9th February 2018
More than 100 secondary school pupils from the north-east of Scotland will have the chance to wear diving suits, control a subsea power turbine and work offshore using virtual reality tech as part of OPITO’s Energise Your Future (EYF) initiative during the last day of Subsea Expo 2018 (today, Friday, 9th February).
The groups of 13-17-year olds from Aberdeen Grammar, Albyn School, Cults Academy, Harlaw Academy, International School Aberdeen, Kincorth Academy, St Machar Academy and Buckie High School in Moray, will interact with 12 subsea companies taking part in EYF at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).
EYF is now in its 10th year and is managed by OPITO, the global, not-for-profit, skills body for the energy industry. A regular UK programme, it has been held as part of major oil and gas industry events or delivered through standalone sessions since 2008. The aim of EYF is to inspire young people to think about a career in the energy sector and the event provides a chance to get up close with key companies and personnel who can help explain their business as well as roles and routes into the sector.
At the start of the EYF event at Subsea Expo, the young audience will hear from those who have already experienced apprenticeship programmes. Speakers include Natali Shaw from Baker Hughes GE, Subsea 7’s Charlotte Stirton, Aker Solutions’ Ryan Fernando and Xodus Group’s Euan Fowler.
The pupils will then see diving rigs from the past and present as part of a bespoke exhibition by Interdive; solve a data analysis probability game with integrity assurance consultancy Astrimar and tour a virtual oil and gas platform with RINA Consulting.
OPITO director, Christine Currie, said: “Energise Your Future at Subsea Expo is a fantastic chance for school pupils to immerse themselves in the exciting technologies and techniques being used by companies in the UK and around the world.
“The hands-on activities will allow the groups of students to gain greater awareness and understanding of opportunities available in various careers, as well as finding out about the fast-paced innovation and technology involved in the subsea sector. The event is designed for pupils interested in business, arts, science and technological subjects as well as engineering or working offshore.
“Over the past 10 years of EYF events, we’re pleased to say there have been many success stories of pupils who have attended and become inspired to follow a career into the sector.”
One recent success story is OPITO’s Apprentice of the Year 2017, Ashley Thomas. He is a second-year process operations apprentice on the Oil and Gas Technical Apprentice Programme (OGTAP), which is managed by OPITO and the ECITB.
The 20-year-old former Peterhead Academy student said that attending EYF events while at school helped shape his future. He explained: “During the morning session, we listened to several presentations from young people who already work in oil and gas. They told us about their routes in, what their jobs entailed and what they enjoyed about it.
“One of the speakers was an OGTAP apprentice and what they had to say really appealed to me. I applied to OGTAP and have never looked back. Events like these are a fantastic way to engage with young people and really let them see what to expect.”
Operations director for Xodus Group, Andrew Wylie, said: “We’re pleased to return to Subsea Expo at an exciting time for the oil and gas industry. We encourage our engineers to work with young people and the EYF programme is an ideal chance to pass on our knowledge. Our team has the background and experience we believe will interest the pupils and it will be a mutually rewarding experience.”
Subsea Expo is organised by Subsea UK and is the largest subsea focused event in Europe, attracting 5,000 delegates and 150 exhibitors.
OGTAP is currently seeking its latest intake of apprentices with the closing date for applications 4pm on Friday, 16th February.