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ITF Focus on Graduate Engagement to Fill Ongoing Skills Gaps

11 February 2009

The oil and gas industry's global research gap is being addressed by the Industry Technology Facilitator - ITF - with the creation of a postgraduate research initiative.

ITF, who deliver cohesive technology innovation projects to the oil and gas sector, has launched the Energy Talent Development programme (ETD) in an effort to increase the stream of new talent flowing into the energy sector.

Supported by Scottish Enterprise, ITF are calling on the oil and gas industry to get involved in the programme which offers students studying at Masters' level or above, the opportunity to provide real-life solutions to a range of pressing industry issues.

ITF managing director Neil Poxon said: “The driving force behind the ETD scheme is to enhance the relationship between the industry and academia by delivering projects for Masters' and Doctorate level research which are focused on the industry's needs and requirements.

“As well as raising the profile of the oil and gas sector and attracting new talent by establishing a pipeline of entry for new and recent graduates through early engagement with industry partners, this joint scheme will provide participating companies with direct access to a pool of fresh-thinking, innovative potential recruits.”

Through the detailed study of a given industry problem, ETD students will have the opportunity to develop investigative and analytical skills whilst delivering a dissertation based on effective solutions for a current oil and gas industry challenge.

ITF and Scottish Enterprise will seek to establish a series of collaborative industry generated projects which can be utilized in postgraduate research degrees.

Any course that is considered relevant to the upstream oil and gas industry is applicable including, mechanical, civil, chemical, process and electrical engineering, physical sciences, project management and key areas such as earth, marine and environmental based subjects.

There are a number of different types of masters and PhD assignments which could be undertaken, including literature reviews, experimental or theoretical study, design and build, and feasibility studies.

A masters level project will typically last for 12 weeks with a dissertation handed in at the end of the activity. This gives students the opportunity to work on an area of direct industry relevance while giving the sponsor the opportunity to use the skills of a graduate engineer for around three months. This underlines the personal and monetary value of the ETD programme as it provides an additional cost effective resource to the industry partners.

“The ETD scheme underlines ITF's commitment to research and development through collaboration and dual thinking on the exploration and production technology needs of the industry. We hope that through fostering this alliance between academic institutions and the oil and gas sector we will be able to sow the seeds that will produce some answers to a variety of ongoing industry technology challenges, whilst also encouraging new talent into our industry”, commented Neil Poxon

The Industry Technology Facilitator is a 'not-for-profit' organisation owned by 22 major global operators and service companies. Its key objectives are to identify technology needs, foster innovation and facilitate the development and implementation of new technologies.