A NUMBER of high-profile senior managers from the oil and gas sector went back to the shop floor on Wednesday 21 May for a taster of what it’s like to be a Modern Apprentice (MA).
Gordon Grant, works general manager at INEOS, Stephen Kelly, engineering resourcing project manager at ScottishPower and Dawn McGinty, engineering operations group leader at FMC Technology, were put through their paces by an MA from their own company at Forth Valley College’s new £1.2million Oil and Gas Academy of Scotland facility, based at the Falkirk Campus.
College principal, Dr Ken Thomson, also volunteered to take part in the event which aimed to increase employer awareness of the quality of modern apprenticeship training available at the college and also highlight the benefits apprenticeships can offer to businesses.
The ‘Back to the Shop Floor’ challenge was organised as part of a series of events being run by Forth Valley College during Scottish Apprenticeship Week (19-23 May) 2014.
The task involved stripping down a pump (either mono, lobe or centrifugal), looking at internal mechanisms and then putting the pump back together.
Said Dr Ken Thomson, who was paired with Ross Ferguson an MA at Alexander Dennis and Craig Hepburn an MA with BP: “This was an excellent way to find out what our talented Modern Apprentices are doing on a day to day basis and to have employers we work with endorse the high standards of training on offer. I must admit I had a great deal of fun. My mentors were really helpful and knowledgeable and kept me right as I went about my task.”
Dawn McGinty, engineering operations group leader at FMC Technology in Dunfermline, was mentored by Deborah Faull an MA at FMC.
Dawn said: “This has certainly stirred up some really good memories for me, back to where it all started. I was proud to be an apprentice myself and Deborah my mentor for the day should be too. It is a great direction to take in life.”
Gordon Grant, general manager at INEOS, was paired with Ellen Milne and Iain Park both INEOS MAs.
Gordon said: “It was absolutely fantastic to be back on the ‘shop floor’ today. It has been a long time since I have had the opportunity to undertake practical work of this nature and our Modern Apprentices Ellen and Iain kept me on the right track.
“They took the pump apart and did the technical ‘bit’ by re-building it. Modern Apprenticeships are all about preparing for a career and not just about a qualification. Experiences like today demonstrate the importance of Modern Apprenticeship training and although I enjoyed myself, I think I’ll stick with the day job.”
Stephen Kelly, engineering resourcing project manager at ScottishPower was paired with Sean Monaghan an MA with ScottishPower.
Stephen said: “This has been a very good experience and it took me back to days gone by. But I don’t think I will be in a rush to come back and I’m just happy I can count on the services of others to do this sort of thing. Sean was great and did a great job to explain what I was to do.”
To view the video, please visit the college website.
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Contact: Laura Riley