Now more than ever, it is important we work to attract the next generation into the industry.
The energy transition presents a dual challenge – an increasing demand for energy teamed with a decrease required in our carbon footprint, and a big part of developing the solutions to address these challenges will come from attracting talented people into the industry.
The oil and gas industry is often perceived as part of the problem whereas in reality it is a big part of the solution to our nation’s net-zero targets.
The SPE Aberdeen Energy4me Schools Career Guidance committee provides a link between industry and schools, and through its fantastic group of passionate and enthusiastic volunteers aims to inspire the next generation to consider careers in the energy sector.
The committee is involved in a range of activities and regularly attends careers fairs at schools throughout Aberdeen city and shire and works in partnership with TechFest and Aberdeen Science Centre.
SPE Aberdeen is a long-time sponsor and supporter of TechFest’s Maths in the Pipeline programme, which introduces the industry to school pupils and includes competitive challenges which put their maths skills to the test.
More than 100 pupils took part in the Maths in the Pipeline programmes this year.
Sarah Chew, managing director of TechFest, said: “The benefit of Maths in the Pipeline is it allows pupils to understand that what they learn in the classroom is actually applied to industry.
“With support from SPE Aberdeen volunteers, offering insight into the energy industry, pupils can see the value of persevering with technical subjects and understand how maths in particular can help solve challenges that engineers face every day.
“Maths in the Pipeline is successful due to the time the SPE Aberdeen dedicates and its volunteers really do provide the unique selling point for the event.”
The committee also collaborates with Skills Development Scotland and this year invited 70 school careers advisors from across Scotland to Offshore Europe to learn more about the future opportunities for young people in energy careers, particularly in Stem subjects.
The event addressed the role of the hydrocarbon industry in a responsible energy transition and featured keynote speeches from Sami Al-Nuaim, SPE president 2019, and Alix Thom, OGUK workforce engagement and skills manager.
This was followed by a tour of the exhibition led by industry professionals. The advisors were introduced to a wide range of employers who explained what they look for in new recruits.
Industry partners, including Oceaneering, Global Energy Group, Worley, Schlumberger, Expro and Opito highlighted the variety of routes into the industry including opportunities to develop further skills through graduate apprenticeships.
The event was very well received with one attendee saying: “This was a fantastic event and it was interesting to hear what employers are doing to change the perception of the industry, along with how they are addressing gender imbalance. It was also useful to hear how the industry is working on decarbonisation, new emerging jobs and how they are reskilling their workforce for the future.”
The next generation is key to developing solutions to the challenges ahead and SPE Aberdeen looks forward to continuing to engage and inspire.