A St Modan’s High School pupil is the first to take up a paid internship at the University of Stirling as part of a national scheme to open up the world of work to talented young people from underrepresented backgrounds.
During the four-week Career Ready placement, Laura Buxel, age 16, will work with experts on the Hydro Nation Chair (HNC) programme who are delivering research and innovation to support Scottish Water’s Net Zero strategy.
Laura has already visited a new technology trial at a Scottish Water wastewater treatment works, she will review the recent Scottish Government report ‘Pathways: A new approach for women in entrepreneurship’ (published in February 2023), and interview female entrepreneurs and business leaders.
At the end of her placement, Laura, who is from Stirling, will make recommendations to the HNC team on how they can make the HNC Technology Innovation programme more inclusive.
The programme’s vision is to establish and maintain an agile research and innovation community enabling Scottish Water to transition beyond Net Zero by 2040.
Laura said: “This internship has been a fantastic opportunity. I have enjoyed getting my first taste of a 9-to-5 job, and I have gained lots of transferable skills in interviewing and analysis to aid me in the future. It's also been great to meet many new people across the innovation and water sectors, as well as some lovely co-workers.”
Laura was mentored by David Millar, Senior Innovation Fellow in the Hydro Nation Chair Research and Innovation programme.
David said: “Being a mentor on Career Ready is incredibly rewarding. To play such an important role in a young pupil’s development and future pathways is a real privilege.”
David will continue mentoring Laura until she graduates from the programme in April 2024, carrying out regular one-to-one meetings to ensure Laura achieves the goals she has set for herself: confidence building; understanding problem solving approaches; taking advantage of networking opportunities; and identifying career pathways after leaving school.
Empowering young people
Career Ready was founded in 2002 by leading business figures with a mission: to boost social mobility by empowering young people and giving their talents a platform to flourish. The programme has grown across the UK and reached 200,000 young people, including supporting 30,000 on their high-impact, Career Ready post-16 programme.
In Scotland, Career Ready works across the country to ensure every young person progresses to a positive post-school destination and is able to prosper in the world of work. More information can be found here.
More information on the HNC programme can be found here.