Guidance role to fuel ambitions

4th March 2011 at 00:00
Oil and gas companies are keen to promote job opportunities in the north-east, reports Chris Small

How can teachers inspire pupils to tune their skills to the needs of the local economy? A project in Aberdeen is trying to answer that question by teaming up business leaders with teachers to explain why young people should remain in the region.

Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (ACSEF), an economic development partnership for the region, has designed a series of events for heads, guidance and maths and science teachers in the north-east, to inform them about the virtues of careers in the energy, life sciences, retail and tourism, and food and drink sectors.

It began last month with a dinner at Aberdeen College's training restaurant, where 32 heads joined industry leaders to discuss the state of the energy sector and the essential life skills it required.

A few days later, guidance teachers attended a follow-up event where they heard contributions from human resources professionals and young people with established careers in energy.

The project reflects worries that teachers in the North East may not be encouraging pupils to pursue careers in oil and gas, on the assumption that it is no longer a sustainable sector. Yet there are signs of a possible revival in a recent survey by the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

Melfort Campbell, ACSEF champion for skills development, emphasises the indigenous industry's hunger for talent and teachers' positive input.

He says: "Guidance teachers play one of the most significant roles in education today, as they help guide our young people towards making the right career choices."

NOT JUST A PIPEDREAM

A project in Aberdeen is boosting pupils' awareness of career opportunities in the oil and gas industries.

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