Rowena Worthington is currently doing an internship through Adopt an Intern. She accompanied AAI to the Scottish Government's big graduate funding launch in Campbeltown on 27 August 2013. Read all about her story.
We left Edinburgh early on the Tuesday morning and, after a 4-hour drive which included some beautiful scenery and a surprise meeting with John Swinney (Minister of Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth) at Loch Fyne, we arrived in Campbeltown for lunch at the Royal Hotel, before making our way to Macleod’s construction site. Here, the First Minister Alex Salmond was due to meet the team and open the site. Mr Salmond was introduced to the workers on the site, and then to us. He also made a speech which included his plans to increase funding for graduates.
It was a staggering statistic to hear that only 25% of companies in Scotland currently employ graduates. Mr Salmond stated that even to increase this number to 30% would make a huge difference. It is probably a fear that many graduates, having been in full time education for the majority of their lives, will lack experience in employment. However, intelligence, diligence, social skills, plus a keenness and willingness to learn, are some of the many skills possessed from years of intensive study; these are perhaps overlooked by employers.
It is a deep shame that this is the case, and that even in buzzing cities such as Edinburgh, so many are struggling to find jobs. Having been unemployed, I understand the struggle there is having so many broad and diverse career options available, and knowing how much you have to offer, yet simply not being able to break in. I highly commend Adopt an Intern for continuing to try and bridge this gap, and also Mr Salmond for taking action to give the young and unemployed more opportunities, including in more rural areas which may go unnoticed, such as Campbeltown.
The eagerness to learn and gain experience that many young people possess was modelled when we visited the team at Inspiralba, a local social enterprise. There we met Ailsa Clarke, Jess Morkel and Andrew Hughes. There is soon to be another intern joining them, facilitated by Adopt an Intern. It was wonderful to meet these folk and to see a genuine passion in both these young people for what they do. It was also such a great example of the opportunity that internships give to young people to explore the options that they have not yet had access to in their education.
In the evening we attended a reception at Campbeltown Grammar School where Mr Salmond gave another talk. It was a fantastic evening; I never thought I would have the privilege of meeting so many Scottish Ministers and get to network like that. The staff at the school were lovely and really pleased to have us all there.
A bit about me:
I applied for a post through AAI in March this year as Junior Administrator at Mearns & Company Chartered Financial Planners in Edinburgh. I was successful in my application, and secured a 6-month internship, which was soon turned into a permanent role.
Top image, left to right: Angela Constance - Youth Employment Minister, Rowena Worthington - Intern at Mearns & Co, Iain Boyd - Intern and Employee at Energy North, Ewan Hunter - Adopt in Intern Board Member, the First Minister for Scotland, Joy Lewis - CEO Adopt an Intern