Project Description

In this series, we introduce the board members of DYW Fife and share why they wanted to get involved with the initiative. In this edition, we introduce you to Sarah Raeburn.

About Me and Career Journey:

Current Role: Director, Raeburn Training

I’m Sarah Raeburn, a Kirkcaldy resident originally from Cowdenbeath, and my career has taken me through diverse paths, across a number of business roles and industries. Starting in statistical roles at the Scottish Office, I transitioned into financial services, evolving from business analysis to project management with a focus on management and board reports.

When our children arrived, I stepped away from the corporate world and my daily commute to Edinburgh. I joined forces with my husband in running a construction company, wearing multiple hats from finance to HR, commercial operations, health and safety, and IT. Witnessing the company grow to 85 staff, I particularly enjoyed developing new initiatives and seeing the positive results.

Five years ago, it was time for a change so I founded Raeburn Training. Initially centred around health and safety training rooted in the construction industry, the company has since expanded to offer over 120 training courses across multiple industries, with a national reach. Crucially, Raeburn Training collaborates with the employability sector, providing vocational safety qualifications for new job roles.

Involvement with DYW Fife:

Our engagement with DYW Fife began at career fairs, sharing information about supported industries and vocational training. Collaborating closely with the employability sector, we provided guidance to students on support networks and funded routes. Working with DYW and the Fife Council Employability team during civil high school academies, we highlighted construction sector opportunities, offering insights into projects, roles, entry routes, and coordinating site visits with our clients.

Passion as a DYW Fife Board Member:

As a DYW Fife board member, my passion lies in supporting  pupils with their career choices and seeking opportunities within industry for them to take their first steps. Pupils face the challenge of choosing a career from a vast list of roles and industries. Often, they follow familiar paths, but key skills shortages in industries necessitate reaching out to inform them about available options. I believe in the effectiveness of presenting industry insights and allowing pupils to experience workplaces through work placements.

DYW Fife’s Main Challenge and Contribution:

DYW Fife’s role is to prepare young people for the world of work. A key challenge, as I’ve observed since joining the board, is employer engagement. Bridging the gap between educators, employers, and parents is crucial for preparing youngsters for the workplace. With thousands of employers in Fife, the challenge is to bring them closer to sharing skills, knowledge, and expertise with students, helping them understand workplace expectations.

Encouraging Involvement with DYW:

To those considering involvement with DYW, I emphasise the opportunity to address the shortage of skilled labour and attract new entrants to their industry. Companies facing challenges in recruitment can stand out and showcase themselves as employers through various means, such as site visits, school partnerships, career talks, and work experiences. Even committing to one activity annually can collectively make a significant difference. If every Fife employer took one step, the collective benefits would be substantial, effectively bridging the gap between education and employment and supporting the young person’s guarantee.