The Young Enterprise Scotland Company Programme has been a consistent part of many school’s programme of learning in Scotland for many years. This year at James Gillespies High School in Edinburgh, as part of the S5 choice electives which take place during period 1 on a Wednesday, eight of their young people have opted to join the Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) Company Programme which is the ultimate business experience for S5 and S6 pupils in Scottish High Schools.
With the support of Young Enterprise and their volunteer business adviser, Jenny McLay, the pupils have set-up and run their own company which they have called ‘The Edinburgh Bottle Company’. Jenny has recently opened ‘The Choclatarium’ on Cranston Street and her advice has been invaluable to the group so far. The programme is designed to develop a wide range of skills and this has included a training event at the RBS HQ at Gogar, where the group participated in workshops with guest speakers and entrepreneurs talking about their business experiences.
On the 7th December, the group took part in the YES Christmas Market where they joined teams from across the Lothian Region to sell their product which are upcycled bottles made into candles, plant pots and lights.
The students have enjoyed the experience so far and their words are testament to that as one of them said;
“We were assigned roles based on our skills set and have enjoyed brainstorming ideas. Young Enterprise really supported us starting up with the Lothian Launch event at RBS and our business advisor, Jenny McLay. It is great to get a real insight to the business world”
This year for the first time the students have the opportunity to gain a qualification. Following a jointly-funded collaboration between the Scottish Government, the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership (SCQFP), Glasgow Kelvin College and YES, the programme now sits at SCQF Level 6 with between 26 - 30 Credit Points, meaning that students’ hard work and entrepreneurial drive will be even more easily recognised by future education providers and employers.
This very impactful programme could not be delivered without the hard work of the Centre Lead in the School, Mairi McLennan, and the wonderful team of volunteers led by Mark Mackenzie Smith. If any schools would like to learn more about the opportunity to participate next year, they can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Similarly, Young Enterprise Scotland is always looking for volunteers and sponsors in Lothian area who can assist and they too should contact email@example.com