Intern project launched

The Intern Project, a new initiative devised by a local Stonehaven Community Councillor, was launched this week.

Phil Mills-Bishop has set up the Intern Project which is in partnership with the co-operative group and Aberdeenshire Council and which hopes to provide youngsters with the skills and confidence required to enter the work place.

Stephen Kelly, Co-operative & Membership Manager said: “The project fits very nicely into our programme of supporting both local concerns and young people. The Co-operative Membership is committed to supporting local communities. This project will help unemployed youngsters and/or those who have a vague or no “positive direction” not only to gain skills and work experience that will hopefully help them in their career or employment prospects, but also in seeing them become more confident, creative and responsible individuals.

“If the two month pilot is successful we may look at further support and perhaps develop the

Initiative. Phil has come up with the additional idea of a making a mini “fly on the wall

Documentary” charting the progress of the Interns and will hopefully be able to present that

to us in Grampian in due course”

The first local beneficiary of the Intern Project is Mearns FM Community Radio with over

£600 of new recording and software equipment as well as a £1000 cash grant. Chairperson of Mearns FM Radio, Alan Sanderson, said: “This is just the type of project that Mearns FM Radio wishes to be involved with. Not only does it give us much needed financial help and new equipment but also visibility within the community and every prospect that at least some of the Interns will, in the longer term, come back to us as presenters.”

Mearns FM Radio presenters. Alan Craig, Ian Hunter, Garry Brindley, Raymond Christie and Ken

Venters will give their time and expertise and will work with the Interns on technical appreciation, broadcasting style and audio digital integration. Also Jean Forsyth, Primary School IT Specialist, who has been arranging outside recording assignments with local Primary Schools on what they are doing to celebrate the forthcoming Summer Olympics.

All of the assignments are designed to help the Interns produce their own 1hr “live” show

on Mearns FM at the end of their Intern month. Skills and experience acquired during their

month (some 40hrs) will be recorded in an Assignment Passport; additionally a Certificate of

Accomplishment will be presented.

Local careers advisers and youth services have been supportive of the project. Aberdeenshire Council 16+ Learning choices Coordinator Pamela Munro said: “We have a number of young people in Aberdeenshire who for whatever reason require additional support to move onto further learning, training and/or employment.

Aberdeenshire Council’s MCMC partnership actively seeks organisations to offer

Opportunities that are person centred to increase confidence, improve communication and

support the young person to develop new skills.”

The first two interns to take part in the project and started at Mearns FM this week. Johnathan Penman (16) from Stonehaven who recently left Mackie Academy and hopes to study Music at Aberdeen College in September Mikey Henderson (18) from Laurencekirk who has been unemployed since leaving School will work together at the community station. Johnathan said: “When I met Phil for coffee he was dead right about young people having bright ideas and willingness but many are somewhat afraid or just do not know how to turn their ideas into action in the real world. This initiative is just what my peer group is looking for. It is exciting, innovative and professional with guidance from the current real Mearns FM presenters. I am looking forward to the project and working on the diary. I am sure the experience will help me secure my place on the music course at Aberdeen College”.

For a picture of the launch of the project see page 22.