James Gregg, director at Motive Offshore Group takes a look at the importance of training the talent of tomorrow.
Motive Offshore Group, which is headquartered in Boyndie near Banff, has a skilled workforce of 60 members of staff across its marine equipment manufacture and rental and fabrication divisions.
With signs of the oil and gas market recovering from the downturn starting to show, it is more important than ever for companies to ensure skilled staff are in place to plug the looming skills shortage.
At Motive, we recognise the importance of investing in continuous learning and development for all ages.
We see our apprentice programme as a vital link in the succession planning process and an important step in building a stronger business.
Providing a first-class service means that we are extremely passionate about developing our team to ensure that clients always receive a high level of work allowing them to meet their business objectives.
As both myself, and Motive Group director, Dave Acton, started our careers as apprentices, we actively encourage youngsters to join our team to develop skills and learn whilst they work, and have continued to roll out our apprenticeship scheme to new members of staff.
Over the years, we have worked hard to continue to develop strong links with leading north-east training provider ITCA, Skills Development Scotland, North East Scotland College, and local secondary schools.
Today, we employ two apprentice fabricators, two craft apprentices, an apprentice fitter and an apprentice machinist.
The latest intake follows in the footsteps of four previous apprentices who all gained full-time employment with Motive on completion of their apprenticeships, as a hydraulic technician, fabricator, machinist and fitter.
Apprentices at Motive aren’t purely workshop based, and assistant accountant Lauren Stronach also completed an apprenticeship at the firm, and plans are now in place to add a finance apprentice to the team. We are also advertising for four new craft apprentices and intend to fill these positions by the end of summer.
It’s sometimes difficult for school-leavers applying for apprenticeships as they lack work experience, but at Motive we feel this can be replaced with enthusiasm and a keen appetite to learn.
We do not focus our attention on their qualifications, but instead look at the talent the youngsters can utilise in certain roles as we feel having a good work ethic and willingness to learn is more important.
Apprenticeships are a valuable asset to a company and the training that apprentices at Motive receive gives them first hand, on the job experience.
As the oil and gas industry starts to pick up again, companies need to become proactive in providing job opportunities. Not only will this improve employability in an incredibly difficult market, it will also benefit the business and ultimately the economy of the north-east.