Petrofac is working in partnership with Career Academies UK to nurture up-and-coming talent and is one of 18 companies from across the North East of Scotland supporting the business-led charity as part of a structured two-year skills programme.
Petrofac very much shares their commitment to bridging the gap between education and work by linking young people to employers through mentoring, master classes and internships. As a result, this year has seen eight students from the North East complete a five-week summer internship at Petrofac’s offices in Aberdeen.
This forms part of Petrofac’s wider talent management programme which focuses on apprentices and an armed forces transition programme, in addition to partnerships with key industry bodies, including Oil and Gas UK, OPITO, Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB).
Students from local schools which have signed up to the programme, including Kincorth Academy whom Petrofac has a 16-year education-industry partnership with, undertook placements in various Petrofac departments, including HR, finance, communications and supply chain. The placement is intended to prepare the 16 year olds for the world of work, giving them a realistic flavour of what the industry has to offer.
Joanne Nazareno, who joined Petrofac’s Offshore Projects and Operations communications team for five weeks, said of her placement: “I’m particularly interested in a career that involves writing so it was great to have the chance to contribute articles for Petrofac’s internal newsletter, ‘This Is OPO’ which is circulated to thousands of employees around the world.
“It was definitely one of the best opportunities I have had and I am grateful to both Petrofac and Career Academies for presenting the opportunity. My confidence, in terms of both my work and communicating within a work environment, has grown a significant amount thanks to the internship and those that I was working with.”
In addition to a placement, the students are mentored by Petrofac graduates for their final two years at school. The mentoring programme aims to motivate the students and boost their confidence, focusing on selection of school subjects, time management, study skills, career paths, writing CVs and interview and presentation skills. Next month will see 20 second year programme students participate in a mock assessment centre, giving them a true experience of the recruitment process.
Petrofac’s 16 mentors support students from across Aberdeen City and Shire and Moray – the highest level of participation in Scotland as Career Academies prepares to double its current intake of 120 students for the next phase, 2015-2017.
Charlie Denham, Contracts Engineer for Petrofac’s Offshore Projects and Operations and Joanne’s mentor, said: “Having worked with Kincorth Academy for a considerable amount of time, our work with Career Academies UK is a key part of our commitment to the younger generation. We’ve created a long-lasting link with these students and we hope to see them again, perhaps as apprentices, trainees or after they have completed their studies.
“We are delighted to have a further eight mentors lined up for the next cohort of students with the aim that this will grow into a long-term development programme. I am certainly enjoying developing my mentoring skills so there are many benefits for everyone involved.”
Isobel Maughan, Regional Manager for Career Academies UK, added: “We are incredibly grateful for the fantastic support of Petrofac and its employees who contribute their time, skills and enthusiasm to make a real difference to the lives of our students. It is so important that young people are given the opportunity to gain experience in a real workplace and our programme helps them to develop the skills they will need as the future workforce of the Oil and Gas industry. As Joanne’s experience shows, students also gain a much better understanding of just how many roles are available in a company like Petrofac.”