14th November 2014
THE first ever National Oil & Gas Skills Week draws to a close today after a four-day extravaganza which has seen over 4,000 people from all walks of life attend more than 50 events at venues across the country.
Organisers OPITO, the industry skills organisation, say an average of 1,000 people per day took part in the inaugural National Oil and Gas Skills Week which saw events of all shapes and sizes take place in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fort William, North Shields, Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and London from November 11-14th.
Hundreds of school pupils joined military transitioners, graduates, apprentices, women returners, working professionals and others to explore the diverse, stimulating and rewarding career opportunities the sector offers during a jam-packed series of science, engineering and maths events, specialist workshops, careers sessions, debates and interactive challenges.
OPITO managing director John McDonald said: “This has been a fantastic week and has really showcased how dynamic the UK’s oil and gas industry is. We set out to challenge the stereotype that to work in oil and gas means putting on a boilersuit and travelling offshore.
“The reality is that just 6% of the core careers in the industry are offshore and the wide range of activities that have taken place this week have really demonstrated just how expansive the sector is. It has also provided a national platform for celebrating the ground-breaking technologies and international reach of North Sea energy companies.
“Good people with the right skills are the powerhouse behind the North Sea. Ensuring we have a sustainable pipeline of people is crucial if we are to build on the heritage of the last 50 years and continue to be the global success story that is the UK oil and gas industry.
“This was the first time that the sector has ever looked to do something of this size and scale It was a very ambitious initiative but received outstanding support from industry bodies, education establishments, local authorities and individual companies and has allowed the industry to engage with its potential workforce of the future in a whole new way.”
Gordon Ballard, chairman of Schlumberger UK, said: “National Oil and Gas Skills Week has shown that the oil and gas industry has a real desire to showcase its successes and work together to address its skills challenges. We are proud to have been a part of the inaugural event and play our part in rising awareness of the career opportunities in the energy sector.”
David Currie, Head of Aker Solutions’ UK region, said: “We have participated in a number of events during Skills Week, including the Doors Open Day which saw 40 university students and future graduates visit our operations in Aberdeen to find out about who we are, what we do and the range of career opportunities available across the subsea, maintenance, modifications and operations areas of the business. Aker Solutions, is committed to developing the next generation of leaders for the energy industry and Skills Week has provided a fantastic platform for us to engage with young talent.”
Leading training provider, AIS hosted three dedicated events at its state-of-the-art offshore training village in North Tyneside during OPITO’s National Oil and Gas Skills Week. Event organiser and marketing manager at AIS, Charlie Guthrie said: “We were bowled over by the overwhelming response to our offshore career taster events. More than 150 young people, business leaders and military personnel from all over the UK turned up to find out more about offshore careers and to try their hand at sought-after-skills such as sea survival, working at height and non-destructive testing.
“Skills shortages remain a key challenge for the sector but national initiatives like this help by raising awareness of the offshore industry and the huge range of jobs available. Our experience shows that giving people a practical taste of some of the skills and training on offer can really inspire and motivate them to choose an offshore career. Hopefully the industry will benefit enormously in the long-run from a new influx of skilled and enthusiastic workers.”
For more information visit www.nationaloilandgasskillsweek.com