Bishopbriggs Academy wins Scottish Languages Employability Award

Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

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Bishopbriggs Academy is the first secondary school in Scotland to gain a Gold Scottish Languages Employability Award.

The school received national recognition for its work to promote languages as a key skill for employment and received its coveted Gold Award at a ceremony in the University of Strathclyde earlier this month.

The Scottish Languages Employability Award (SLEA), developed by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, encourages innovation and creativity in the promotion of language skills through meaningful engagement between employers and schools.

Bishopbriggs Academy submitted a wide range of projects from across the school: language-promotional events, Gaelic film projects and German science projects. Using the toolkit to capture the school’s innovation allowed Bishopbriggs to become the first secondary in Scotland to gain a Gold Award.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “The Award recognises the achievements of schools and learners who have ensured that language skills are at the heart of their Developing the Young Workforce agenda. Three quarters of employers report that they are looking for young people with better language skills. In addition, language learning develops a whole range of important meta-skills: enhanced communication, inter-cultural sensitivity, problem solving and critical thinking. When youngsters learn to read, write, talk and listen in different languages they are therefore developing key skills for life and work and this award celebrates that.”

Shona MacLennan, Ceannard, Bòrd na Gàidhlig said: “Recent research has shown how useful Gaelic skills are in the world of work, with increasing opportunities in a wide range of careers for people who speak Gaelic. We’re delighted to see that Bishopbriggs Academy has been awarded Gold for the way they have developed pupils’ skills and interests through Gaelic.”

Councillor Jim Goodall, Convener of East Dunbartonshire Council's Education Committee added: "It is a great honour and a wonderful achievement for everyone at Bishopbriggs Academy to be the first secondary school in Scotland to gain this prestigious Award. It takes a significant amount of hard work and commitment throughout the school for it to be recognised in this way and I'd like to congratulate them on blazing a trail on language learning."

The Award is available at three levels: Gold, Silver and Bronze. A toolkit has been developed to support schools in achieving the Award, available in Gaelic and English through support from the Gaelic Language Act Implementation Fund.

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, 'Developing the young workforce'. The SLEA supports these aims by giving young people the opportunity to find out more about the role of languages in the business world. 

Collaboration between schools and businesses supports Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy. 

Note - SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages is a national centre of expertise offering support and advice for language teachers and learners across Scotland. For more information on SCILT’s work go to

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