Subsea Expo

Access. Connect. Grow.

Students get a Taste of the Subsea Sector

01 May 2012

Careers in the subsea industry were on the menu for students last week (Thursday, April 26) as Subsea UK showed the exciting opportunities the industry can deliver for budding engineers by hosting a pizza evening.

Industry speakers shared their experiences with more than 40 students expressing their interest in the subsea sector at the learning event held at Aberdeen University.

Speakers from Astrimar, Subsea 7, Xodus Group and 2H Offshore highlighted the wealth of opportunities for graduates within the subsea industry as well as offer advice for students to learn first-hand about what the industry has to offer.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said: "Skills and training must continue to be a priority if the UK is to remain at the forefront of the global subsea sector. Collaboration between industry and academia is essential in attracting new talent into the industry, and address the skills shortage it is currently facing.

"Initiatives like this learning evening will make it easier for organisations of all sizes to interact with and recruit highly skilled new blood. It is vital that we find a way of translating what is happening in the booming subsea industry in a way that relates directly back to the students if we are to find a long-term solution to the skills shortage.”

With current UK revenues of £6 billion, the global subsea sector is predicted to double over the next five years to £20 billion with the potential to create thousands of career opportunities. All of the main engineering disciplines are required and it has become key for organisations and academic institutions to promote the diverse opportunities available to young people.

Mr Gordon added: "Attracting, retaining and developing the right skills to support the rapid growth of the industry has always been a challenge, the subsea industry must ensure it has a sustainable workforce supply and Subsea UK is focusing its efforts on capturing the imagination of these skilled students and encouraging them into a sector which has a plentiful supply of opportunities.”

James Knipe, Lead Subsea Engineer at Xodus Group, said: "This is a great time to join the subsea sector. It began in the North Sea in the 70s, so some of those that started the industry are retiring. Graduates coming in now have the chance to really make their mark on the sector.

"The industry is growing and we have seen our subsea service continue to expand across both oil and gas and renewables. Working in subsea offers the opportunity to see large scale engineering in action and as we find oil and gas in increasingly difficult environments, it gives graduates the chance to rise to more challenging projects.”

Dr Caroline Roberts-Hartinov, director of Astrimar, shared her experiences and discussed the importance of attracting graduates into the subsea industry. She said: "As subsea oil and gas resources become increasingly challenging to access, the demands on the engineering and technical capabilities of the industry will continue to increase. The subsea industry is continuing to grow despite talk of recession and cutbacks elsewhere.

"The UK subsea industry provides a centre of excellence that is leading the rest of the world and it is essential to continue to recruit new talent to strengthen the industry’s capabilities to design, manufacture and operate reliable subsea infrastructure that will respond to the changing risks and challenges to help meet our energy needs into the future.”

Cary Griffin, of 2H Offshore highlighted the need to attract young talent to continue to push the boundaries of development. He said: "Communicating 2H’s role as technology leaders in subsea structural design is crucial to attracting the brightest engineers into subsea oil and gas.

"We need their fresh perspective and ideas as we push into ever more challenging environments.”

The Aberdeen University event is one in a series of nights being held for engineering students at universities across the UK as part of Subsea UK’s overarching skills agenda.