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Dounreay represents north at young workforce award finals

Dounreay’s site licence company DSRL is celebrating after winning an award for its commitment to develop the careers of its young workers.

It has won the North Highland Region Developing the Young Workforce (DWY) award.

The company will now go up against the Inverness and West Region winners and will find out next week if it will take the top Highland-wide category prize at the Highland Business Awards.

It will compete against Daviot Group (Inverness Region) and BSW Timber (West Highland Region) at the sell-out award ceremony at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness next Friday.

Following a launch earlier in the year, DYW Inverness and Central Highland forms part of the wider Scottish Government youth employment strategy and aims to foster a culture of collaboration between schools, partner agencies, employers, parents and young people to bridge the gap between learning and working.

Trudy Morris, Chief Executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, which is leading the DYW North Highland initiative, said: “We would like to congratulate Dounreay on its recent regional win, celebrating its commitment to engaging with young, local people through the implementation of its Ready, Steady, Work programme, as well as its focus on the development of flexible skills which can be used throughout the business.

“This falls in line with the overarching mission of DYW, which is to ensure our young people have the skills and confidence they need to make the seamless transition between school and the workplace.”

A company with a rich history, Dounreay has always focussed efforts on the recruitment and training of predominantly local young employees, seeing them develop from junior roles to senior management through its apprenticeships, graduate schemes, training programmes and school engagement.

Dounreay has also established lasting links with local schools and North Highland College UHI (NHC), supplemented by more than 50 STEM ambassadors inspiring young people to enter STEM-related careers.

The development of the Ready, Steady, Work programme has seen S4 and S5 school pupils develop the skills required for successful school-workplace transition, including CV preparation and interview skills.

Underpinning Dounreay’s development programmes are a wide range of qualification options, including SVQs and HNC/D engineering systems courses in collaboration with NHC.

Graduate contracts officer Ruth Mackay (24), from Dornoch, joined the company last summer – attracted by the opportunity of working closer to home following her graduation from Robert Gordon university, Aberdeen.

“I came across the vacancy with Dounreay on the graduate recruitment website, Prospects, which was perfect for me,” she said.

“Not only was it close to home but also it was graduate level, and offered development opportunities with a well-known company in an exciting industry.”

Mechanical fitter Euan Ramsey (20) from Thurso, was has family links to Dounreay, has celebrated his first week as a time-served tradesman after four years.

“My Father was employed with Dounreay for a number of years and my brother is currently and electrician,” he said. “Like them, I want to gain a trade.

“The Training is intensive and thorough, with plenty of hands-on training. The apprenticeship programme meant I was able to earn a wage while also being able to stay in my community.”