North-east politician Sir Robert Smith met apprentices from oil service group Subsea 7 to promote Scottish Apprenticeship Week.
The MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine said: “Apprenticeship schemes such as the one here at Subsea 7 are an important solution to the skills shortage facing the oil and gas industry. Apprenticeships provide a recognised standard of training and the opportunity to earn while you learn. They open the door to worthwhile and rewarding career helping secure our future energy needs.
“To ensure the north-east and the UK is able to compete in the future, we need to have a highly-skilled workforce. The National Audit Office has estimated that for every £1 spent on apprenticeships the wider economy benefits by £18.”
Kevin Watson, a former pupil of Mackie Academy, said: “I really enjoyed my apprenticeship here at Subsea 7 and I would encourage others looking to get into the oil and gas sector straight from school to consider applying for a recognised apprenticeship. It’s a great way to get paid to learn.”
Jonathan Tame, Subsea 7’s group fleet and equipment director, said: “We are very proud of our record in employing apprentices, and then crucially retaining these highly-skilled men and women in the company once they have completed their training.
“As a major employer in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, with more than 1,500 people across our sites, we understand the need to invest in a skilled workforce for the future.
“Offering young people the opportunity to enter the oil and gas industry is central to our recruitment strategy, whether that be apprentices, marine personnel or graduates.”
Scottish Apprenticeship Week starts today.