We work with businesses and schools to build capacity in language and employability skills.

Broughton High School

School: Broughton High School
Project: Broughton's Working
Level: Gold
Date: May 2020

Broughton High School has a strong tradition of promoting languages and employability, and have previous involvement with the SCILT Business Languages Champions scheme.

Their project this year spanned a wide range of languages, year groups and pupils. They have well-established links with local businesses, tourist groups and third sector organisations and they have built on these connections in order to demonstrate to pupils the value of languages in the workplace. 


Their project included the following different employability-focused events and experiences:

  • S1 Spanish: pupils took part in a rotation of lessons in Language, Business and ICT which combined to make the Enterprising Edinburgh course.  Pupils learned some Spanish, business and ICT skills and had to make a pitch to an audience, Dragon’s Den style, to promote Edinburgh as a study destination for Spanish young people.  In partnership with Visit Scotland, pupils had the opportunity to visit the tourist information office in the Royal Mile and interview Spanish speaking employees using the Spanish they learned in the short course.  
  • S3 Mandarin: pupils visited the Balmoral Hotel for half a day where they took part in a Cultural Awareness session to learn about how the hotel manages cultural sensitivities and the requirements of different nationalities, with particular focus on how the hotel caters for Chinese speaking guests.  The students had a tour of the hotel, learned about the different aspects of the hospitality industry and took part in a workshop where they learned about successful CV writing and interview techniques.
  • S4 Employability: The S4 Modern Languages for Life and Work class undertook a creative, hugely worthwhile project as part of the unit on Building Own Employability Skills; in partnership with Social Bite they developed their own business called Helping Hand, and designed, marketed and sold language themed t-shirts.  Pupils ran the business and made a profit of £100 which was donated to Social Bite.  As part of this, pupils visited one of the Social Bite restaurants and interviewed the manager to find out more about social enterprise.
  • S4-6 Languages Week activities: In September the school organised an event for S4-6 students in which speakers came in to talk about how languages have been useful in their line of business and how languages could enhance a student’s employability prospects in future.  This event featured local businessman James Brodie, CBBC cartoonist and translator Lise Morel and a former student, Isla Melee, who discussed her work in Spain a part of her Erasmus year.
    Later, the department also contributed to the school’s Careers fair for S4-6 students by arranging for contributions from a publisher, Janice McNeillie, a translator, Robert MacIntosh.  and an employee of the fashion company Coach Mathilde Maes. They were all able to speak of their experiences of using languages in the workplace.

This is an excellent submission from Broughton High School and their partners. There is a wide range of partnerships with businesses, third sector and other organisations, covering a variety of languages and interest areas within the field of Employability. We were very impressed by all of projects, and the fact that they involve and impact a significant proportion of the learner cohort in the school. 

The projects are impressive in the variety of ways in which they convey the importance of languages to pupils, fostering the importance of citizenship and cultural understanding as well as language skills. Feedback shows that the culture of the school values languages and that these projects have contributed significantly to this, in some cases being directly responsible for changes in pupil attitudes to languages. The motivational effect of the projects is unquestionable.

The well-established partnerships have on-going long-term potential. This is an exemplary approach to developing young people’s learning about the world of work and their understanding of the value of language skills to their future employability.

University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages