Business support for scheme benefits North-east teenagers

Alec Carstairs with pupils taking part in the scheme at SPE Offshore Europe
Alec Carstairs with pupils taking part in the scheme at SPE Offshore Europe

More than 22 organisations across the North-east, including some of the oil and gas industry’s leading players, are lending their support to a scheme designed to help youngsters.

Career Academies UK is a business-led charity which gives local teenagers an insight and practical experience of the energy industry through a two year mentoring programme.

Piloted jointly by Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Councils with principal support from BP, it helps bridge the gap between the final stage of schooling and starting work, by giving them real experience of the world of work through a structured programme.

Over the course of the two years, pupils will benefit from mentoring, motivational lectures, workshops and a five week paid internship to help them gain the work experiences and skills they need.

Fifth-year pupils from The Gordon Schools Huntly, Portlethen, Peterhead, Kincorth and Oldmachar Academies will be mentored by employee volunteers from a number of companies including BP, Petrofac, Wood Group and Centrica.

BP has supported the programme at national level since it began in 2002.

Over the past year the company has taken the lead role in bringing Career Academies to North-east Scotland by providing funding and encouraging other companies to get involved in the project.

Alec Carstairs, Chair of the Local Area Board for Career Academies UK, said: “I am delighted with the support from BP in helping us introduce this programme to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire schools.

“The response from all businesses in providing mentors and internships has been fantastic and, from research elsewhere in the UK, the benefits to businesses when they engage with young people in this way are remarkable.”

Oldmachar Academy pupil, Sean Rennie, who is taking part in the programme said: “It’s a great opportunity to get valuable experience that you can’t get from a textbook.”

Career Academies will be formally launched in the North-east on October 1 at an event in the Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen.