OPITO’s energy experience week attracts record numbers


21st April 2015

ALMOST double the number of oil and gas companies have signed up for OPITO’s Platform of Opportunity work experience programme, which has been organised in partnership with East Norfolk 6th Form College, and will see 175 students from educational establishments in the surrounding Norfolk area encounter the sector first-hand.

The skills for oil and gas organisation has seen an increased interest from businesses in the second year of their structured week-long event, as well as from young people who have a keen interest in the energy arena.

The students aged between 14 and 18 years from East Norfolk 6th Form College and Great Yarmouth College, as well as secondary schools Flegg High School, Pakefield High School, Stalham High School, Caister High School and Acle Academy, applied for a place in the week-long programme, highlighting which sessions they would like to attend.

Throughout the industry taster sessions, students will take part in a range of activities including an introduction to well engineering, the chance to be a vessel owner and operator, see inside an offshore helicopter and also experience what happens in the laboratory of a marine science company.

There will also be a series of workshops with Dexters Recruitment and People with Energy to learn important professional skills such as CV writing and interview techniques to prepare them for starting on their career paths.

OPITO’s UK regional development manager Liz Davis-Smith said: “Last year’s event was hugely successful and the feedback we got from both the students and companies involved was extremely positive.

“The increased number of oil and gas businesses on board in the region this year shows that these companies are taking a long term approach to skills even during the current challenging climate to ensure the industry is engaging with the next generation of workers.

“The programme will not only give students a great insight into the size and scale of the sector, it allows them to connect with leading professionals and find out for themselves the diverse range of careers the oil and gas industry offers and the skills needed to achieve them.”

Jake Bridges, studying BTEC Level 3 Engineering and AS Geology at East Norfolk Sixth Form College said: “Taking part in this programme will really help me focus my attention on the roles I can aim towards in the oil and gas industry, make sure I’m on the right track with my current studies and what I plan to do after I pass my exams.”

Ed Self is the geophysical interpretation manager at Gardline. The company will be giving students the chance to look at the software used in seismic interpretation as well as testing soil samples in their geosciences department. He said: “The oil and gas industry should be a dynamic and exciting prospect for young people and it’s critical that organisations from every sector engage with the next generation and inspire them to pursue the opportunities it offers.

“By sharing our knowledge and giving an insight into what we do and how we do it, we are playing our part in helping young people make informed choices and meet their potential.”

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