Our industry is facing a tremendous challenge as we tackle the energy transition, and developing a workforce that is multi-skilled, flexible and technology-enabled is critical.
OPITO is working closely with industry not only to ensure that our current workforce is fit for the future, but also those joining in the months and years to come. That’s why one of our key focuses now is to modernise the traditional apprenticeship.
An apprenticeship can be a passport to success, opening the door to opportunities across the global energy sector and building the skills that are, and will continue to be, highly sought after by employers. As we navigate this industry step change, I’m excited that we’re able to support new, talented apprentices each year, many of whom, I’m sure, will go on to help shape the future of our energy sector.
The Oil and Gas Technical Apprentice Programme (OGTAP), managed by OPITO and ECITB, was ground-breaking when it was launched 20 years ago and continues to be recognised as the gold standard.
The 19 companies who sponsor the scheme are a shining example of the programme’s reputation, which this year saw more than 100 individuals selected from 1,500 applications.
The “typical” apprentice we see has changed radically over the years, with many people opting for this route rather than entering industry via university. While we’ve also seen more women applying and graduating, work continues to further improve the gender balance.
As well as school leavers, we’re also seeing applications from individuals who already have strong work experience under their belt.
A prime example of this is Gavin Brown, who just a few days ago was named the 2019 OPITO Apprentice of the Year. He joined the scheme aged 32, after gaining experience as a design engineer.
Ultimately, we look for innovative young people with creativity, drive, determination and enthusiasm. They need to be self-reliant but able to work in a team and, now more than ever, they must be skilled for the future.
Applications for the 2020 OGTAP programme are currently open: ogtap.co.uk
John McDonald is CEO of Opito