With almost daily reports highlighting the skills gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in the UK, the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE) Aberdeen Section has reported investing almost £200,000 over the last five years to support initiatives designed around these subjects.
SPE Aberdeen’s Schools and Careers Guidance Committee plays a significant role in encouraging young people to study STEM subjects, which are fundamental to the energy industry’s future workforce. Activities such as workshops at the Techfest Festival of Science, which take place in Aberdeen, are supported by profits from SPE Aberdeen events and offer thousands of children the opportunity to get a hands-on introduction to STEM subjects each year.
Another important enterprise that the Society has supported over the years is Inside Industry, the only tool of its kind focused on providing first class industry driven career information and advice. The career guidance website, which is targeted specifically towards the energy industry, has been rolled out across 300 schools in Scotland.
Since 2011, SPE Aberdeen has invested almost £80,000 in scholarships to support students studying oil and gas related qualifications in order to relieve the financial stresses faced by students and allow them to focus on their studies.
Ian Phillips, Chairman of SPE Aberdeen said: “Inspiring the next generation has always been, and continues to be, at the heart of SPE Aberdeen. We are committed to encouraging and supporting the industry’s next generation of talent by providing opportunities that otherwise would not be available. The oil and gas industry has a long future ahead and it is essential that we do all we can to equip the future workforce with skills they need to drive it forward.”
All of SPE Aberdeen’s initiatives are funded by profit generated from its annual programme of events, such as the Offshore Achievement Awards, its monthly technical presentations and networking meetings, and topical conferences including DEVEX, the SPE ICoTA Well Intervention Conference and the SPE European Well Abandonment Seminar.
As well as key initiatives such as Techfest, Inside Industry and student bursaries, other events and workshops which benefit from these profits include CV workshops and industry exhibition tours for pupils and teachers, creating vital links between schools and industry.
In addition to the financial support given by SPE Aberdeen, the volunteers in each committee give their time and expertise to develop and deliver workshops, events and share their passion and enthusiasm for STEM and the industry.
Mr Phillips continued: “The events we run not only encourage knowledge sharing and professional development, but also play a direct link in supporting the talent of tomorrow. One such example is the Offshore Achievement Awards. As well as celebrating success and innovation across the industry, the awards also provide the wherewithal to attract the next generation of workers.
“It’s particularly important in this current market climate that we work even harder to encourage the next generation to pursue interests in the industry, and reinvesting back into key events and initiatives through the OAAs is a fantastic way to do so.”
The Offshore Achievement Awards will take place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on Thursday, 23 March, 2017. For more information please visit: http://www.spe-oaa.org/
For more information on the full SPE Aberdeen events programme, and the initiatives the Section supports, please visit www.spe-uk.org/aberdeen