Find a job in school time

7th September 2001 at 01:00
When an annual three-day roadshow failed to get over job opportunities as effectively as Glasgow Careers Service had hoped, it hit on the idea of setting up mini job centres in schools. The Jobshop project, funded by Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and GCS, displays vacancies in schools.

The more conventional approach to posting job notices for school leavers left many vacancies unfilled because there were not enough applications or suitable candidates. Jobshop's intention is to increase both the quality and quantity of applications, and it has been so successful that the Institute of Career Guidance has shortlisted it for an award.

When the project began in 2000, initially running from January to March, 25 employers with a total of 372 vacancies took part. Earlier this year 38 companies sought applicants for 582 vacancies.

The range increased too, says co-ordinator Katy Gordon, who is deputy district manager in the GCS's south-west office in Cardonald. "We have expanded into horticulture, hospitality, catering and tourism. We have also seen a rise in the number of retail posts advertised."

More traditional forms of employment on Clydeside are not ignored, though. This year, the number of construction vacancies advertised rose from 114 to 236 and engineering positions from 139 to 163.

The head of Govan High school in Glasgow, Ian White, thinks the jobshops are excellent. He says: "A range of real jobs are on display and pupils are given support from the careers service with their applications."

Employers are delighted as well. Peter McNaught, the training manager with the Babtie technical and management consultancy, has had a wider choice of trainees and says their calibre "is even higher than in previous years".

Hugh Lawson, manager of the security products manufacturer Pointer, reports a big increase in the number of job applications, better qualified applicants and more relevant information on the application forms.

This session, five schools are to pilot a scheme within personal and social education time. Ms Gordon says this aims to "introduce pupils to real employers".

Mark Steell, the office's district manager, says one of Jobshop's successes has been to raise awareness of opportunities in the labour market."Our priority is to get jobs filled,"he adds.

John Cairney

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