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Aker Solutions Gains First of its Kind ECITB Approval for Graduate Programme

06 March 2012

Three female construction graduates at Aker Solutions in Aberdeen will be the first in the UK to achieve professional approval for their training after the company’s development programme gained official recognition from the industry’s national skills body, the ECITB.

The oil services company worked with the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) to create a professional standard against which its four year construction graduate development programme has been assessed.

It will see graduates Clare Davidson, Victoria Reid and Rebecca Masson- Graham become the first to gain independent verification of the quality of their skills, putting them in line with engineers working within other disciplines.

"Offshore construction engineering has traditionally been an experienced-based discipline with engineers coming from an offshore supervisory background. This training programme gives us the opportunity to bring a new dimension to the discipline, enhancing the role of the construction engineer within the industry” said Mike Forbes, managing director of maintenance, modifications and operations for Aker Solutions in Aberdeen.

"There is no institutional distinction for construction graduates to work towards professional accreditation or chartership however we felt it was important for our employees’ career development that the training they received with Aker Solutions was of an industry recognised calibre.

"We are delighted that after working closely with the ECITB on the quality assurance process, we are able to offer our graduates a unique programme with which to develop their skills.”

The four-year rotational programme sees graduates work across a wide range of projects within the construction environment. Based on a flexible format, after gaining an overview during the first 12 months, it offers them the chance to focus on the area of most interest to them from the second year onwards.

Graduates work with the senior construction engineers and project managers on a range of schemes and initiatives as well as achieving complementary accreditation such as NEBOSH, City & Guilds in Project Controls, Association for Project Management Introduction and IOSH Managing Safely.

"This is a very male-dominated environment so we are exceptionally pleased to have three outstanding female construction engineers on the programme,” added Mr Forbes.

"They are already performing at a considerably higher level than we expected, providing real value to their projects and our hope is that it will provide them with a solid foundation from which to progress their careers in the future.

"In terms of the long-term benefits, it is an important step towards creating a more sustainable talent pool within Aker Solutions and the industry as a whole and will help us achieve our vision of growing our workforce substantially over the next three years.”

Nigel Spencer, director – development & quality at the ECITB, said: "We’re very pleased to recognise this exciting programme. These graduates have put in a tremendous amount of hard work to get where they are, and I’m sure they all have long careers ahead of them. The ECITB is committed to maintaining the highest standards of training across our industry, and we are delighted to be working with Aker to develop their talented workforce.”

Aker Solutions is one of the largest employers in the north-east of Scotland, employing around 2,500 people at bases across Aberdeen City, Dyce and Portlethen.