James Bream, chair, Developing the Young Workforce North East

Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) North East has appointed a new chair to lead its drive to connect businesses and schools with the aim of engaging, inspiring and developing the region’s young workforce. James Bream will help steer the organisation as it embarks on one of the most significant periods of activity in its history.

James takes over from Alec Carstairs and joins DYW North East following a period of rapid growth; over the past ten months the organisation has expanded considerably to offer enhanced on-the-ground support to all 32 secondary schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Currently chief executive of Katoni Engineering, James is an experienced leader with a strong track record in growing and managing businesses through change. He has extensive knowledge of DYW North East, having held the dual roles of director of DYW North East and research and policy director with Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce from 2013-2015. James has a keen interest in economics and is a regular commentator in the press, writing mainly about the North-east economy and energy industry.

“I’m extremely proud to be chair of DYW North East and follow Alec Carstairs, who has mentored me in the past,” James said. “We have a fantastic and passionate board, coupled with a brilliant team and I want DYW North East to be the most successful group of its kind in Scotland.

“Being the best in the country will rely on businesses in this area to commit to showing we care about our young people. I’m confident they will step up and demonstrate that we can lead the way in Scotland.

“I’m personally committed to playing my part whether that is through efforts at Katoni Engineering or visiting our region’s largest employers. I want to show the rest of Scotland that as well as being global player our employers look after their own.”

James’s appointment follows the addition of three new faces to the DYW North East board in August. Dr Colette Backwell of CLAN Cancer Support, Neil McKinnon of Peterson Offshore Group and Anita Martin of Well-Safe Solutions have recently joined the organisation, augmenting its experience and breadth of expertise.

Mary Holland, director of DYW North East, said: “I am delighted to welcome James to his new position as chair. He joins us during a particularly important phase in our history. While there is no mistaking that this is a very challenging time for young people, there are also significant opportunities in this region that we need to make them aware of and prepare them for.

“The strategic vision and expertise of our board, coupled with our extended team of employer school coordinators, means that we are better placed than ever to develop sustained and impactful connections between industry and education. These connections are vital, both for our young people and for our region’s future economic success.”

DYW is the Scottish Government’s Youth Employment strategy to better prepare young people for the world of work. Activities are delivered by 21 regional groups, of which DYW North East is one. Further information about DYW North East is available at www.dyw.org.uk or by emailing info@dyw.org.uk.