The program, which has been created in collaboration with the international engineering and operation contractor, Offshore Design Engineering Limited (ODE), aims to enhance the skillset of apprentices aspiring to enter the energy industry.
Throughout April and May, six third year apprentices will get the opportunity to spend time offshore as part of their NVQ course, Electrical, Mechanical Instrumentation. The new initiative is set to develop the technical skills and competency levels of the apprentices by offering them the opportunity to work on an operational platform alongside an offshore crew.
Graham Hacon, Chief Executive of 3sun Group, said: “Developing the skills and experience of our apprentices is of significant importance to the company. Nurturing the next generation of industry talent is key to overcoming the current skills gap, with on-the-job training an essential feature of this.
“With the vast competition that youngsters come up against when trying to secure a job these days, an on-paper qualification isn’t enough. Employers are looking for a workforce with hands-on experience and the 3sun Group apprenticeship scheme provides the apprentices with the head start they need to establish a successful career in the energy industry.”
Apprentices undertaking the program are provided with the opportunity to work on a gas installation, located off the East coast of England. Tasks are assigned by assessing individual skills sets and interests to determine which discipline suits them, as they study to attain a qualification in these fields.
Alex Armes, 23, a 3sun Group apprentice who has participated in the program, said: “The training initiative has allowed me to obtain hands-on technical experience on a working offshore platform, an opportunity I would not have been given normally as an apprentice.
“The time spent offshore provided a real understanding of the instrumentation, control and maintance field, supporting my work at 3sun and my NVQ coursework. Working in a particularly dangerous and extreme environment highlights the importance of implementing and following safety procedures, which is a key focus for the Group.
“Employers in the oil and gas industry look for technical skills and place a high importance on offshore experience, I am confident that my involvement in the 3sun training initiative will prove an excellent addition to my CV.”
Mr Hacon concluded: “The training program offers our apprentices the opportunity to gain extensive practical experience whilst receiving guidance from a mentor already working offshore. The initiative aims to support the apprentice’s course work whilst progressing their technical capabilities, and will hopefully be of great benefit to all involved.”
3sun Group is continuously looking at new ways to support those interested in a career in the energy sector. At the start of the year the company rebranded its training centre, 3sun Academy with the approved centre now delivering ECITB accredited assessments, including technical training, vocational assessment and verification, industrial, HSEQ courses, in addition to supervisory management and bespoke course.
3sun Group was recently awarded a £10m investment from BGF (Business Growth Fund) to drive continued business growth in the UK, and aid its expansion in Europe.
Since the company was established seven years ago, it has grown from an initial team of one to now employing 240 people and 24 apprentices. Headquartered in Great Yarmouth, England, it has a base in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and has seen recent expansion internationally following the creation of bases in Lubeck, Germany; Bergen, Norway and Esbjerg, Denmark. It is also currently looking at other UK and overseas locations.