Girls’ nights to encourage more females into energy sector

Sophie Ewen
Sophie Ewen
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Two free evening events will be held in Aberdeen next week in a bid to encourage more young women into the oil and gas industry and dispel the myths which may be holding them back.

The Oil and Gas Technical Apprentice Programme (OGTAP) has supported 1,500 trainees as they entered the sector and is marking its 20th year with a drive to attract a higher proportion of females with relevant science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) qualifications.

Those interested in attending the ‘Girls in OGTAP’ evenings on Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 January at North East Scotland College (NESCOL), will have the opportunity to hear from women working in the sector as well network with current female OGTAP apprentices and course mentors.

They will also be able to look around the training facilities at NESCOL during the events from 6pm – 8pm.

Managed by OPITO and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), OGTAP boasts one of the highest achievement rates in the country. It has the backing of 17 oil and gas operators and major contractors including BP, Shell, Petrofac, Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd and Aker Solutions.

OPITO’s chief executive officer, John McDonald, said: “The energy sector is incredibly broad in terms of career options however the technical job roles like technicians and engineers still suffer from the stigma of being seen as traditionally male roles.

“Our goal with the ‘Girls in OGTAP’ evenings is to ensure that young women can hear from the experts first hand, speak to apprentices already on the scheme and see the surroundings at NESCOL. What better way to allay any concerns they and their parents or guardians may have and gain a better understanding of what being an apprentice involves for women in the energy sector.”

Sophie Ewen, aged 20 from Buckie, is a second-year process operations OGTAP apprentice. She said: “I was attracted to oil and gas by the idea of a work life balance and regular time off to enable me to travel. I’m also excited to be involved with the current changes in the industry, such as adapting to renewables.

“The best element of the training has been the onsite training instructors, who have previously been offshore. They share their knowledge and experience to give us a better indication of what it will be like.

“I would advise people to apply for the OGTAP course as it is highly recognised as a prestige course and recognised globally. The training is of a high standard and offers great opportunities.”

The ‘Girls in OGTAP’ events are aimed at school pupils aged 14 years and over who are interested in a career in the oil and gas and wider energy sector. A parent or guardian is welcome to come along also. Spaces are limited, so to find out more about attending, please contact communications@opito.com