11th September 2015
MORE than 11,000 secondary school students in the UK have already been inspired to find out about the oil and gas industry through OPITO’s Energise Your Future events; and today a further 250 from across Aberdeen City and Shire will be up close and personal with participants from some of the most innovative and well established firms in the sector.
During the final day of Offshore Europe, S5/S6 students from across the north-east of Scotland will experience the exhibition as part of the exemplary schools engagement programme run by OPITO, the skills organisation for oil and gas.
A central fixture of the final day of OE since 2009, Energise Your Future brings pupils closer to the industry by exposing them to participating companies in the hope of inspiring them to consider the potential that the oil industry holds for future careers.
The 30 companies taking part in today’s programme include Kongsberg, Proserv, Aker Solutions, Stork, Total, Dril Quip and Shell amongst other organisations who recognise the need to invest in the future generation.
Former Mackie Academy pupil Craig Gordon attended the first Offshore Europe Energise Your Future event in 2009 when he was in S6. He now works as an apprentice draughtsman for the project management, engineering and construction company Technip.
“For any young person considering a career in the oil and gas industry, I would highly recommend events such as Energise Your Future. It gave me the chance to speak directly to company representatives and engage in what the participating companies had to offer and ultimately led me to where I am today,” he said.
“At the presentations during the event, I was able to listen to others’ personal journeys into the industry and this made me realise that I definitely wanted to pursue a career in the oil and gas sector. I also remember taking part in an interactive session set up by Technip which involved using an ROV simulator to recover items from the seabed to a work basket.
“After leaving school, I went on to gain a National Certificate in mechanical engineering at North East of Scotland College (NESCOL), and in September 2011, I landed a four-year modern apprenticeship at Technip’s Westhill base.
“In my role as an apprentice draughtsman, I have gained numerous industry-accredited qualifications and experience of the company’s vessel fleet. My day-to-day duty is to provide 2D and 3D draughting support for various project teams throughout Technip, including fabrication drawings, general arrangement drawings and lifting and rigging drawings.
“Without having that initial experience at Energise Your Future to hear from others already working in the sector and experience the company I’d end up working for, I’m not sure if I’d have had the confidence to choose this career path.”
Gemma Sinclair, a former Aboyne Academy student, attended OPITO’s Energise Your Future event at the last Offshore Europe in 2013. She is currently employed by Rigzone, the online resource for news, jobs data and events for the global oil and gas industry. She said: “I’d just started S6 when I went to the exhibition and was still undecided where my future lay. I had conditional offers at various universities for studying accountancy and international business management, plus I was also considering a career as a PE teacher.
“At the start of the event, there were several young speakers working in the industry presenting to us and my stand out memory is how passionate the young man from BP was. He made me more aware of the different opportunities within the industry and left me wanting to find out more.
“Without attending Energise Your Future in the first place, I don’t feel I would have looked further into the options open to me in accountancy or the other related office based roles within the oil and gas sector.”
OPITO UK managing director John McDonald said: “Craig and Gemma are just a couple of the great success stories in the nine years we’ve been running Energise Your Future across the UK, and it’s a testament to how the industry can engage and inspire tomorrow’s workforce.
“In order to secure the future of the sector, particularly in the North Sea, we need to continue empowering and encouraging this steady pipeline of talent to come through even in times of a downturn.
“It’s crucial for the industry to keep investing time in this potential next generation of oil and gas workers to provide them with as much information and opportunities as possible. Only through meeting with companies and speaking directly to the people who work for them will they be able to make informed life decisions about whether this is the career path for them.
“The oil and gas industry can seem a little daunting but we want young people to understand the different opportunities available both onshore and offshore and the various types of companies that operate in the supply chain.
“We must continue to invest in young people to help strengthen the links between education and the oil and gas sector. They are the future of this industry.”