MEMBER NEWS: Aquaterra explains why it is putting young people at the heart of what it does

January 25, 2022
MEMBER NEWS: Aquaterra explains why it is putting young people at the heart of what it does

The Young Person’s Guarantee offers the opportunity of a job, placement, training or volunteering for every 16-24 year old in Scotland. As well as giving young people access to greater opportunities, it lets employers build a workforce with the right skills and experience.

The first company to sign up in the North-east of Scotland was AquaTerra Group. A leading industry specialist for difficult access operations and potentially hazardous environments, the company is based in Kintore and has 30 employees.

AquaTerra provides a comprehensive range of construction services to the energy sector. It also offers a global provision of practical health and safety training, providing over 60 different courses in more than 25 different countries.

Business support director Charlie Cameron told us a bit about how they are aiming to put young people at the heart of what they do.

“If you’re a local employer looking for a great business goal to set yourself, you should be signing up for the Young Person’s Guarantee. As a business, AquaTerra knows that developing young, local talent is great for the company and it allows us to grow organically.

Over the last few years, we have had apprentice opportunities in business administration as well as mechanical engineering.

We have also hosted many work experience and training sessions specifically for young people.

These have ranged from offering individuals the chance to participate in a certificated training course free of charge, to hosting a whole class group and designing team building, problem-solving and STEM-related activities in our custom-built training centre.

We have also hosted host open days for clients and when it’s been appropriate, we’ve invited local schools to attend.


The support from Developing the Young Workforce North-east (DYW NE) is really excellent and you never feel alone or left to get on with it. AquaTerra appreciates that we have located our business in Kintore by choice and we have to be genuinely considerate about community involvement and the development of young people.

My own experience goes back to when I started my own business aged 26, so from a young age I have been involved with apprentices.

From there, I then worked in further education for 15 years. In that role, I worked with S3 & S4 pupils and young adults up to 25 years old both in the construction trade areas and in art and design.

I’ve been at Aquaterra for 10 years now and have worn a few hats during that time. I currently look after quality, health, safety & environment, as well as human resources.

I like to think I’ve used my experience and positive outlook to promote the benefits of working with young people.


Ideally, I always like to see job applicants presenting themselves honestly and telling me as much as they can about themselves, regardless of how unimportant they might think it is.

A young person might be painfully aware their CV doesn’t have an extensive roster of roles and experience, but they can still recognise their own achievements.

Maybe it’s been through volunteering or part time jobs, or maybe activities within their community and participation in clubs or teams but it will all help to put across what they’ve done and what they have to offer.

Personally, I appreciate it when a young person is bold enough to call and introduce themselves. Our current apprentice mechanical engineer is studying for his HNC.

He got the job by delivering CVs door to door which is how I met him. We had a chat and I invited him in for an interview which is how he got his opportunity with us.

Entry level

More generally, if you’re looking to join the energy sector, my advice would be to try and consider a career path you would like to achieve as a starting point.

The industry has a vast range of roles from administration-based jobs onshore to offshore jobs hanging from a rope all day carrying out physical and technical tasks.

Do your research because it will pay off. Contact colleges, universities, DYW NE, training companies and employers to make sure you understand the requirements you will have to achieve over the course of your career development.

I would also direct the young person to ask for advice from parents, friends, guardians, carers or even online.

Innovate and grow

And when it comes to AquaTerra, we are always looking for fresh new talent, regardless of experience or age.

We are only 17 years old ourselves and we have plenty of years left in us.

AquaTerra is continually seeking to innovate and develop our people. We like to investigate new opportunities and support new ideas.

And we fully support the development of our young employees and often push them to study or work beyond their own expectations and achieve their potential.

That’s why it was an easy decision for us to sign up to the Young Person’s Guarantee and show our commitment to young people in the region.”

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise