DYW Ayrshire Skills Conference

DYW Ayrshire held our first Skills Conference that formed part of the Ayrshire Business Week programme. 

The event took place on 6th October and welcomed over 60 employers who had the opportunity to hear about the support available to upskill their current and future workforce.   

The event focussed on three sectors: Built Environment, Engineering and Visitor Economy and gave employers a platform to speak about the challenges in recruiting in their sector and help to identify any gaps that our partnerships can address. 

Attendees received a warm welcome from DYW Ayrshire Regional Lead, Gillian Longmuir and Chair, Lorna Gibson. We were delighted to have Adam Reid, Deputy Director for Skills at Scottish Government, in attendance to witness our Innovative School Projects in action and speak directly with pupils about how these enhance their learning. 

Guest speakers North Ayrshire Council (on behalf of the 3 LAs), Ayrshire College, Skills Development Scotland and Digital Dairy Chain discussed the support available to businesses and members from the aerospace group: Chevron, Collins and Woodward, discussed their method of working together as a sector to combat their recruitment and retention challenges. 

We were also pleased to welcome some of our Innovative School Projects to showcase their pathway options: 

  • Ayr Academy – FutAyr Building blockwork construction 
  • Garnock Academy – Beehavin’ beekeeping 
  • Grange Academy – Another Angle photography 
  • Kilmarnock Academy – Brew 31 barista/milkbar 
  • Lockhart ASN Campus – Lockhart Growers horticultural skills & Bee Kind beekeeping 
  • Prestwick Academy – PAE (Practical Aero Engineering) 
  • Stewarton Academy – Bonnet around Bicycles maintenance & repairs 

After engaging with pupils, guests were split into sector for the workshops which opened a discussion about concerns as well as suggestions on how employers can better work together to overcome these. 

This event was the first of its kind and we look forward to planning more to target different sectors.