A young trainee who has his sights firmly set on an exciting career in the oil and gas industry has won the coveted OPITO Apprentice of the Year award.
Edinburgh College student, John Paterson (22) faced competition from technicians across Scotland to win the top honour in the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry’s Technician Training Scheme
The award recognises and acknowledges outstanding ability and attitude during the two year college phase of the 45 month apprenticeship scheme, which has brought 1460 young people into the oil and gas sector since it was established in 1999.
Split into two phases, the programme, which celebrates its 15th anniversary next year, sees students take part in a 21 month full time course at one of the industry-appointed colleges, before embarking on a two year worksite placement.
John said: “The last 15 months have been great and I am incredibly fortunate to have been given this opportunity.
“I am amazed at how much I have learned already and the excellent support and guidance that I have received throughout. It’s definitely given me the best training that I could have hoped for so early in my career and I have no doubt that it will help me reach my professional goals.
“My friend had previously taken part in the apprenticeship programme and recommended it to me when I was unsure of the best route into the industry. I know from his experience that if you work hard and come through this scheme successfully you can look forward to a long and prosperous career in oil and gas.
“Looking ahead, my aim is to become an offshore installation manager. This may be a long way off at the moment, but I firmly believe that the practical skills I am learning at the moment will benefit me and help achieve this.”
John will embark on the second phase of his apprenticeship in May 2014 where he will receive on-the-job training with a sponsoring company, being mentored and working alongside experienced staff to gain job specific skills.
John McDonald, managing director of OPITO said: “John should be extremely proud of himself; he was up against some of the country’s most talented students and impressed the judges with his positive attitude, drive and passion to work in the industry.
“It was very difficult for the three judges, as all four finalists were exceptional in their field and demonstrated all key attributes that we look for in a worthy candidate, however, there could only be one winner and John’s confident nature and measured approach gave him the edge.
“Its young students like John that are so important to the industry in helping to inspire the next generation of oil and gas workers who often aren’t aware of the opportunities available to them. I have no doubt that he has a bright future ahead of him and he will go far within the industry.
“Next year will mark a significant milestone for the OPITO apprenticeship programme, as it enters its 15 year anniversary. We launched the scheme in 1999 in an effort to find a high calibre of young trainees who had the potential to become the future industry leaders that will shape the oil and gas sector for years to come. Year on year we are amazed at the standard of applicants and the sheer talent and skill that candidates demonstrate, so early in their career.”
Press Release, December 11, 2013