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Oil and Gas Industry Re-energised by Careers Day Re-think

11 September 2009

The closing day of Offshore Europe has been hailed a success by the industry after the interactive careers and lifestyle event Energise Your Future made its debut appearance at Europe's largest oil and gas show.

Re-envisioned by OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy to provide added value to industry, Energise Your Future at OE ‘09 gave oil and gas organisations direct access to young people already studying the key science, technology, engineering and maths subjects needed to fill the industry skills gap in the future.

The Academy today (Friday, September 11) announced its intentions to stage Energise Your Future again at Offshore Europe in 2011 with plans already underway for more events in other key areas across the UK, the first of which will take place in Norwich on September 25.

The Aberdeen-headquartered Academy works with education, academia and their alliance partners to proactively support the industry's learning needs.

Director of skills and learning development, Mike Duncan, said: “We are absolutely delighted by the support shown by both the industry and the participating schools in making this event a success and look forward to building further on it in the years to come.

“The feedback we have received so far has confirmed our hope that this new approach to engaging with young people at Offshore Europe by giving them hands-on experience of the wide range of opportunities the oil and gas industry has to offer is helping change the younger generations' perception of the sector and encourage more of them to consider it as a career choice.

“Key to this has been participation by a diverse range of industry employers across the supply chain. By supporting Energise Your Future, they are helping to shape and secure the next generation of talent that will drive our industry forward.”

Malcolm Webb, Oil & Gas UK's chief executive, said: “Maximising the recovery of the UK's natural resources and bolstering theimpressive oil and gas supply chain in its position as a world leader will require our current young professionals and the next generation joining the industry in the years to come, to address technical challenges, increase efficiency and attract new investment.

“In order to ensure that businesses are equipped to overcome these challenges, today's industry leaders must focus on attracting skilled young people. At Offshore Europe, the opportunities provided by companies and OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy for pupils to gain experience of the wide range of exciting activities involved in the industry illustrates the commitment in this area.”

More than 30 companies, including BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Schlumberger, Total, Balmoral Group, Technip, Cameron and Maersk Oil, took part, each providing a unique interactive activity which raises awareness of the wide variety of careers open to young people in oil and gas.

Around 350 pupils aged 15-17 from schools across Aberdeen City and Shire got to try out a range of hands-on activities such as testing their skills on a crane simulator, exploring the inner workings of a Christmas tree, piloting a model helicopter and discovering what it's like to live on an offshore oil platform.

Among the highlights was a trip to BP's stand where pupils were able to speak to engineers working on the Schiehallion floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, around 110 miles west of Shetland, via a live video link.

As well as touring the exhibition, pupils heard from Offshore Europe chairman Thomas Thune Andersen, Shell geologist Caroline Gill, BP technician John-Robert Eunson and James McCallum, chief executive of Senergy. Later in the day, around 100 pupils visited the drill floor of a simulated drilling rig at Weatherford's Technology and Training Centre.