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This is a call to arms …

This is a call to arms …
Widely publicised recent reports of rising costs, major tax hikes, declining investment and falling exploration rates across the UKCS have painted a bleak picture of the oil&gas industry in the media.

Widely publicised recent reports of rising costs, major tax hikes, declining investment and falling exploration rates across the UKCS have painted a bleak picture of the oil&gas industry in the media.

Those working in the sector are only too familiar with its cyclical nature, but when it comes to attracting new blood, how damaging is it when we see these messages of doom and gloom making the headlines?

Our industry continues to battle with outdated stereotypes. Asked to think about an oil&gas worker, many young people don’t go beyond the image of an offshore rigger in a dirty boiler suit. But, as we all know, careers – and choice of wardrobe – in the energy sector are almost limitless.

Similarly, if you were to ask a school pupil debating their future career choices if they had considered oil&gas, based on the current industry image, you might not get the answer you want. Who wants to be part of an industry seemingly in decline? Where is the long-term future in oil&gas?

Major changes are afoot for this year’s Offshore Europe event to help try to tackle this.

OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy will stage its flagship oil&gas lifestyle and careers event – Energise Your Future – at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on September 11, bringing a whole new vibrancy to the final day of the show.

The proven popularity of the interactive element of Energise gives young people what they have never had before – a window into what our industry is really like. It allows them to try out, in a fun way, some of the activities which real industry professionals are doing all over the world.

For many, it will be an eye-opening experience designed to showcase so much that is unique, interesting and dynamic about our industry. Our hope is that it will act as the catalyst to encourage those young people studying the science, engineering, technology and maths subjects which provide the core foundation of our business to see oil&gas in fresh light and consider it as part of their future.

Vitally, by focusing on senior pupils aged from 15 to 17 with an already proven interest in these key subjects, this year’s Offshore Europe will provide extra value for industry by giving it direct access to young people with a passion and flair for exactly the skill and knowledge our sector needs going forward.

BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Amec and Maersk Oil North Sea UK are some of the companies already taking part, but to really show just how diverse this industry is we need participation from companies across the supply chain.

This is the academy’s call to arms – our industry has more to offer than many young people think. We just have to be proactive and work together to tell them about it.

David Doig is CEO of OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy

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