Park School Skills Academy launch April 2023

Park School were delighted to launch their Skills Academy in April. This would not have been possible without the wonderful support of Walter Smith MBE & Wilson Barrie from developing the young workforce & the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce who were instrumental in guiding the school on their journey.


The Skills Academy will help to develop vocational, employability and life skills through structured projects, delivered within the curriculum and as part of the school timetable. The projects will help prepare pupils for the world of work either in the short term straight from school or in the medium to long term after further education. The skills academy aligns with the schools vision that, “At Park School learning is for life” ensuring that the skills developed will lead to pupils having the transferable skills for employers and ultimately enable pupils to gain employment.


The projects are delivered by either college lecturers or appropriately qualified and accredited teachers supported in a number of cases by external partners or individuals with knowledge, experience, and qualifications in the particular field of activity. The pupils develop employability and life skills including the core skills referred to as the 6C’s and have the opportunity to gain accredited qualifications recognised by various sectors giving them equality of opportunity.


Three exciting projects make up the Skills Academy:

  • Grand Park Café where young people learn barista skills supported by Miko Coffee
  • The Cycle Shed where young people learn about bike repairs
  • Shimmer and Shine a training beauty salon

All projects are funded by DYW and supported by Ayrshire College.


Provost Jim Todd and Lord-Lieutenant of Ayrshire and Arran, Sheriff Iona McDonald OBE, cut a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the innovative Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Park School Skills Academy .At the special event, Head Teacher Carol-Anne Burns was also joined by Walter Smith, Business Ambassador DYW Ayrshire, Wilson Barrie , DYW Employer Engagement Officer ,Councillor Elaine Cowan, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning, Education and Skills and Culture; local member Councillor James Adams, representatives from SL33 and Lorna McCandlish from Miko Coffee Scotland.

Pupils presented their journey starting with their Barista Café entitled Grand Park Café. The Café prides itself in delivering legendary home baking made on the day as well as a wonderful Barista service for the local community. The Café also has a takeaway service which caters for the campus community enabling teachers and support staff to have their pre orders ready saving them precious time.

The second project launched was the Shimmer and Shine beauty salon which will not only develop skills in nail and beauty but wider skills involving personal achievement awards, enterprise and personal development awards. The project involves working and engaging with the local community. The nail bar enables pupils the opportunity to build their soft skills essential for the world of work. Pupils will build confidence, communication skills as well as a range of transferable skills.


The third project the Cycle Shed will enable cycle repair and maintenance within the campus and again serving the local community. The Cycle Shed and Shimmer & Shine nail bar are both supported in partnership with Ayrshire College demonstrating true partnership working with a shared vison and shared goals for our young people.


The support of DYW, Ayrshire Chamber, Ayrshire College, local businesses and the local community with our projects will build a sustainable future for our pupils, enable barriers to work to be broken down and skills for work developed. The school is delighted at the opportunity it has been given.