RGU work experience pledge to benefit Aberdeen pupils

Secondary school pupils in Aberdeen will gain valuable work experience at Robert Gordon University (RGU) thanks to a new programme to provide opportunities for young people.

Working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Guarantees, RGU recently provided a one-week work experience placement for ten S3 pupils from Harlaw Academy.

Each pupil was placed in different university departments for the week including; Communications and Marketing, IT, Student Association, Estates Team and Academic Affairs.

There they gained experience of the working environment and were given specific tasks to complete during their time with the university.

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU, has also signed a pledge that the university will work in partnership with Aberdeen Guarantees to offer work experience opportunities to young people.

He said: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to provide work experience placements for the Harlaw Academy pupils.

“Our partnership with Aberdeen Guarantees is very important and supports the university’s continuing efforts to make a positive contribution to the north-east and also our commitment to develop young people’s skills.

“The university prides itself on its strong links with industry and graduate employment record, so being able to show the pupils how the organisation works behind the scenes lets them see how much we do to support our students.”

Leader of Aberdeen City Council Jenny Laing said: “The signing of the pledge commits the university to work with us to provide work experience opportunities for young people in Aberdeen and marks the first step of the new agreement. By developing our programme with RGU we will be able to give more young people a taste of the work environment.”

Sally Sweet, Development Officer for Aberdeen City Council’s Aberdeen Guarantees programme, added: “Working with RGU has been a delight and the first work placement week has been a great success for all those involved.”

Catya Macduff spent the week with the university’s Communication Team, where she drafted several press releases about different projects around the university which were published in the local media.

She said: “I really enjoyed my week at RGU, as soon as we arrived we were given a warm welcome and this is the impression of RGU that has stayed with me since.

“During my placement I learned a lot working with staff who gave me guidance and let me develop my own ideas. It was a great insight to the wider world of work and it was also nice to have a change from school and an opportunity to learn and use new skills.”

Fellow pupil, Anna Skelly, spent her week working with the team at the university’s Student Association.

She said: “I really enjoyed my week with the team as they were really nice and supported me if I needed help. The placement gave me the opportunity to see what it’s like to work in an organisation like RGU and learn more about the work that goes in to running different parts of the university.

“I also shadowed the principal during his visit to the Aberdeen Youth Games at Aberdeen Sports Village. That was a great experience as I got to meet lots of new people who gave me advice on what I might want to do once I leave school.”

Anne Douglas, Deputy Head at Harlaw Academy, helped forge the link with RGU for the Aberdeen Guarantees placements.

She said: “We are delighted with the opportunities our pupils have had to work with RGU on their recent work experience placements. They really enjoyed their time and many of them said how much they had learned both about RGU and about the world of work.

“For me, the biggest positive was seeing how the pupils gained in confidence over the week as their placements came to a successful conclusion.

“It’s great that the university has pledged to offer more opportunities to young people in Aberdeen to gain valuable work experience whilst they’re still at school. “

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