The North Sea’s Industry Technology Facilitator is launching a two-year talent hunt. The plan is to work with the North Sea and academia to build a pipeline of top-notch fresh faces into the energy sector by establishing industry-generated projects for use in postgraduate research .
ITF says benefits derived will not only enhance communications between industry and academia, but will focus research to meet specific needs of the sector.
The Energy Talent Development Project is backed by Scottish Enterprise and will also help academic institutions solve an age-old headache of finding good dissertation and research projects and further assist industry players work on their future needs.
The project will hopefully help create a pool of talent to take the industry into the future and a wealth of knowledge that can be built on in future projects being proposed to the proven ITF process.
Further, the Energy Talent Development Project is calculated to lead to a better understanding of the capabilities and quality of work available in Britain’s universities.
It is also the intent beyond this pilot project to engage on an international scale, with the expectation that this talent drive will enhance the knowledge and reputation of Scottish and UK academia globally.
A further aim of the scheme is to seek to improve the image of upstream oil&gas, highlighting the excitement of pursuing high-end technology development required by the sector. If this works, ITF’s chief executive, Neil Poxon, reckons it should result in a wider scope of talent signing up for careers in energy.
Assuming success with the Energy Talent Development Project pilot, Poxon hopes to make the programme a permanent feature of ITF’s work. He sees it as complementary to the industry-funded organisation’s core work and not draining resource. If anything, it is in the interest of member companies to make sure that the talent drive works, given the level of concern about attracting smart young people out of colleges and universities.
The facilitator’s technology manager, David Liddle, said: “This is an exciting new initiative for ITF and one that aims to make a valuable contribution to the industry skills shortages. It is vitally important for the industry to engage with our academic base, and it is in their interest to do so.
“The battle for the best talent is a competitive one and it is our industry’s responsibility to ensure that talent is nurtured in the right direction.”
Jennifer Craw, senior director of operations at Scottish Enterprise in Grampian, added: “We are delighted to support a project which will help foster the skills base the energy sector needs to maintain its success in future and which also has the potential to help bring new products and processes to the market.”
The project is being co-ordinated and managed by Adele L’Etang, one of ITF’s technology analysts. She is the first point of contact via