This is really one for the teachers. A new programme of Schools Careers Industry Partnership (SCIP) workshops are being rolled out in the new year to more schools in the Aberdeen area.
They will be sponsored by Total, EnerMech, ExxonMobil, Maersk and the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Kay McCandless, of the Coaching Training Consultancy, told Energy that dates for the new programme are being finalised at the moment.
“The ones we do have planned already are in March,” she said.
“All the workshops take place in the schools and each one has a maximum of 12 pupils. The reason for that number is that we spend a good deal of time in small groups giving one-to-one feedback on CVs, interview techniques, and so on.
“There are usually two of us from C-T-C and one or two representatives from the industry sponsor who also take an active part in the day with the pupils.”
The background to the project is that, in September 2008, C-T-C attended an event called Energise Your Future, which was run with schools and the offshore industry in Aberdeen.
“Through talking to teachers and pupils, it became clear that there was a significant employment skills gap in young people who were leaving school with the intention of going into the workplace rather than continuing with further education,” said McCandless.
“We developed a one-day workshop for senior pupils to help bridge the gap between school and employment and provide pupils with the skills they required to understand the industry and how to market themselves to the company.
“The success of phase one of these workshops has now led to further workshops being rolled out in the Aberdeen area, but this time with additional industry sponsors, and also Government funding in place to support the initiative, which fulfils several of the Scottish Government recommendations for Determined To Succeed, Curriculum for Excellence and Smarter Successful Scotland.
“We ran the one-day workshops in partnership with our sponsors, Acergy and Nautronix, between February and May this year in several schools in Aberdeenshire (Bankhead Academy, Inverurie Academy, Meldrum Academy, Westhill Academy and Dyce Academy).
“Our sponsors provided the full amount of funding for the workshops in phase one of the roll-out and Careers Scotland was also involved in the workshop delivery.”
The objectives of the scheme are:
To bridge the skills gap between school and employment, to build self-confidence and to provide young people with “industry-ready” skills.
To provide a platform for the industry to present an overview of the importance of the oil&gas sector and its context.
To create an opportunity for industry to connect with local schools and pupils in a productive learning environment.
To develop “life skills” in order that pupils know and appreciate themselves as unique individuals, and to increase self-awareness.
To motivate pupils to market themselves in the best possible way to prospective employers.
Presentation from, and discussion with, a representative from the industry sponsor about the oil&gas sector, their organisation, and including information about how to apply for a position within that company.
Individual psychometric profile (Buzz) – to increase self-awareness and understand others.
How to construct a CV and write a covering letter with coaching and input from C-T-C and the industry sponsor. Output is to have created their own CV.
Interview skills, including mock interviews and feedback, from C-T-C and sponsor.
What to expect at an assessment centre – input and skills practice.
The benefits for the pupils are to build their skills and their self-confidence and to give them an insight into what working in industry is really like; also to connect with people who can bring knowledge of an industry sector; the reality of what is involved in applying for a job; how the company may view and select applications; being interviewed, and receiving genuine feedback on their performance.
The benefit for businesses is to build relationships with schools and with individual pupils as part of their “corporate social responsibility (CSR)”, or to recruit apprentices, technicians, administrators, and so on, from the local community.