Teachers brought closer to the oil and gas industry in Great Yarmouth
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
Teachers, course tutors and careers advisors from Norfolk, Suffolk and Hertfordshire paid a visit to Great Yarmouth's outer harbour today, to ensure what they deliver in the classroom can be made relevant to real life situations in the work place, focusing on the oil and gas industry.
A group of 16 'key influencers' from local schools and colleges had the rare chance to go on board jack-up vessel Zaratan, one of five owned by Yarmoth-based Seajacks. Visitors had a full tour including the bridge, crew cabins and heli-pad, with questions asked and information given along the way.
Leslie Whyte-Venables, from Stemnet - who aim to create opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for young people - said: 'The day has been really interesting, particularly because we have a big push at the moment on encouraging more girls into the industry.'
Vanessa Godden, who goes into schools on behalf of Stemnet, added: 'It means I'll have more knowledge when I go into schools, I'll know what I'm talking about.'
The visit was part of a week-long series of events, which are being hosted by five companies in Great Yarmouth and Norwich, known as oil and gas industry skills body Opito's inaugural Pipeline of Information initiative.
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Each organisation will provide a different experience, such as Seajacks vessel tours, visits to the Gardline laboratories and meeting with staff at Proserv to take a deep dive into selected career paths.
Opito have recognised that, in order to bridge the skills gap, teachers, careers advisors and course tutors must be aware of what skills the youngsters actually need to work in the industry. This will then ensure that teachers and those of influence can explain to pupils why their learning is relevant to their future.
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Ian Robertson, HR/Crewing Manager, at Seajacks said: 'It is so important to reach out to this particular audience as they are key in providing crucial advice to the next generation.
'I hope that providing the experience of what it's like to live and work in the offshore industry will go some way in increasing the understanding of teachers, careers advisors and course tutors so that they can help to tailor the learning experience of their students.'
He added: 'There is a lot of opportunity in this sector, and it may be quiet at the moment but it's not going away - this is my third 'oil recession' - but the industry is screaming out for young people to train up and get out there.'