Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
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SQA helps Midlothian pupils get work ready

Pupils from Dalkeith’s Newbattle High School can now approach the world of work with greater confidence, thanks to a visit by volunteers from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

The workshop saw fourth, fifth and sixth year students gain valuable employability skills by taking part in mock interviews, which allowed them to identify their skills and experience.

It is hoped that the young people will now be able to approach a real interview with greater confidence. The Scottish Government’s Developing the Young Workforce programme aims to reduce youth unemployment, and as an employer and the national qualifications body, SQA is well placed to assist.

The team from SQA, who spent the morning at the school, were able to do so thanks to the organisation’s volunteering scheme which sees staff use their allocated volunteering hours, for initiatives like the one at Newbattle High School

Maidie Cahill, SQA Director of Corporate Services, said: “The pupils at Newbattle High School embraced the opportunity to gain some of the skills they’ll need for a successful move into the jobs market. The SQA volunteers who ran the workshop also found it a really rewarding experience. SQA offers a range of qualifications, including our Employability Awards, which give learners the practical skills they’ll need to help them reach their full potential.”

Liam Porteous, Principal Teacher of Monitoring and Tracking at Newbattle High School, said the workshop provided the pupils with a useful insight into the world of employment. He added: "SQA has been an excellent partner to the school and the volunteers have been enthusiastic and engaging in their interactions with our young people. The one to one ratio has allowed our pupils to feel valued and filled with confidence.”

Beth Kinnear, a sixth year pupil at the school, says she was given useful tips from an SQA Modern Apprentice: “I felt that she had a better understanding of the process of going through interview situations leading into a career, and she was able to give me an excellent insight into what is required, and take the time to pass this information on to me. I am confident that I can use the skills from this workshop to benefit me when it comes to my own interviews.”

Fellow pupil Brendon Turnbull, who is in fourth year, added: "The workshop was beyond my expectations and I was really impressed with the delivery of the information. I now feel comfortable about what to do and what to avoid in interview situations. Overall, a really valuable experience for me."

Find out about SQA’s full range of wider achievement qualifications at

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