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 Jessica McQueen.

Jessica McQueen, the Employability Manager at NHS Fife, is responsible for supporting local employability outreach and raising awareness of the various roles and career opportunities within Fife, as well as identifying and creating pathways for new and current staff to develop within their roles such as modern apprenticeships, graduate pathways, and work experience opportunities.

Career Journey:

Originally from Yorkshire, Jessica moved to Scotland for her business degree, recognising the importance of gaining practical experience alongside academic qualifications. Her career began in student recruitment and marketing. However, her passion shifted towards supporting underprivileged individuals in Fife to raise their attainment and make informed career decisions. A postgraduate degree in Career Guidance followed, leading her to her current role as Employability Manager at NHS Fife, a position she has held for three years.

Involvement with DYW Fife:

Jessica’s involvement with DYW Fife stemmed from her role at NHS Fife, with the aim of engaging young people. Recognising DYW Fife and the Young Persons’ Guarantee (YPG) as crucial avenues for connecting with local young people, she aimed to leverage the NHS’s anchor position for recruitment to positively impact the local community. Jessica was particularly drawn to addressing the challenges faced by the NHS in the context of an aging workforce and saw DYW Fife as an ideal platform for sharing knowledge and making a meaningful impact.

Passion and Contributions to DYW Fife:

As a board member of DYW Fife, Jessica is most passionate about supporting individuals to be career-ready and discovering new opportunities and pathways into careers. She believes in creating a community and fostering relationships between schools and employers to provide students with insights into various career paths. Her primary focus is on preparing young people for the transition from education to the workplace.

Challenges and Solutions:

DYW Fife’s primary challenge, as identified by Jessica, lies in helping students navigate career choices after leaving school. The organisation aims to create a bridge between students and employers, offering various pathways through work experience and placements. By fostering engagement between schools and employers, DYW Fife seeks to educate students about different careers and provide opportunities to interact with professionals, ultimately preparing them for the world of work.

Advice to Potential DYW Participants:

  • Parent & Pupil Perspective: Jessica emphasises that traditional education has limitations in preparing young people for life and work. She encourages parents and pupils to engage with DYW Fife to equip themselves with essential tools for career success, including CV writing, work etiquette, and awareness of available opportunities.
  • Employer Perspective: Jessica notes that DYW Fife aims to provide a range of rewarding opportunities for employers to collaborate with young people, contributing to their development and growth. However, she highlights that it can be difficult to get employers on-board with local schools in Fife.

In conclusion, Jessica McQueen’s journey from student recruitment to employability management highlights the importance of connecting education with practical experience. Her involvement with DYW Fife underscores the organisation’s commitment to bridging the gap between education and employment, ensuring that young people are well-prepared for their future careers.