James BreamView my LinkedIn
James Bream joined the Chamber as research and policy director in January 2013, returning to his native North-east. He is accountable for leading all policy activities and leading the research unit to support the needs of members and the Chamber. James has a research background having worked for consultancy practices across the UK for 10 years with a focus on economic analysis. During this time, he managed high profile projects including economic impact research for sporting events such as UEFA Cup Finals and FINA world swimming championships. Most recently, James worked for Business Stream as head of regulation and compliance, responsible for stakeholder management and supporting the efforts to create a competitive retail water market across the UK. He is also now directing the Developing our Young Workforce Group for the North-east on behalf of an independent board.
Rachel ElliottView my LinkedIn
Rachel Elliott joined in September 2016 as Manager of the DYWNES team. Rachel has day-to-day responsibility for delivery of the initiatives and programmes being devised by the team. She brings strong stakeholder engagement and management skills to the role. Rachel previously was Policy Executive at the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, and was responsible for delivery of the Chamber’s policy work which included engagement with politicians and civil servants and policy development with Chamber members. She also spent four years working in the world of politics, supporting a North East MSP on local campaigns, research and media relations. She has a first class honours degree in journalism from the Robert Gordon University. In her spare time Rachel is a leader in a local Girls’ Brigade company and is also part of the Scotland-wide training team, supporting trainee Girls’ Brigade leaders through their leadership programme. She continues to have a keen interest in politics and current affairs.
Martin JohnstonView my LinkedIn
Martin joined the DYWNES team in March 2016 after 4 years as a Senior Recruitment Advisor for a large oil services company, supporting the recruitment of Engineering/Technical requirements. Prior to this, Martin worked for various recruitment agencies in the Aberdeen area and has over 17 years proven recruitment delivery experience. His main duties as School & Business Co-ordinator include engaging with employers and schools to facilitate and create lasting meaningful relationships in order to educate and prepare young people for the world of work. Martin is a thorough, process driven, delivery focused individual, with good communication skills, capable of building strong long lasting relationships. Outside of work Martin has a keen interest in football (armchair fan), technology, cooking and food. Partial to trying new restaurants and eating out, he can also be found in his own kitchen cooking up culinary delights for his family and friends.
Erin BurkeView my LinkedIn
Erin joined the DYW team in 2015. Prior to this she worked for an oil services company as an Export Coordinator for two years. Erin studied at the Mary Reid International Spa Academy. She has had a variety of customer facing roles in several industries including health and wellbeing, clinical beauty and sport and leisure. Erin had competed for Aberdeen Swim Team and has mentored young club swimmers and other coaches since 2008. Erin continues to teach swimming to children with special needs and supports a local swimming pool as Duty Manager, on a part time basis. Erin enjoys travelling. She is well organised with a cheery disposition and caring nature. She has a strong passion for improving prospects for young people and developing healthy self-esteem. This is something Erin hopes to bring to DYW.
Graham BlairRead Bio
Liz McIntyreRead Bio
Jackie MannRead Bio
Andrew RitchieRead Bio
Bob MacDonaldRead Bio
Judith ThorpeRead Bio
John McDonaldRead Bio
Steve PetrieRead Bio
Richard SweetnamRead Bio
Gayle GormanRead Bio
Maria WalkerRead Bio
Gordon McGuinessRead Bio
Graham BlairView my LinkedIn
Graham Blair joined Bank of Scotland straight from school and over the course of his career has held a number of leadership roles. In 2014 he was promoted to a Scotland wide role as Regional Director of SME Banking for Bank of Scotland. Graham leads a 100 strong team providing financial support to Scottish SME firms who generate turnover up to £25m in annual turnover. Graham is Chairman of the North East Scotland Developing the Young Workforce Board.
Having been born and educated in Scotland, Liz began her career in HR within the retail industry before changing direction to follow a career in education. Liz has worked in both the English and the Scottish Further Education Sector, holding posts as Vice Principal in Kent and as Principal at an FE College in Bath, before returning to Scotland to take up a post as Principal at Borders College. After 10 very happy years in the Borders Liz has now moved to take up a new role as Principal of North East Scotland College. Liz was a member of the Board of Scotland’s Colleges from 2011 until 2013 and is now a member of the Board of Colleges Scotland and currently holds a role as Chair of the Colleges Principals Group.
Jackie Mann has over 20 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry. She joined Proserv in May 2012 as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. She is responsible for the Human Resources function across all Proserv locations, setting the HR and L&D strategy to support the Proserv 5-year business plan and support the regional HR and L&D teams in delivering the operational business objectives. Prior to joining Proserv, Jackie was HR Director at Subsea 7 and she has also held senior HR positions with Weatherford and Marathon Oil. Jackie has worked in a variety of locations including USA, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. Jackie has been involved with DYW since its launch in 2015 as a board member and Chairing the Career Pathways working group and remuneration panel.
