The new students will be part of a one year all-girl course for 14–16 year olds, in secondary education. Designed by Banff & Buchan College and Shell to build skills around science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and open the young women’s eyes to the energy industry’s wealth of careers.

In the last intake, four girls from Mintlaw Academy headed to Shell for two weeks of industry experience to find out more about the oil and gas business from the inside. 

“Building the future skills base of the oil and gas industry in Scotland is a key priority, therefore ensuring that young women see an opportunity in the industry is vital” said Glen Cayley, Upstream Director Shell UK & Ireland.  “I’m always encouraged to see young people excited and fascinated by their first experiences of the business, and Shell is working to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists in our own backyard.”

The girls got to explore all aspects of producing oil and gas in the North Sea.  Amongst their many activities they donned survival suits in preparation for offshore helicopter transfer; drove a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and learnt about advances in subsea robots at Subsea 7; met women working in the industry at St Fergus Gas Plant; and visited the many onshore specialty departments supporting the offshore teams.

Abbey Thomson, aged sixteen said, “I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had not thought of doing engineering for a career as I thought it was a man’s job! Before I went on the Shell Industry Experience I wanted to do mechanical engineering, as I like hands-on activities. After the work experience I would like to do instrument and control engineering, as its hand on but I don’t have to get all mucky!”

Opening up career options and opportunities is key to the success of the programme, key to increased participation in STEM subjects from a young age, and key to looking for solutions to critical challenges such as meeting soaring global energy demand while limiting CO2 emissions.


For more information please contact Shell Media Relations 0207 934 5550

Notes to Editors

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges.  Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit

Photographs of the activity are available.  All the girls that took part in the industry experience are available for interview.  More quotes from the participants are below:

Abbey Thomson (16)

Would like to be an Instrument and Control Engineer.

“We all though the industry meant working offshore and was male-dominated, but after this experience, we all now feel much more confident about choosing a career in the oil and gas industry.”

Mhari Gerrard (17)

Training to be a Process /Electrical Engineer through the OPITO training programme.

“I left school after completing 6th year, and managed to secure a place on the prestigious OPITO training process to do Process Engineering. After the Industry Experience I’m considering being an Electrical/Instrument Technician, which I am now looking into. In the future I hope to go offshore then travel the world.”

Stefani Duncan (15)

Would like to be a Chemical Engineer

“Before coming on the work experience I always wanted to do something that involved chemistry and maths. I had ideas of going to university to do chemical engineering and this work experience helped me to confirm this decision. To be honest I’m not too keen on working offshore, however I believe it would be a great experience. In the future I would love a career that allows me to see the world and travel.”

Jennifer Conlan (15)

Would like to get into the Energy Industry, go offshore and travel the world.

“Before the industry experience I was always getting told to go into the oil industry but I never really wanted to. Also I never really knew what jobs were there, but this experience has opened my eyes and shown me that the oil industry is the way to go.

I’m still not sure what part I want to do but now I know that I definitely want to go into the oil industry to do something. It was a great opportunity to have the industry experience and I would recommend it to anyone. In the future I would like to travel and possibly work offshore because I think it would be a great experience.”


More in media

Shell Media Relations

Details for contacting the UK media relations team, including contact names and telephone numbers.

Latest media releases

View our latest news and media releases and find out how you can contact the Shell UK Media Relations team.

You may also like

Investor Centre

Keep up to date with our share price, quarterly results and upcoming events.

Annual publications

Our Annual Report, Sustainability Report, Tax Contribution Report and other annual publications are available online and as PDF download. A printed copy of our Annual Report can be ordered free of charge.

Email alerts and social media

Keep up to date with developments at Shell via email alerts, Twitter or other social media.