School pupils get work ready at GCU

05 June 2015

The pupils teachers, parents and guardians attended an event at GCU to mark the end of the programme

The pupils teachers, parents and guardians attended an event at GCU to mark the end of the programme

Secondary school pupils from Glasgow have taken part in Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Work Ready Action Programme (WRAP), which aimed to boost their confidence and employability skills by helping them to develop skills in fact finding, creative thinking, and team building. 

During the four-week programme, the pupils from Castlemilk High School and St Margaret Mary’s Secondary School took part in a series of self-awareness workshops and team assignments. They were also given a tour of the University campus and introduced to the world of work via a number of industry visits, including Sainsbury’s, ScotRail and the Blythswood Hotel.

A ceremony on Friday, May 29 marked the end of the programme. The pupils’ teachers, parents and guardians attended the event at the University and were welcomed by Professor Toni Hilton, Dean of Glasgow School for Business and Society, who congratulated the pupils on completing the programme and encouraged them to “be brave, brace opportunities even if they’re daunting, and develop new skills.”

Chaida Wairumbi, from St Margaret Mary’s, said: “I’ve really enjoyed the WRAP programme, especially the visit to the University’s fashion factory as I would like to be a fashion photographer. The programme has made me realise that I can study a part-time fashion course at GCU and work at the same time.”

The programme has also encouraged Ryan Wilson, from Castlemilk High, to think about his future. He said: “It’s been a good experience, there’s a great atmosphere at the University and the people are really friendly. I’ve always wanted to learn a trade but I never thought I would be able to do this at university as I always thought it was only the smartest people at school who could go to university. Now I realise it’s so much more than being smart, it’s also about your other skills.”

The WRAP programme was launched by GCU’s Glasgow School for Business and Society in 2014, marking the start of the University’s three-year strategic partnership with the two secondary schools, through which GCU staff members work closely with the school’s senior management, teachers and pupils to design projects that will have a lasting impact for the learners. It is delivered as part of Glasgow School for Business and Society’s active engagement with Scottish Business in the Community (SBC) and its Business Class programme, which provides a framework for businesses and other organisations to support young people by forming long-term partnerships with the schools they attend.

Dr Alec Wersun, Senior Lecturer and GCU Community and Public Engagement Fellow, leads on the University’s engagement with SBC. He said: “In line with the University’s commitment to the common good, our Work Ready Action Programme is an example of how Glasgow School for Business and Society is using its wealth of skills and knowledge to make a positive contribution to the communities we serve.

“WRAP aims to transform the lives and the thinking of the young people who take part, by helping them to develop new skills, introducing them to further and higher education, and industry and, above all, making them realise that everyone’s smart in their own unique way.”