Pupils from Aberdeen city and shire have spoken of their enthusiasm for a career in oil and gas after the industry’s first structured work placement week.
It took place in partnership with five of the Granite City’s largest oil and gas operators and service providers.
More than 110 students met staff at Aker Solutions, Nexen, BP, Total and Transocean, to learn how different sectors, companies and disciplines come together to form the oil and gas industry.
Currently fewer than a third of Scottish employers take staff on straight from school. But the OPITO-managed programme aims to give S5 pupils an overview of the industry and the roles available to them in this exciting sector, as well as giving future employers a chance to meet and inspire the next generation.
The secondary school pupils heard how exploration and production operators find, extract and process hydrocarbons. They also examined onshore and offshore roles, gained hands-on geology experience and tried out cyber drilling simulators. Pupils also took part in a supply chain simulation exercise with OGAS, the Oil and Gas Academy for Scotland.
A series of workshops with the University of Aberdeen, exploHUB, Robert Gordon University Energy Centre and the Urquhart Partnership also introduced them to important professional skills such as CV writing and interview techniques to prepare them for starting on their career paths.
OPITO skills development director, Morven Spalding, said: “The feedback we’ve had has been amazing. We’ve had teachers telling us how inspired their students found the week-long placement and how excited they are about getting into the industry now that they understand more about what is on offer.
“Motivating students can sometimes be an uphill struggle, but this experience really seems to have captured the minds of these young people. We are hoping to hold another week in partnership with industry again later this year and more in 2015.”
Anna Clarke, 16, from Portlethen Academy, said: “I’m definitely now interested in a career in oil and gas.
“I really had no idea of all the various opportunities or how to enter the industry before. I’d no idea I could apply for an apprenticeship. After what I’ve seen and heard, I’d very much like to end up working in a mechanical or chemical engineering role in the sector.
“I enjoyed this experience so much, I will definitely be encouraging my younger school friends to take part in this scheme as it really opens up your eyes to what there is on offer, especially in areas you might never have considered before.”