Eco-friendly car aids the road to career success

BUILDING and driving an eco-friendly car – complete with an MP3 dock – may not seem the traditional route to gaining an apprenticeship in the oil and gas industry.

But that is just what project controls apprentices have been doing at Aberdeen College.

The project controls modern apprenticeship scheme was launched in Aberdeen in January, by Amec and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB).

Five candidates from the scheme have already been recruited by AMEC as full-time employees.

For their first six months on the scheme they have been based at Aberdeen College in Altens.

The project to build a green-powered pedal car was devised to give students an appreciation of engineering skills such as fitting, fabrication and welding, as well as team building and project control.

Christy Bolland, one of the first apprentices to join the scheme, said: “It has been an amazing team-building experience.

“Alongside the project control techniques, we have also been given an insight into different engineering principles and methods that gives us the background knowledge of the industry to succeed in our given roles.

“One aspect that sets our pedal car apart from any other pedal car is the ability to generate power from the pedals to recharge the battery – sustainable energy at its best.

“The battery is then used to power lights, the horn and the USB port for an MP3 player, proof that pedal cars can meet the modern-day requirements.”

After two years, the new apprentices will be able to decide which of the project control functions (planning, cost control, estimating or commercial support) they would like to specialise in, and then for the next four years develop the skills required to become senior project control engineers.

In total, Amec has about 160 people taking part in modern apprenticeships and technical skills programmes, and almost 500 in formal development programmes throughout the UK. Next year, they will work on high profile and technically challenging North Sea contracts for their second year of on-the-job training.