Virtual subsea work for Meldrum pupils

Meldrum Academy pupils James Padmos and Max Walker with David Wavell from The ORCA Hub
Meldrum Academy pupils James Padmos and Max Walker with David Wavell from The ORCA Hub

Meldrum Academy pupils have taken part in OPITO’s Energise Your Future (EYF) event.

The academy was one of eight north east schools to have taken part in the initiative that was held during the final day of Subsea Expo at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on Thursday, February 7.

EYF is managed by OPITO, the global, not-for-profit, skills body for the energy industry.

The event aims to inspire and encourage more young people in the UK to consider the industry as a career choice by providing a chance to get up close with key companies and people who can help explain their businesses as well as roles and routes into the sector.

This year, 13 companies were involved in the Subsea Expo programme.

Marine engineering firm EC-OG offered pupils the chance to use its latest virtual reality technology which will transport them subsea to inspect its subsea power hub and battery equipment.

John McDonald, OPITO CEO, said: “As more and more oil and gas companies embrace new techniques such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, it is important that young people see and hear first-hand what the future of the industry looks like and the vast and exciting opportunities these developments present to them.”

Attracting young talent remains a key focus for the sector.

The recent OPITO UKCS Workforce Dynamics Review showed that if the sector achieves its ambitions set out in Vision 2035,40,000 people will need to be recruited over the next two decades.

Around 10,000 of those are expected to be in roles that don’t yet exist.

Mr McDonald added: “We are currently developing a new UKCS Skills Strategy to support the skills that will be required by both new and existing personnel operating in the North Sea into the next decade.

“It is important we provide opportunities through initiatives like EYF to help young people discover that this is a sector with a future worth considering that also has the learning infrastructure in place to help develop their career and unlock their potential.”

The pupils taking part were all aged between 13 to 17. The other schools at the event were Aberdeen Grammar, the International School Aberdeen, Oldmachar Academy, Albyn School, Mintlaw Academy, Robert Gordon’s College and Peterhead Academy.