit as they will have the opportunity to develop their mentoring and coaching skills by getting involved in the programme.”

Chairman of The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Service, Councillor Bill Fernie said:  “The activity day will be a great chance for pupils who are considering their future careers to really get to know the other students and adults they will be involved with during the Bridge To Employment programme. I’d like to thank our skilled and dedicated team of instructors at Badaguish for their efforts to make the event a success. I am also very grateful to the LifeScan employees for taking the time to help the young people think about possible careers using maths, science, technology and engineering skills and to achieve their full potential.”

Bridge to Employment is being delivered through long-term partnerships with the Scottish Community Foundation, the UHI Millennium Institute, The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The programme is funded for four years.

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29 Sep 2009