North-east pupils set to experience life on an oil and gas rig

Secondary school pupils from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will gain hands-on experience of working in the oil and gas industry this week as they take an interactive tour of an oil rig, simulate drilling for hydrocarbons and operate a crane, as well as boost their skills during engineering challenges.

Industry skills, standards and workforce development organisation OPITO is running its flagship Industry Awareness programme over three days (12th-14th June 2017) with major north east employers Aker Solutions, ConocoPhillips, EnerMech and Total E&P UK Ltd.

The pupils from Aberdeen Grammar School, Harlaw Academy, Kincorth Academy, Mackie Academy, Mintlaw Academy, Portlethen Academy, Torry Academy and Westhill Academy, who are studying science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, will visit operational facilities for a series of activities and learning sessions with experienced oil and gas professionals.

During their on-site sessions, they will also participate in heavy oil challenges and draft field development proposals.

John McDonald, OPITO interim chief executive officer, said: “Our Industry Awareness programme sparks young imaginations and ambitions by inviting pupils to spend time in real-life oil and gas workplaces.

“Immersing pupils in this way can have a significant impact by opening their horizons to a variety of career opportunities. Those who may have been undecided or unsure of the direction they want to go after school have in the past made up their minds by engaging this closely with the roles they aspire to.”

He added: “For industry, it is absolutely key to build relationships with schools despite the challenging times we have had over the last two years. We want to inspire and harness local talent because the fact remains that oil and gas is a major employer that offers the chance to work with technically brilliant people all over the world.”

Aker Solutions senior marketing and communications manager, Colin Ross, said: “Aker Solutions is proud to support OPITO and the Industry Awareness program for the fourth consecutive year. The programme gives us a unique opportunity to spark young people’s interest in the opportunities in the oil and gas industry.” 

“Engaging with young talent as early as possible is crucial to promote the long-term success and sustainability of our industry.”

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