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Neil McKinnon Appointed Board Member of DYW North East

Congratulations to Neil McKinnon, our Training, Competency and Development lead, on his appointment as board member of DYW North East. Neil’s role will build on Peterson’s commitment to developing the young workforce by strengthening the link between schools and the workplace to help all young people find fulfilling careers. Read our interview with Neil below. 

What does DYW do?

DYW (Developing the Young Workforce) was founded to improve engagement between schools and the workplace. They are champions of the Young Person’s Guarantee, which aims to connect every 16- to 24-year-old in Scotland with the opportunity of employment, further education, training programmes or volunteering. The DYW North East board are from a wide variety of industries and sectors who are supported by a committed team lead by Mary Holland, Director of DYW North East. All play an important role in preparing young people for the world of work by offering vital support and advice and helping to build their confidence and skills.

What does your role involve?

Firstly, I am extremely proud to be accepted onto the DYW board. As a board member, I will continue to build on the work Peterson previously carried out with DYW to develop the skills of the young workforce and create awareness of the opportunities that are open to them. In early 2020, we worked with DYW to set up school visits for Scottish Apprenticeship Week and supported a mentoring program with a local secondary school. Soon after this, the pandemic hit and some of the initiatives we had planned were postponed. The last 18 months have proved a particularly challenging time for the younger generation and now we have the opportunity to re-engage with the young workforce to help them progress and support where we can to fulfil their potential.

Do you have any initiatives planned in the near future?

As a logistics company, road safety awareness is something I would like to focus on promoting. We had a program planned in 2020, which included the potential for members of the transport team to take some of our vehicles to primary and secondary schools to explain what they do and discuss road safety principles. Unfortunately, this program was put on hold due to the pandemic so I would like to schedule something similar in the coming months. Maths and its application towards logistics are also important areas I would like to focus on. I am currently engaged with a member of the DYW Team in ‘bringing maths to life’ with a local secondary school to introduce real world applications of maths to the classroom.

Why is developing the young workforce something that’s important?

As an industry, we are at a transition point as we move towards our target of reaching Net Zero. It is important we engage the younger generation in the conversation around sustainability now to attract young talent and ensure we have the future leaders with the drive and passion to take the industry towards our long-term goals. We are also at a transition point as we return to more normality from the pandemic. Many young people feel they have been forgotten about over the past 18 months and it is important we do everything we can to bridge the gap between schools and the workplace and support young people by offering opportunities that are right for them.

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