LifeScan Scotland, in partnership with The Scottish Community Foundation, Inverness College/University of the Highlands & Islands, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Highland Regional Council, and the University of the Highlands & Islands Millennium Institute developed a comprehensive and ambitious BTE program that sought to promote a positive attitude to education and, ultimately, increase the number of students attending institutions of further and higher education.
To achieve these goals, the site worked with students attending six secondary schools within LifeScan’s “Travel to Work Area” (Inverness Royal Academy, Invergordon, Millburn, Grantown, Alness, Fortrose). To make the most impact, the site offered a broad spectrum of activities that increased in intensity and duration over the course of the three-year grant.
In Year 1, the site worked with teachers and employees to develop teacher placement programs and company tours that align with key aspects of the schools’ curriculum. LifeScan also hosted a “BTE Road Show” at each school, where science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) ambassadors from LifeScan talked about their career paths and encouraged students to get involved with the BTE program.
In 2009-2010, 70 fourth-year students were selected to participate in “STEMINARS” (STEM information, navigation and revision sessions). Held at Inverness College/UHI, the 18-week course set the STEM subjects in context and included information on related careers. The STEMINARS also included a team-based, STEM-related, competitive project. STEM ambassadors—recruited from a number of local businesses—helped with each session. BTE students also participated in a variety of further education “tasters” and employability skills workshops. To engage and inform parents, the site also offered parent information sessions.
In the final year of the program, the site offered a core-group of fifth-year BTE students (30-36 students) a variety of job shadowing opportunities. BTE students also participated in targeted further education tasters, employability skills workshops, and mentoring from LifeScan volunteers.