BUSINESS leaders from across the Borders are heading back to school over the coming weeks as part of the Business into Education initiative, organised by DYW Borders.

The innovative programme offers representatives from various businesses, including the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA), Hawick Flood Prevention, Mainetti, Spark Energy, and the Peebles Hydro Hotel, the opportunity to take part in a range of timetabled activities.

The packed schedule includes tours of the school with S3 Ambassadors, participation in timetabling discussions to identify work experience partnership opportunities, and business studies class visits.

Sally Paterson from the SPPA said: “As employers, we rarely get the opportunity to meet young people in a school environment; this is an excellent approach.

"Not only did I thoroughly enjoy my back to school day but, as an employer, I can see the benefit in working in tandem with our schools, and other businesses, to increase our youth employment”.

During their time at school, business leaders learn about the issues faced by pupils as they make the transition into the world of work, and challenges faced by education in keeping up with an ever-changing curriculum.

It is hoped the employers take this learning back to the workplace and use it to inform recruitment and retention plans for the future workforce.

Earlston headteacher Justin Sinclair said: "It was wonderful to welcome our visitors from SPPA to Earlston High School recently.

"Schools and businesses working in partnership is of paramount importance to ensure we help meet the needs of young people.

"The more we can learn from each other the better for the future workforce."

The Developing the Young Workforce Borders team, based in Selkirk, ensure that placements are relevant to the employment opportunities within each school’s catchment area.

Sara Ward, DYW Borders Programme Manager, added: “The initiative demonstrates a clear commitment from our partners to bridge the gap between industry and education.

"For Borders businesses, not only does it raise the profile of those committed to developing the young workforce, but it also helps our young people identify the pathways available after school, and employment opportunities."