Robert Ritchie - Schlumberger Apprentice

Sometimes it can take a few years before deciding what is best for you, as 25 year-old Robert Ritchie found out.

After studying Mechanical Engineering at Robert Gordon University for two years, Robert realised that he was desperate to gain some hands on experience in his degree field. Having heard from friends who were part of the OPITO-managed Schlumberger Mechanical Maintenance Apprenticeship, Robert decided this was how he was going to get the practical experience he desired. He started his apprenticeship journey with Schlumberger in 2013.

“I decided in my second year of university that I really wanted to put theories to practice and the Schlumberger Mechanical Maintenance Apprenticeship seemed like the best channel for me to be able to do this. After completing 18 months of both practical and theoretical work at NESCOL, I gained an HNC in mechanical engineering as well as a Practical SVQ Level 2 in Mechanical Maintenance, which was taught by ASET. I was placed at leading international services firm Schlumberger for my worksite placement.

“I’d always wanted to work within the oil and gas industry. I actually attended Offshore Europe and spoke to people on the Schlumberger stand, who also pointed me towards their apprenticeship scheme. At Schlumberger, I work with the M-I-SWACO filtration team, so I get to work with real bits of kit in a workshop environment.”

Although he is the oldest on his apprenticeship scheme, Robert sees it as an advantage. “I think I give the younger guys a steady head. It’s great working with people of different ages, after all, you will work with many different age groups throughout your career.

“One of the other great things about my apprenticeship is that I’m carrying out work that is directly relevant to the role I hope to be working in the future. It gives me a great advantage when applying for roles, as I’ve spent a lot of time working on real equipment.”

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