Sunday, 29 March 2009

Welcome to High Commissioner to Cameroon

It's not often school pupils get the opportunity to have an audience with a high commissioner, but that's precisely what David Russell (DHT) managed to arrange for S6 pupils and invited senior pupils from other schools at Liberton High School on Friday 27 March. Syd Maddicott, is the British High Commissioner for Cameroon, Chad and Gabon, and has been in post since 2005. I was delighted to welcome him to Liberton High on Friday.

A father of five himself, it was clear that he was very comfortable addressing sixth formers. The presentation he gave, about life in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, was very stimulating and, I hope, has raised an awareness of the opportunities that a university degree can present. One of the points made by Syd (this is how he indicated he wished to be addressed) was in relation to what pupils could do in order to increase their employability in the currrent, very difficult, job market. Syd was quite clear that all pupils should go to university to ride out the current economic troubles and be ready for employment, armed with some comparative advantage and a degree, in a few years time. He forecasts that jobs in both the private and public sectors will be difficult to come by in the next few years.

During his talk, Syd suggested to his audience that there are three key decisions that each of them would have to make that would have an enormous bearing on the rest of their lives. They were:
1) Whether to go to university
2) What to study at university and
3) Who to share the rest of their life with.

In regard to the latter, he wished them all the best of luck but suggested it would be wise to avoid a partner that is high maintenance. Now there's a contentious issue raised by a man better known for his ambassadorial skills!


olliebray said...

What a fantastic opportunity for the students at Liberton. It is experiences like these that make a school and provide real 'opportunity' to young people. I wounder how many of the pupils in the audience will ever have an opportunity to meet a high commissioner again? Great work!

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