Aberdeen pupils win energy app competition

Youngsters have have shown they can be at the forefront of mobile technology following a competition to develop the best recruitment app to meet the needs of the energy industry.

A two-day ‘App Jam’ event, organised by the Oil and Gas Academy of Scotland (OGAS), resulted in the creation of a Careers Tree App, developed by Northfield Academy pupils Jack Thain, Callum Hopkins and postgraduate students.

The winning team received Amazon vouchers at a ceremony at Northfield Academy.

Rulzion Rattray, director of OGAS, said: “The teams worked exceptionally well together and we were all impressed, especially with the input and imagination of the younger school pupils. We will now hopefully attempt to develop the app and involve the pupils and students at every stage of that process.”

William Russell, director of the University of Aberdeen Graduate Business School, said: “The App Jam was an opportunity for both our postgraduates and the school pupils to learn and rehearse valuable market skills, namely, team working, ideation, screening, testing and pitching.

“However, what was particularly noteworthy, and somewhat unexpected, was the productive dynamic, the synergy, created from the mixing of the university postgraduates and school pupils.”

Working in teams of four to five, participants collaboratively brainstormed and defined their ideas for a mobile application based on the theme of the ‘Energy Industry: Talent Recruitment, Retention and Management’.

The focus for participants was to experience the challenge of developing original ideas and converting them into practical applications.

The teams were supported by academic staff from the University of Aberdeen Business School, The Scottish Institute for Enterprise team, energy industry practitioners and app developers.

Over the two days teams were led through a development path where they came up with several ideas, fleshed them out, tested them and then narrowed the number down until on the last day they were working on their main idea.

Participants were introduced to tools and techniques for idea generation and selection. They were also introduced to pitching techniques.

As well as support from business school staff, industry experts and developers, students were also encouraged to help each other out, sharing their own skill sets to achieve the outcome of pitching their idea for an app.

The presentations were made my Morven Spalding, of OPITO, Mike Duncan, of Energy Skills Scotland, and Russell Williams, Director of Aberdeen University Graduate Business School.