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Meet Lynsey, a previous APTUS apprentice

In honour of International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) 2024, we recently caught up with Lynsey Johnston.

Lynsey started her career in the 2017 as an APTUS apprentice studying to be an Instrument Technician. 

Now qualified, Lynsey is currently working as an Instrument Technician on the Glen Lyon FPSO in the North Sea, where she has big dreams for her future.


What inspired you to apply to be an energy apprentice?

When I was 17 all my friends were applying to university, and I just knew it wasn’t for me. My dad suggested doing an apprenticeship and I thought it would be a better route for me. I’d rather learn hands on and get to do practical activities.  

I’d never really thought about working in energy, or never dreamt that I’d be working offshore but when I saw this apprenticeship it seemed really interesting, so I thought why not?

Lynsey Johnston photo

APTUS apprentices complete 21 months of studying at college before moving on to their work placement. How did you find the college phase?

I started college when I was 17, so I also moved into halls of residence. I lived with other apprentices from my course which was great because everyone had a strength and a weakness, so we all helped each other if there were things we weren’t sure about. It really brought us all together.

At the time, I felt like there was a lot to learn at college, almost like a foreign language – files and transmitters that I’d never heard of! The college staff were so supportive and really knowledgeable – it was great to learn from them. Now looking back, I think how lucky I was to experience college life like this at such a young age.

College was a great opportunity to make really strong friendships. We all still stay in touch now and usually go on holiday once a year if rotas allow!

After completing the college phase, your work placement was offshore. How did you feel about going offshore?

I was unbelievably nervous! My sponsor company, BP, put me in contact with another worker who was going on the same flight as me. He was also an instrument technician and lived nearby. He came to my house to help me prepare for going offshore – he told me everything I needed to know – what to take with me, what to expect on platform, what the heliport would be like - and it was so reassuring! 

It was just another level of support and made my first flight out to the platform so much less daunting, just knowing that I knew someone else and had a point of contact. 

Throughout the whole apprenticeship everyone has been so helpful and willing me on to learn. It’s something that I take forward with me now, I always want to pass on any learnings I can to new team members and make sure they have the support network that I did.

What was your biggest challenge working offshore?

I was 19 years old, away from home and working 12 hour shifts for a 3-week rotation. It took some adjusting, but I kept thinking how lucky I was to be able to experience this at my age, while earning a wage and enjoying time off. All my friends were at university juggling part-time jobs while studying, and I was experiencing a hands-on placement, earning a wage on an offshore platform in the North Sea! 

It also taught me to have confidence in myself and have faith that by this point I’d been learning for years so I had the knowledge to put my skills into practice.

I was recently working with a colleague who I first met when I started offshore, and it was great to see how much I’ve grown since I first started on my placement all those years ago. 

As part of International Women in Engineering Day - why would you encourage young people, especially females, to enter the energy industry as an APTUS apprentice?  

If you’re unsure whether to apply or not – just go for it. You will make life-long friends, learn a lot and have some amazing opportunities. 

As a young female in the industry, I’ve had a really great experience from day one of my apprenticeship. I’ve learned a lot from my mentors, colleagues and friends - everyone really does take you under their wing, so you’ll never feel alone.

Being able to earn while I learn gave me a great start to my career and has helped me build solid foundations. I’m really excited to be able to continue to learn and grow within my role. I have the opportunity to study more, complete training and keep developing.

I love seeing the other female technicians on platform and having them to look up to – thinking that will be me in a few years’ time! I hope I can be a role model to other young females considering a career in the energy industry.

Recruitment for APTUS apprenticeship programme is currently closed, however you can register your interest in the programme to be notified of the 2025 opening dates here.