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Holyrood Secondary student wins award for employment success

Ryan Thorne, a S6 student from Holyrood Secondary in Glasgow, has won a UK-wide award recognising his achievements during the Career Ready programme. As one of just two students selected as national winners of the Sir Winfried Bischoff award, Ryan will be going on an all expenses paid trip to New York in August.

Career Ready is the ambitious national charity that links schools with businesses to help prepare young people for the world of work. Now working with more than 90 schools across nine local authorities in Scotland and growing, the charity aims to bridge the gap between education and the world of work by giving young people access to real experience, through a personal mentor, an internship, masterclasses and workplace visits.

During the programme Ryan, from Toryglen, completed a four week paid internship at Morgan Stanley. The experience gave him the confidence and skills to gain a part-time job at five star hotel, The Radisson Blue.

Ryan said: “I wasn’t enjoying school, and wasn’t sure how I would do in my exams so didn’t really think about going on to further study and thought I might become a joiner. Now I know I’m definitely not going to be a joiner – I want to go to university and I’ve had an offer to study Accountancy and Finance.

“I now see how important education is, as no-one in my family ever really took an interest in it. I will be the first person in my family to go to university, and my twin and I are the first people in my family to finish the senior phase of school.”

Ryan’s mentor, Andie Krauss, Vice President of Access Management at Morgan Stanley, said:

“When I compare Ryan from the first time I met him to where he is now I can see an incredible transformation. The first time I met Ryan he came across as a quiet, almost a shy young man who had a lot of questions around his future.

“When Ryan finished his four week internship he was a completely different person. He really enjoyed his four weeks at Morgan Stanley and his confidence grew noticeably. You could see that he really enjoyed working in this environment and loved the responsibility he was given.”

Ryan, who is a young carer, has also been shortlisted for a Young Scot Award this year. Speaking about winning the trip to New York, Ryan said: "To be the Sir Winfried Bischoff winner for Scotland and for the UK feels like such an achievement and one I’m very proud of. There have been many highlights throughout the programme but nothing tops this.

"I've never been to a city like London and this was huge, but to find out tonight that I'm going to have the chance to go to New York is even bigger and I'm just so delighted to be going. Career Ready is the opportunity that just keeps on giving."

Career Ready’s Director for Scotland, Anne Wexelstein, said:

“Ryan continues a fantastic record for us as the third Scottish student to have won the overall UK award in four years. He is a fantastic role model for younger students and the progress he has made on his Career Ready journey shows the huge impact that our employer supporters can have on these young people. I am so happy for him and delighted that he will have the opportunity for a trip of a lifetime to New York.”

Ryan’s mum, Annemarie Thorne, said: “I’m speechless. To see Ryan up there tonight and see the difference in him compared with two years ago is totally amazing – I’m just bursting with pride.

“This whole experience isn’t just about the kids, and it’s not just about the employers – it’s also about the parents, because we don’t always get listened to but Career Ready gives us the boost to make our kids believe what they’re capable of.”