Young people in Turriff preparing to leave school and submit applications to universities, are being encouraged to find local volunteering opportunities, training and employment to further develop themselves and their CV through the Youth Opportunities Database Aberdeenshire (YODA).
YODA was launched earlier this year and is developed by young people who gathered the relevant information, including available opportunities.
Any young person can use the website to find opportunities from a variety of providers across Aberdeenshire, developing their skills and improving their prospects.
The resource is linked to Aberdeenshire Council’s own website, making it easier to find other useful information, such as bus timetables, leisure opportunities and health and financial resources.
It is envisaged that the site will be used by employers as a central point for employment opportunities. This is a relatively new section and will be developed over the coming months, and hopefully supported by business partners.
It effectively gives providers free advertising for opportunities they may have and can help fill vacancies while displaying them in an accessible central database.
YODA coordinator Pamela Munro said
YODA provides an excellent opportunity for young people to develop their skill sets and improve their CV as well as getting more actively involved in the community.
It can also raise awareness about opportunities and services, especially for those who might need more choices or chances in their lives.
A result of a Scottish Government Initiative, through Skills Development Scotland, YODA was set up by about 20 young people, some of whom gained qualifications.
We hope that the programme will continue to have a positive influence on youth in the area and that this will become an increasingly important resource, which they will see as their own.
It is also a valuable resource for council staff and teachers in the area who deal with young people leaving schools and in the following years.
Since its launch it has been continuously updated to include additional sections for events information, current news, a jobs section and to improve accessibility.
Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, Richard Stroud, emphasised the value of the database saying
YODA has proved to be a valuable resource already, and as it continues to improve, I hope we will see even more opportunities emerge to help develop young people’s skills and widen their experience
It allows them to be proactive about their own future while giving providers an excellent opportunity to advertise their vacancies.