THE offshore industry is keen to encourage young blood through graduate schemes, training programmes and arguably the most successful Modern Apprentice programme in the UK.
The apprentice programme is, in effect, fully subscribed and among the companies that see the advantage of using this avenue for accessing tomorrow’s talent is iicorr, part of Stork Technical Services.
Iicorr is a global integrity, inspection and corrosion specialist based in Aberdeen. Working with the Careers Support Service of Aberdeen City Council and 12 schools in the city, it has introduced a modern apprenticeship in engineering and aims to take on up to two school-leaver apprentices per year.
Paul Durno is among them. He secured his apprenticeship in November last year and is starting the new year working in operations support, which will see him gain experience in the day-to-day activities at iicorr.
Durno, 17, will then begin his National Certificate or a Higher National Certificate in Engineering, where he will attend college on a day-release basis while being supported by iicorr.
He will then tackle his SVQ Level 3, and begin to build a portfolio of evidence of development which will continue into the fourth year of his apprenticeship.
Durno applied for the scheme through Skills Development Scotland at the end of the 5th year at Dyce Academy.
He said: “My interest in the offshore industry started from my father who is a completions engineer. I’ve always been fascinated by working with equipment and machinery and building and repairing it.
“I live in Dyce and from an early age have noticed the oil companies in the area and as a result been intrigued by the industry ever since.
“My main goal is to eventually go offshore and work on rigs and boats, helping with the drilling and inspection of equipment and machinery. My ultimate aim is to work my way through the ranks and become an established engineer.
“I feel lucky to be in this position at such a young age – I don’t feel pushed out of what I am comfortable at doing and the role will help me develop over the years.
“It also gives me the chance to see how a company like iicorr works and realise what area I want to eventually specialise in.”
When asked what the industry could do to encourage more young people to enter it, he added: “I feel there is a lack of these schemes within the industry and definitely feel more companies need to visit local schools and take part in open days and presentations.”
This feedback has already been taken on board by iicorr, which is organising its first school visits in preparation for picking its next apprentice.
The firm has 200 employees and parent company Stork Technical Services has offices based in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific.
The firm is a global provider of technical engineering services to oil & gas, chemical and power industries.
Durno admits the work that goes on behind the scenes in the industry was a surprise.