Apprenticeships continue to support the Oil and Gas sector, providing a pipeline of new talent into the industry.
This March marks Scottish Apprenticeship Week (2-6 March), which gives employers and training providers across the sector a national platform to spotlight the benefits of an apprenticeship in Oil and Gas.
Every year, employers of all sizes celebrate the value apprentices bring to their business. A host of activity takes place the length and breadth of the country to encourage uptake in Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships from both firms and individuals.
Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2020 celebrates the diversity that makes work-based learning good for individuals, employers and the economy.
Co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland, the campaign theme this year is ‘Talent Without Limits’.
Through the Week, businesses across all sectors are being encouraged to get involved to help challenge outdated and limiting views of apprenticeships and who they are for.
The Scottish Apprenticeship Week campaign page on apprenticeships.scot/scotappweek provides information and resources on how to get involved, with a link to register any events and activity taking place to support the week.
In Oil and Gas, there has been a long-standing collaborative approach to developing apprenticeships that meet the needs of the sector.
The Oil and Gas Technical Apprentice Programme (OGTAP) is managed by OPITO and the ECITB on behalf of sponsoring oil and gas companies including Total, BP and Shell.
Through OGTAP there has been a range of initiatives to create a diverse workforce in Oil and Gas.
A recent initiative in association with Skills Development Scotland and North East Scotland College aimed to attract more women into the industry.
Activities aimed to help employers engage more positively with young women and encourage more females to consider an apprenticeship within the sector.
Skills Development Scotland delivered a session to oil company representatives, which provided examples of simple, low-cost actions they could take.
A series of open evenings for young women were also held to highlight Modern Apprenticeship opportunities.
2019 marked the 20th anniversary of the OGTAP scheme, and over 100 new trainees were welcomed into the programme in September.
To celebrate the successes of the apprenticeship scheme, oil and gas apprentices met with Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse on the OPITO stand at SPE Offshore Europe.
Commenting on the event, Paul Wheelhouse said: “I am delighted to celebrate the success of the OGTAP programme, now in its 20th year, and supported by 19 companies, highlighting the number of businesses that can see the benefit of investing in the next generation to support the energy sector.’
Process Apprentice Emma Proctor 24, from Montrose, is one of the new 2019 intake. Emma said: “When I heard I’d made it on the course, I was amazed and excited,’ she said. “So many people apply for OGTAP each year, so to make it through the selection process was a truly great feeling.
“Prior to applying, I’d been trying to get a job in the oil and gas sector after gaining a HNC in Engineering Systems last year, but I kept getting knocked back because I have no experience. However, a friend encouraged me to apply for OGTAP because it has the theory aspect and provides on the job training. For me, this is the perfect solution and having an employer at the end of the programme is ideal.”
The 2020 OGTAP recruitment campaign, which incorporates Scottish Apprenticeship Week, is now well underway. Interested applicants can visit the OGTAP website (www.ogtap.co.uk) for further information and to apply online.
Employers and apprentices can support #ScotAppWeek20 in a number of ways, from promoting their apprenticeship vacancies, highlighting the work they are doing to create a diverse workforce to holding an event and showcasing their talented apprentices.
Visit the Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2020 campaign page at www.apprenticeships.scot/scotappweek to find out more, download the resources and get involved.