Andrew RitchieView my LinkedIn
Andrew joined Shell in 1993 as a Graduate Engineer and early in his career became very involved in communications and stakeholder engagement. He decided that External Affairs was more fun and of more interest than engineering and switched career paths. From 1998 through 2003 Andrew supported Shell’s North Sea operations, before 10 years overseas with Shell in The Netherlands, US and Canada, latterly as Communications Manager supporting all of Shell’s oil sands operations in Canada. In 2013 he moved back to Aberdeen but travelled most weeks in his role as Head of Downstream Communications. In 2015 Andrew returned to Aberdeen as External Relations Manager Brent Decommissioning and U.K. Upstream. Andrew joined the Developing the Young Workforce Board in 2016. He is married to Jeanne and his son, Jack (15) and daughter, Emma (12), are both at Banchory Academy.
Bob MacDonaldView my LinkedIn
Bob MacDonald is the chief executive officer for Wood Group’s global business unit focused on specialist technical solutions (STS) and a member of the Wood Group Executive Leadership team. Bob has over 23-years’ experience in the oil and gas industry – primarily in the subsea sector. He joined Wood Group in 2003 having previously held various roles for offshore installation companies including engineering manager and contracts manager. He has extensive North Sea experience and has also worked in Europe, the Middle East and North/South America. Bob is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the IMarEST and holds two Masters Degrees – one in Offshore Engineering and the other in Construction Law & Arbitration. In addition, he is a council member and Fellow of the Society of Underwater Technology [SUT] – as well as being presented with the SUT Award of Merit in 2011. Bob is also on the Board of the government led ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ initiative. Bob is married with two young children.
Judith ThorpeView my LinkedIn
In 1997 Judith Thorpe founded Thorpe Molloy Recruitment with her business partner, Karen Molloy, aged 24. Since start up, the business has extended its services from Accountancy and Financial recruitment to include 8 other specialist divisions Executive, HR, Office Personnel, Commercial Contracts, Business Development and Marketing, QHSE, Supply Chain and Professional Trades. Thorpe Molloy has celebrated its 18th anniversary and now employs 25 people. Originally from Yorkshire and a graduate of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Judith is passionate about promoting and supporting entrepreneurialism and young enterprise. She is the local chair of Entrepreneurial Scotland, an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland and The Sandpiper Trust, and is on the board of North East of Scotland’s Developing the Young Workforce initiative.
John McDonaldView my LinkedIn
As UK managing director John McDonald oversees OPITO’s growth as it looks to build on its success to date, delivering against the industry’s identified skills needs and ensuring the learning and training supply is in place to meet them. John previously worked as director of OPITO’s international workforce development, working with a number of oil majors and leading on OPITO’s work in building agreements with governments and industry. Before joining OPITO, he was a director at ACTVET, the government body charged with creating a vocational education and training system in Abu Dhabi. John also led the development of new products and services at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA. An alumni of Harvard Business School, John has worked at ministerial level in several countries on capacity building projects in education and training. John has been on the Board for Developing the Young Workforce since its establishment in 2015 and was also included in the recruitment process.
Steve started his career as an apprentice Gas Engineer with British Gas. He then worked across the UK in Scotland, Manchester, London and Belfast in senior positions with British Gas. Following this, he was responsible for Work Winning and Service Delivery within Scotland for Balfour Beatty and is currently steering a group of leading employers within the Construction Industry in Scotland to rethink how we develop and train the next generation of talent He is now one of the Directors of the AWPR Construction Joint Venture with responsibility for Health & Safety, Environment, Communication and Community Engagement. Steve has been involved with Developing the Young Workforce in the North East since its formation. He is passionate about making sure that we give young people the best possible opportunities.
Richard SweetnamView my LinkedIn
Richard’s remit includes inward investment, international trade, business support & development, employability and funding & partnerships. He currently supports the delivery of a number of transformational projects highlighted in “Securing the Future of the North East Economy”, approved by the Council in 2015. Richard has had a key role in the developing Aberdeen City Region Deal working with private sector investors, public sector partners, and the UK and Scottish Governments. He represents the Council on a number of local, national and international networks, including the regional Economic Strategy Group, City Centre Masterplan Board, Scottish Cities Alliance and the World Energy Cities Partnership. He previously led development of the Borders Railway Economic Blueprint to secure major investment to the south east of Scotland; and Developing the Young Workforce Programme Board with Scottish Borders Council's Community Planning partners. He studied at Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and the University of Texas.
As Director for Education and Children's Services at Aberdeen City Council, Gayle is responsible for ensuitng the directorate providea high quality education for all learners through quality learning and teaching. Community learning, arts and culture, heritage and libraries play a key part in the life of the people of Aberdeen and attract visitors to the city. Gayle was previously Director for Learning at Cambridgeshire County Council, with responsibility for standards and effectiveness in schools, early years and child care services, professional development, and education support services. She led Cambridgeshire through a period of significant change and implemented a range of strategies which have led to increased attainment in schools and greater community engagement.
Gordon is responsible for activity which supports Scotland’s key growth sectors through the development and implementation of Sector Skills Investment Plans (SIPs), Regional Skills Planning, Employer Services and SDS’s Research and Evaluation Services.