A BORDERS-wide government initiative to help pupils into the workplace is celebrating its third birthday.

The region-wide scheme, which was established at the start of 2017, is one of the 21 programmes in Scotland aiming to prepare young people for the world of work by bridging the gap between industry and education on a local level.

Sara Ward, DYW Borders programme manager, told us: “Year three for DYW Borders has been a remarkable success, really building on the solid foundations of previous years.

“We have engaged with more young people, established stronger working relations with more businesses and strengthened our links with those in education.

“The staff, board members and employers are proud to have achieved so much across the region as part of this national programme and we look forward to doing even more in 2020.”

Over 23,000 young people in the Borders have already been involved in the initiative by attending one or more of the 354 events which have been organised or supported by DYW Borders.

A total of 308 local businesses and partners have also had a hand in the success, including Scottish Borders Council, NHS Borders and Borders College.

Colin Gracey, a principal teacher at Berwickshire High School, said: “The team at DYW Borders has had a huge impact on our young people at Berwickshire High school, helping influence all our curricular areas with the employability skills needed for the work place and also building those local business partnerships for our young people’s future careers.”

A wide range of initiatives have been organised by Developing the Young Workforce Borders, such as, work experience, careers fairs, workshops, and apprenticeships during the three years, ensuring a stable foundation for thousands of young people starting out in the working world.

On the group’s anniversary, DYW Borders has reached out to thank local businesses, schools and organisations for their ongoing involvement with the group.

One parent of a Borders pupil expressed their support for the group.

She told us: “DYW Borders has been a huge help to me and my son, who has a rare medical condition.

“We worked together with the programme team to pull together a bespoke work experience plan whilst he was in school.

“This has had an amazing impact on his confidence, and he is now studying at Borders College.

“I don’t think he’d ever have managed this prior to the work experience arranged by DYW Borders.”