Industry support widens for National Oil & Gas Skills Week

TWO major oil and gas players have become the latest to throw their weight behind the first ever National Oil & Gas Skills Week which aims to shine a light on the sector’s achievements and the diverse range of career opportunities it has to offer.

The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) and KCA Deutag are two of the latest organisations to pledge support to the inaugural week-long initiative being managed by OPITO and also backed by Oil & Gas UK and Subsea UK.

From November 11, 2014, National Oil & Gas Skills Week sets out to encourage a range of audiences, from school pupils and graduates to those re-evaluating their careers, to explore the full spectrum of roles the industry offers for lawyers, HR personnel, accountants, IT specialists, sales, and medical staff, right through to metallurgists, petro-chemists, and structural engineers.

As part of its commitment, the IADC has announced it will be sponsoring the networking lunch at The Chester Hotel in Aberdeen on November 13, which will include a special OPITO awards ceremony as well as celebrating the 15-year anniversary of OPITO’s Upstream Oil and Gas Industry Technician Training Scheme.

John Atkinson, IADC regional director for the North Sea, said: “The North Sea Chapter of IADC is pleased to be part of this pioneering initiative as we recognise the drilling industry, along with other sectors, faces a unique challenge when it comes to recruiting the right people for the right roles. In an industry renowned for its strong collaborations, this week promises to be key in helping to promote a greater understanding of the oil and gas sector, and the long-term career prospects it offers on a global scale.

“The networking lunch will provide an ideal opportunity for industry to recognise the fact that an entire generation of experienced and specialised workers are retiring, and reinforce its commitment to attract the next generation of workers and provide them the skills they need to succeed."

Other events planned across Scotland and England as part of National Oil & Gas Skills Week include another industry first, Doors Open Day, which will see oil and gas companies welcoming members of the public to look behind the scenes and find out more about career prospects.

As part of Doors Open day, international drilling and engineering contractor, KCA Deutag, has revealed it will be inviting the public to discover what the company does, talk to staff about where they operate, as well as giving a tour of the company’s simulator-based well control training facility for rig crews and operators.

Speakers from Government and industry will launch the week at a business breakfast held at the Aberdeen Exhibition Conference Centre, backed by Aberdeen Drilling Consultants (ADC). ADC’s chairman and managing director, Douglas Hay said: “ADC Virtual Academy is delighted to be sponsoring the Aberdeen Business Breakfast, the first event of National Oil & Gas Skills Week. OPITO has a valuable role to play to ensure that the highest standard of training is being delivered to the industry and the global skills gap is a subject both OPITO and ADC are committed to addressing.”

OPITO skills development director Morven Spalding said: “This is an ambitious initiative and one that’s truly being embraced by the industry and beyond.

“National Oil & Gas Skills Week will not only celebrate this outstanding sector which has underpinned the UK economy for more than four decades, it will also provide a platform to showcase the processes involved in production to give the public a deeper understanding of what an amazing industry this is, the long-term career opportunities, as well as dispelling some of the myths surrounding the sector.

“There’s real electricity in the air from the sector and the support received so far shows that the momentum is building, especially with a third industry body signed up and more companies getting involved in Doors Open Day.

“It’s quickly shaping up to be oil and gas sector’s most informative week available to people at all stages in their lives and careers. We look forward to hearing from more trade organisations, supply chain service companies, operators and recruiters who don’t want to miss out.”

Schlumberger is the week’s overall gold sponsor, with NOF Energy, the Institute of Physics, Glasgow Science Centre, Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh and the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce all hosting events from career sessions to interactive challenges. Aberdeen City Council is also supporting the initiative by holding a Doors Open Day event for industry employers.

Targeting a variety of audiences, National Oil & Gas Skills Week will see everything from science, engineering and maths events, specialist workshops and careers sessions to debates, interactive challenges and much more take place in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Norwich, Great Yarmouth and the north-east of England from November 11-14th.

For more information visit www.nationaloilandgasskillsweek.com

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