OPITO’s Platform of Opportunity Week attracts new companies


16th March 2016

A number of new companies have joined the growing line-up of oil and gas businesses in the East of England taking part in an industry initiative across Great Yarmouth, Waveney and Norwich helping to shape the future career choices of the next generation.

OPITO’s Platform of Opportunity Week in academic partnership with East Norfolk Sixth Form College from the 14th-18th March will now see 12 energy sector firms in the region engaging with around 175 college and secondary school pupils looking to get one step closer to finding a role within the industry.

The skills organisation for oil and gas has secured participation from Claxton Engineering Ltd, Proeon Systems Ltd and Geo Therm Ltd for the initiative which will help pupils apply their education to practical working life through a series of taster sessions at each company.

Students from East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Lowestoft College, University Technical College Norwich, Wymondham College, Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form and Stalham High Schoolare amongst those who applied for a place in the week-long programme, highlighting which sessions they would like to attend.

Throughout the 15 industry taster sessions, the young people will take part in a range of activities including an introduction to well engineering, the chance to see what life is like offshore and on a vessel, testing soil samples, participating in interactive seismic interpretation sessions and testing out a 22 metre working at height training tower.

For the first time, there will also be employability workshops covering CV and interview skills, presentation techniques and how to dress professionally for different workplaces.

In addition to the new companies taking part, Seajacks UK , Fraser Well Management, Proserv UK, Aquaterra Energy and Gardline Geosurvey Ltd, are returning for the second year having seen the benefits of participating in the event in 2015.

OPITO’s UK regional business and communications manager Liz Davis-Smith said: “The level of interest this year is extremely promising especially with new companies signing up to take part and more companies continuing with their support. It also shows that firms 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 the students will take part in will not only give them a great insight into the size and scale of the sector, it will allow 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.”

Sue Cook, director of student progression and employability at East Norfolk Sixth Form College said: “We are delighted to be OPITO’s academic partner for the third successive year, which clearly demonstrates the sustainability of such an important local initiative.”

Matt Jeffries, Training Centre Manager at participating company 3Sun Group Academy said: “Platform of Opportunity is a fantastic way of introducing the next generation into the energy industry. It’s critically important that the students feel that they can make well-informed decisions to shape their career and this is a great forum to help that process.

“We believe that practical, hands-on experience is crucial in giving an accurate impression of the energy industry to show that there is a vast range of career paths on offer. It’s great to see so much interest in this event, showing that despite the industry’s challenges it can still be major employer.”

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