JFMS apprentices come full circle at EEEGR’s Skills for Energy 2019

Two East Coast engineering apprentices, currently on four-year placements with James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS), will be sharing their story with over 450 students at Skills for Energy 2019, taking place at the new state-of-the-art Energy Skills Centre, an £11.7m investment designed to help the region stay at the forefront of the UK's growing energy and engineering industries.

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Sponsored by OPITO and supported by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, the focus will be on whetting the appetite of young people from secondary school and higher education to explore higher-level technical skills and professional expertise, specifically in the energy, engineering, maritime and offshore industries.

Initially inspired by a two-week work experience placement with JFMS whilst still in school, Sean Turner and Cameron Field will be attending the event to share their first-hand experiences of apprenticeships and the energy industry.

Sean Turner, second-year ROV electromechanical apprentice at JFMS, said:

“We hope to ensure the younger generation knows how many options there are in the area as well as in general life. I would most definitely have benefitted from this event so it is good to go out and show people what we do.”

Having recently been in a similar position as their peers, Sean and Cameron are keen to showcase what they have learnt so far in their time at JFMS and on their accompanying East Coast College accredited Level 3 Mechatronics course.

In a bid to inspire their peers, the duo will be demonstrating how to operate and maintain a high-tech remotely operated vehicle (ROV), Falcon, which is designed to complete intricate subsea operations in the most challenging environments and reduces the industry need for people in high-risk environments.

Roger Moore, ROV operations and technical manager at JFMS, said:

“Inspiring the future generation in the local region to want to explore our industry is really important to us at JFMS. We are proud to offer work experience for local schools, STEM-based work experience and an apprenticeship programme, as well as valuable internships for college/university students, including project management, logistics and engineering design (vessel mobilisations).

“Last year we started, the four-year mechatronics apprenticeship course and we are incredibly pleased to see the two apprentices thrive in their roles, wanting the opportunity to motivate their peers.”

According to a report from an international economics think tank, OECD, children are already facing limits on their future aspirations in work by the age of seven. More than ever, this fact highlights the need to bring people from the world of work into schools with the aim of broadening awareness of job market opportunities, eroding stereotypes and raising aspirations from a young age.

In support of the OECD’s findings, statistics reported by Engineering UK show that 53% of 11-14 years don’t understand what apprentices do, and 64% lack knowledge of the types of apprenticeships available. Clearly, we have a shared responsibility to strengthen knowledge of engineering and STEM-related careers so we can inspire the next generation of energy professionals.

Cameron Field, second-year ROV electromechanical apprentice at JFMS, added:

“The Skills for Energy event will help open the eyes of students to what we do and I think it will give them a great opportunity to speak directly to employers in the local area.”

Our ultimate goal, including events like this one, has to be about nourishing a workforce for the future and ensuring a pipeline of highly skilled workers to meet both existing industry demands and to respond to the new large scale investments planned in wind and nuclear energy.

More than 30 companies will be exhibiting at Skills for Energy 2019, including ScottishPower Renewables, EDF Energy, 3sun Group, James Fisher Marine Services, UEA, OPITO, Gardline, Orsted and Vattenfall.

Visit the website for more information about EEEGR’s Energy for Skills event.

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