Opito: ‘We want to make sure that this is an industry that’s attractive to young people’

OPITO International chairman Gordon Ballard with OPITO chief executive John McDonald with Turriff Academy pupils Vicki Elder, Christina Mair and Molly Mathieson.jpg
Offshore Europe 2017 Opito energise your future event

School age students were shown the future work possibilities within the oil and gas industry through an Energise Your Future (EYF) programme.

The aim of the project is to inspire the next generation by showing the wealth of career opportunities via interactive activities, information sessions, hands-on marine experiments and virtual reality.

This year more than 200 secondary school student s from schools across Aberdeen will take part and view a huge number of exhibits at Offshore Europe 2017.

John McDonald, chief executive of OPITO, said: “Energise Your Future is a chance for the industry to to invest a portion of its time and effort in young people. We enjoy the support of a strong line-up of exhibitors willing to engage with the pupils, including well-known industry players and newer, tech-savvy start-ups.”

Stewart McGregor, an S4 pupil, said: “I like the thought of travelling the world and doing hands-on stuff. This helps build your confidence and shows you what jobs are out there. I thought there was offshore, but of course you’ve got onshore as well. It’s good for business awareness.”

Despite the positivity of the kids at this event there is also widespread concern within many in the oil and gas sector that the industry may struggle to attract the new generation in the intervening years.

Addressing this point OPITO international chairman, Gordon Ballard, said:  “Certainly there is this veiw that we are in a steep decline  in oil and gas, but the numbers don’t support that . There will be oil and gas for many years to come. What we point out is that that is not the case and that we need oil and gas and we can produce oil and gas and still live up to climate commitments.

“We’ve a pretty good story to tell. When we present the facts to young people they see the reality of where we get our energy from and they understand it. We want to make sure that this is an industry that’s attractive to young people”