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Former St Duthus pupil thriving in Third Sector placement after support from Highland Council training programme

By Hector MacKenzie

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Sean Prentice: 'I like baking the cakes and seeing the customers eat them with a smile.'
Sean Prentice: 'I like baking the cakes and seeing the customers eat them with a smile.'

AN Easter Ross lad with a flair for the outdoors has landed a paid placement that plays to his strengths.

Sean Prentice, an a former pupil at St Duthus school in Tain, has securing his Third Sector paid placement with For You Training.

Sean was referred to Highland Council’s employability team in the run-up to leaving school in June of this year for support in looking at options available to him.

Kim Douglas, Employability Officer for client services, met with the then head teacher Lee Williams, Sean’s parents and Scott MacFarlane of My Future My Success team. Working in partnership and closely involving Sean himself, it was very quickly established that he had a flair for the outdoors.

It was agreed that on leaving school Sean would work with the employability team to gain some work experience with For You Training, which was very successful, and it was clear to see the potential that Sean had.

This was converted into a Third Sector paid placement opportunity for him, and he is now employed on a part-time basis there. Sean works both in the garden areas that For You Training has as well as in the kitchen of their Café 11, baking cakes and making sausage rolls.

He said: “I like baking the cakes and seeing the customers eat them with a smile. I really like working in the garden and I have planted the herbs ready for using next year in the café. It’s good to be busy and I really like it here. I’m the head gardener.”

Ashley Ross, managing director of For You Training which is based in Tain said: “It has been a pleasure supporting Sean through his training and work experience and to see how his confidence and skills have grown within this time. We look forward to Sean continuing to work within the team and to see how he progresses over the next six months.”

Chair of Highland Council’s economy and infrastructure committee, Councillor Ken Gowans, said: “I am delighted to see that Sean has secured this position and wish him well for his future.

“It just goes to show that by working with partners and creating the right environment that we can provide opportunities and outcomes for all, so I also want to thank our Highland Employability Services team for their great work.”

Kim Douglas employability officer with Highland Council added: “Sean has taken this opportunity with both hands and has exceeded expectations. The employability team are very proud of what he has achieved so far and look forward to catching up with him again soon. Our team will continue to work closely with Sean and For You Training to support his placement and growth.”

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