OPITO leads exploration to oil industry careers for pupils


1st June 2015

MORE than 20 oil and gas companies and organisations are giving secondary school pupils from Aberdeen city and shire the chance to experience a career in the industry this week as part of OPITO’s structured work experience programme.

The oil and gas skills organisation is managing a structured programme running throughout this week, to give 16 to 18 year-olds from 27 schools across the region, a chance to observe and engage with major energy companies in the North-east.

Pupils will be taken to a variety of industry experiences, including visiting offshore survival training and drilling simulator centres, as well as exploring an extensive range of onshore careers including engineering, business support, and marketing roles.

OPITO’s managing director, John McDonald said: “Young people are the future workforce for the oil and gas industry, not just here in the UK but all over the world. The industry is currently going through some challenging times with the reduction in oil price, but this week shows the dedication of companies willing to engage with school pupils to ensure we have a strong future workforce for the sector.

“OPITO’s work experience programme is unlike anything else on offer to secondary school pupils in the Northeast of Scotland because of the strong collaboration between schools and the oil and gas companies involved.”

Pupils will meet with industry professionals at a range of different companies including Nexen, Maersk Training, BP, Kongsberg Maritime, Aker Solutions, Subsea 7, Survivex, the National Hyperbaric Centre, RGU Energy Centre , and Schlumberger to gain knowledge and understanding of how the companies work together to explore, recover and process hydrocarbons.

Archie Kennedy, Managing Director of Nexen Petroleum UK said: "It is a pleasure to support OPITO's schools week and by participating, Nexen hopes to encourage and inspire young students to pursue the diverse range of careers within the oil and gas industry. By giving students a taste of our business, we are giving our next generation of explorers, scientists, engineers and safety specialists a foundation into one of the most innovative and highly skilled industries in the world."

Maersk Training general manager John Abate said: “Maersk Training are delighted to be involved in OPITO’s structured work experience week. This programme is critically important as it aims to develop a talented and skilled workforce for the future of the oil and gas industry. We look forward to welcoming the pupils to our new facilities at Kingswells, Aberdeen, where they will be shown demonstrations of our simulators and understand the need for our safety training portfolio.”

As well as practical industry based experiences, groups will have the opportunity to develop the skills they will need to present themselves to businesses, through working on CV writing and interview techniques in workshops with the Urquhart Partnership.

“The practical coaching that pupils receive during this work experience programme really sets it apart from other events like it,” said Mr McDonald. “Regardless of their career goals, each pupil will finish the week with a set of skills that can be applied to any industry or field. For those pursuing energy related roles, the direct guidance from professionals in the sector will give them an invaluable confidence boost.”

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