YOUNG people from four Borders schools have taken part in a business and languages event.

S3 and S4 students from Earlston High, Jedburgh Grammar, Kelso High and Peebles High joined 120 learners from across the Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders areas for the Business Brunch in Edinburgh's Dynamic Earth.

The event on January 15 demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education and beyond.

Pupils heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

A teacher attending the event said: “Today’s event has opened my learners’ eyes to languages as a key skill for work in all industries, and as something to enrich their lives.”

One of the young people added to this, and commented: “I learnt that languages are useful for everything, including my personal life. I also discovered that knowing a language makes you a lot more employable. I didn't expect places like Dynamic Earth to have languages as one of their work experience opportunities.”

Lynn Houmdi from Maroc-o-phile and one of the speakers, stated: “The event was really well-organised. I chatted to people on a few of the stands and was really impressed that so many companies and organisations are actively seeking language skills.”

Sophie Dawes, Project Officer at Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian regional group, and one of the organisers, stated: “Giving young people an opportunity to hear directly from businesses across a broad range of sectors highlighted why continuing with languages at school could be so beneficial to opening up a world of opportunities beyond school. With a variety of industry led workshops and exhibitors speaking directly with young people, everyone had opportunities to be informed and inspired.

"The day was action packed from start to finish and the feedback received from young people and teachers has been so positive. We’re already looking forward to planning for 2020!”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde, in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian, West Lothian and Borders regional groups together with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS).

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “In these times of uncertainty, it is even more important than ever that we equip our young people with the skills they will need for life beyond school. We want them to be outward-looking and able to operate in an interdependent world. Events such as these highlight the importance of language skills and intercultural competencies in the world of work.

“The business leaders who speak at these events give of their own time because they understand how much these skills are needed and valued by employers and how vital they are for Scotland’s business community. This kind of collaboration is an example of how education and business sectors can work together for their mutual benefit so that we can support young people and help them develop the portfolio of skills that employers require in their workforce.”