Shell UK, one of the biggest employers in the Energy Sector, is changing perceptions and forging connections with young people. Shell’s Upstream business in Aberdeen is working hard to create and maintain opportunities for local young people across Scotland.

The Partnership Story

Girls in Energy is the youth engagement programme that Shell UK is best known for in partner with North East Scotland College, which is a one-year programme designed to open young women’s eyes to the energy industry’s wealth of career opportunities. However, GIE is one of several measures the company takes to offer support to young people.

Many young people associate the Oil and Gas industry with working on a platform in the middle of the North Sea, so Shell uses school engagement to show that there are a vast variety of careers available both offshore and onshore worldwide.

Shell firmly believes that the way to excite the next generation of engineers and scientists is to encourage and inspire young people through Collaborative working, Positive Role Models and Real-life examples. John Raine · Upstream Social Performance, Shell UK

The STEM pathway continues for the young students onto the Shell Engineering Scheme which is a training programme run in partnership with North East College Scotland and was launched in 2002 during the construction of the Goldeneye Project at St Fergus. The bespoke programme which is designed to enable young people, aged 16-24, to access training that would allow them to enter the engineering jobs market of the energy sector.

Return on Investment

One core issue is the perception of the company as an employer of one particular skillset. Shell is able to use engagement to reveal the wide range of career paths available within the company. As a result, the company gains direct access to the future workforce whilst building local connections.


Though the company is proactive and enthusiastic about offering a variety of support for young people, efforts are sometimes met with significant challenges. Meaningful partnerships with schools often arise from a shared set of values and a common goal, but practical concerns can create stumbling blocks. Shell shows they are willing to tailor involvement to the needs of schools by donating time.

If a school asks for support, we always try to provide them with a member of staff who can give a presentation on the subject matter. We may not always be able to offer financial assistance, but we can give you time. And sometimes that makes all the difference. John Raine · Upstream Social Performance, Shell UK

Future Plans

The company hopes to forge a sustainable partnership with a local secondary school. They currently engage with multiple schools and have had good experiences with education staff who are passionate about developing the workforce.