OPITO helping shape future careers in oil and gas industries

Local students testing out a 22 metre working at height training tower as part of a week-long Platfo

Local students testing out a 22 metre working at height training tower as part of a week-long Platform of Opportunity event run by Opito. - Credit: Archant

More companies have joined the growing line-up of oil and gas businesses helping to shape the future career choices of the next generation.

OPITO’s Platform of Opportunity Week in partnership with East Norfolk Sixth Form College saw 12 energy sector firms engaging with around 175 college and secondary school pupils interested in finding a role within the industry.

The skills organisation for oil and gas has secured participation from Claxton Engineering, Fraser Well Management, Proeon Systems and Geo Therm for the initiative, each offering taster sessions to young people.

Students from East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Lowestoft College, University Technical College Norwich, Wymondham College, Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form and Stalham High School are among those who applied for a place in the week-long programme.

Throughout the 15 industry taster sessions, the young people took 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 22m working at height training tower.

For the first time, there were employability workshops covering CV and interview skills, presentation techniques, and how to dress professionally.

In addition to the new companies taking part, Seajacks UK , Proserv UK, Aquaterra Energy and Gardline Geosurvey are returning for the second year.

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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.

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.”

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.”