Taste of oil and gas work for north-east pupils


12th October 2015

Youngsters take a deeper dive into working in the oil industry

ABERDEEN-based skills organisation for the oil and gas industry OPITO is today (Monday, October 12) kicking off its latest work experience programme by inviting more than 50 pupils from across the north-east to take a deeper dive into the world of oil and gas.

School pupils as far afield as Fraserburgh, Elgin and Keith to Stonehaven, Laurencekirk and Banchory - as well as a pupil from Kirkwall Grammar School in Orkney - have signed up to take part in the initiative during their October holidays.

A number of pupils have previously attended an initial week-long programme in June. During this second two-day session, they will get the chance to gain first-hand experience in different companies, ranging from operators to businesses across the supply chain.

Firms including Total E&P UK, ConocoPhillips UK Ltd, EnerMech, Survivex, Aker Solutions and Schlumberger will welcome the pupils to their premises to allow them to take a deeper dive into their role in the industry.

They will be granted access to specialist facilities such as the TOTAL E&P hi-tech SMART Room and get to participate in an emergency response challenge. Newcomers to the initiative, EnerMech, will take the pupils on a tour of their workshops looking at the latest equipment including pipelines, umbilicals and valves.

OPITO believe initiatives like this provide the next generation with invaluable awareness of the companies, equipment and career paths involved in shaping the oil industry whilst helping to secure the pipeline of talent for the industry long term.

One youngster who has seen the benefits of OPITO’s work personally is Rachel Low, currently a S5 pupil at Aboyne Academy. Rachel participated in Work Experience Week in the summer and took particular interest in one company.

She said: “I attended the OPITO week in June as I’m studying STEM related subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) but was unsure of what direction to take after I finish my Highers next year. This seemed like the ideal opportunity to gain a wider understanding of the oil and gas sector.

“I was matched up with several companies including Total. After spending time with their chemical engineers, I was inspired to find out more about this as a career choice. They were able to explain all the different aspects of the work involved as well as suggesting which courses at university would set me in good stead.

“I took the initiative and arranged to spend this extra week with Total during the October break.

“The OPITO programme was definitely the catalyst for me to discover that this is the industry for me. I’m really looking forward to finding out more this week about how the different chemical and mechanical engineering roles work together. I’ll also be able to include my work experiences on any university application forms which I hope will set me apart from my peers.”

OPITO UK managing director John McDonald said: “The industry recognises it has to get better at telling its story and inspiring young people if it is to secure the pipeline of talent for the future. There is nothing more valuable than one-to-one hands on experience and this programme is designed to bring the next generation together with companies to ensure that that happens.

“From our research we know that young people can see the career potential the industry offers. Giving them the opportunity to take the initiative and find our more is instrumental in helping them make informed choices when it comes to planning for their future.

“No other work experience programme offers this type of access to individual companies and their personnel and we hope that this continued collaboration between our organisation and industry will help benefit the North Sea and beyond.”

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