24 Jan 2024

Developing the Young Workforce: A Year in Review

Across the country, many sectors face an ongoing skills shortage, coupled with an ageing workforce whereby experience, competences and knowledge may be lost. The Workforce Insight Report, published by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), highlights the rising demand for people skilled in technical trades and vocational disciplines. Therefore, it’s vital to educate and nourish the development of future generations as they prepare to enter the world of work. By 2025, Investors in Young People’s research suggests, Millennials and Gen Z’s will make up 75% of the workforce.

For many years, our employees have been advocates of supporting young people through a variety of programmes and initiatives. Playing an active role through educational partnerships, benefits not only the young individuals involved, but also our employees and their development. Through mentoring and personal experiences, our people can not only support the future generation, but also develop their own talents and expertise at the same time.

Stork has supported Developing the Young Workforce for a number of years since its inception. We’ve taken a look back at some of our 2023 activities:

Graduate Programme

Building upon our existing curriculum, last year we welcomed 3 new additions to our business, covering areas such as Asset Integrity, Engineering and Marketing & Communications.

Our graduates will spend the next 2 to 3 years developing their skills and knowledge in their specialist area, whilst gaining a wider understanding of Stork and how their field interacts with others in the organisation. This brings our current graduate group to 6 with the next intake planned for August 2024.

Philp Anderson, Industrial & Mechanical Graduate, commented: “I have enjoyed being given the opportunity to work across different departments within Stork. Everyone I have worked with so far has been great and helped further my development. I also enjoy the training opportunities available as they allow me to develop my skills and knowledge and show the company’s commitment to developing the young workforce.”

Apprentices and Trainees

Increasing our apprentice and trainee pool, saw another 6 Non-Destructive Testing apprentices join our ranks in Teesside and Fawley, as well as 3 new Scaffold trainees in Aberdeen. Our hands-on learning schemes cover a variety of areas including:

  • Aberdeen Base Facility
  • Non-Destructive Testing
  • Thermal Insulation
  • Scaffolding
  • Painting
  • Engineering

Career Ready

For the third year running, Stork is once again providing valuable mentoring to young people through the Career Ready programme. Career Ready work with individuals who are of school age, between 15-18 years old on a one-to-one mentoring basis. Mentors provide insight and guidance, while developing their own understanding of the needs of a young person. In addition, we provide 4 weeks paid work-experience during summer months, providing adolescents with the opportunity to gain exposure to the work environment and develop new capabilities. The 2024 intake saw Eilidh Anderson, HR Shared Services Team Lead and Billy Newall, Scaffold Lead take on mentoring positions.

Billy Newall, commented: ‘I signed up to the Career Ready scheme after seeing one of our HR Managers share a post on LinkedIn.

I wanted to be a mentor because I know how much I would have appreciated having something like the mentorship when I was in school. I hope I can make a difference to my mentee’s next couple of years and with my support and advice he will be as successful as possible. I’m happy to be paired up with someone who I already really get on with.’

Click here to watch highlights from our 2023 intake and summer placements.

Prince’s Trust

As a long-standing supporter of The Prince’s Trust, Stork has actively supported groups of young people with practical employability skills, who are out with education and work. A series of sessions were run on transferable skills and key personal attributes, which are highly valued by employers and essential for effective performance in the workplace. Topics included: Employer Expectations, CV Writing and Interview Skills.

In 2023, we took our engagement to the next level by welcoming groups from Aberdeen and Peterhead to our Dyce facility. Colleagues had a fantastic day supporting our visitors and sharing personal stories about their career paths, while providing invaluable insights into roles available across the business.

Kieran Semple, Development Coach Aberdeen, shared: “Thank you again for having us, it was a great day, and everyone had such a good time! They have been talking about it non-stop. It was a perfect mix of fun and engaging activities, getting to see how companies like yourself run, and very helpful advice about CV’s. Of course, the boxing went down very well!”

Click here to watch a video from the day.

School Partnership – Meldrum Academy and Bramble Brae Primary School

Meldrum Academy

2023 saw Stork continue our partnership with Meldrum Academy in Aberdeenshire. Our employees worked closely with the mathematics department to engage pupils on how maths is used in the day-to-day workplace. Various workshops were held, aimed at S1-S3 and S4-S6. They were extremely interactive and encouraged questions and conversation from the pupils.

Alan Reid, Head of the mathematics department, commented: “During the past few years, the maths faculty at Meldrum Academy has developed a partnership with Stork, with the intention of developing pupils’ understanding of skills required in the workplace.”

Employees have also held workshops showcasing novel technology and how this is used in a variety of different operational scenarios. Pupils completed a short evaluation of the visit and the results were positive with many of the pupils rating the presentations as extremely interesting.

Bramble Brae Primary School

Towards the end of 2023, we undertook a new partnership with Bramble Brae Primary school in Aberdeen. As we progress into 2024, we will be looking to further cement this relationship and support Bramble Brae through a variety of different initiatives, whilst also helping to promote STEM activities with the youngsters.

University Placements

University placements are a fantastic way for students to gain valuable first-hand experience within a working environment. Last year, we saw an RGU student join our Human Resources Team for 12 months, before returning to university for his final year. This positive experience led us to recruiting another student who joined Stork in the summer of 2023 and will be with us until May 2024. Furthermore, a third student joined our Supply Chain team for the next year.

This has all contributed towards Stork retaining our Gold Investor’s in Young People accreditation, which we are extremely proud to hold.

We hope our journey inspires other organisations to consider the ways in which they too can support future generations. If you would like to find out more about Stork’s Developing the Young Workforce opportunities, please email Remember to also follow our LinkedIn page for all of our latest updates.