Paul Gellately is a member of the DYW Orkney Regional Group Board and is the HR Manager for Serco Northlink Ferries.
“I grew up in Stranraer, which until recently had been a ferry port at the head of Loch Ryan in Dumfries and Galloway. Although the area has a long history in connecting Scotland to Northern Ireland, the town of Stranraer is relatively small and remote, with limited opportunities for young people.
“When I left school I joined a YTS apprenticeship scheme, training to be a mechanic, and remained in the motor industry until 1992. I left the area in my mid-20s, moving into a customer service role with a ferry operator. Over the course of the next few years I progressed within the company before moving into Human Resources in 2000.
“I’ve been HR Manager for Serco Northlink Ferries since August 2012. My arrival coincided with the introduction of our Trainee Officer Cadet Scheme, which offers sponsorship opportunities to four cadets a year. Since joining I’ve seen more than two dozen cadets complete the training programme. More recently we have introduced Ratings Apprenticeship Schemes in the deck and engine departments for young people seeking careers onboard the ferries and also Customer Services Apprenticeships at the operating ports.”
Why did you get involves with DYW Orkney?
“Being from Stranraer, I understand the particular challenges faced by young people in remote communities. Now with four children of my own, aged between 10 and 16, I have an even greater appreciation of how important it is for young people to have the skills and opportunities they need to gain employment and secure their future.
“As a business that is integral to the Northern Isles, Serco Northlink Ferries believe in promoting the career opportunities that are available to young people living within the communities that we serve.”