Much has been said about the impact of the drop in oil price on the wider regional economy in north east Scotland.
But amongst all of the challenges, there were — and continue to be — benefits to business sectors outwith oil and gas: a new pool of highly motivated and trained individuals to recruit from.
Hospitality and construction are two sectors previously regarded as the "poor relation" when it came to competing with the attractive packages offered by employers in oil and gas. Anecdotally, I have heard of many examples suggesting the drop in oil price resulted in a more level playing field in recruitment, allowing those recruiting to tap into a whole new group of talent, which is positive news provided diversification of talent is sustainable in the long term.
That's why I think projects like "Build Your Future" are so important. Recently launched in the north east, the aim is to highlight the varied and exciting careers within construction to S2 pupils, and position the sector as a buoyant, exciting and a potentially lucrative career option.
Equally important, however, is the need to educate parents. For too long, more value has been placed by some on the higher education route rather than on vocational training.
Being the daughter of a joiner, and the first in the family to attend university, I fall squarely into that generational loop. With a son a year away from entering secondary school, it's about high time I learnt about the vast array of new learning options that might be available.
Who's up for the challenge of educating me?
The Build Your Future schools challenge is aimed at S2 secondary school pupils as they decide which subjects to take in third and fourth year. Every secondary in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will be invited to submit a team of 10 pupils, meaning there could be as many as 300.