Repsol, in cooperation with Stavanger Offshore Technical College (SOTS), provided an offshore adventure in the North Sea during February this year for both students and teachers.
Repsol sponsored offshore trips to the Repsol operated Gyda platform for two classes with a total of 23 students, divided among 4 groups. Each of the groups stayed at Gyda for 5 days, and they participated in the offshore work.
"This is the first time that final-year students have been given an opportunity to travel offshore in connection with their training. It is fantastic that we were given this opportunity," says Børge Harestad, head of the petroleum branch at the school.
"We were allowed to stay on the platform, and the students experienced what it is like travel with a helicopter as well as the HSE aspects in practice. All of this is very important, and ensures a higher quality education."
"This is a magnificent contribution from an oil company. Not to forget that it makes sound economic sense over time to educate people even during downturns in the industry. The work done by Repsol in this regard is really solid," says Harestad.
During periods with limited use of apprentices, on-the-job training is replaced by equivalent training at the school. Such training is provided in so-called VG3 classes (final year of upper secondary school) that now has been offered by Stavanger Offshore Technical College (SOTS) two years in a row. The 23 students are divided among two classes, Drilling and Mechanical Wireline.
The initiative came from the OIM Vigdis Bringedal Holst, and both she and the team at Gyda have high expectations regarding the students headed for the North Sea.
We have been cooperating with Stavanger Offshore Technical College (SOTS) for a long time, and when our OIM last autumn was asked by the students she is teaching, whether they could take a trip to the Gyda platform, Repsol took on the challenge. Repsol wants to safeguard its share of the responsibilities for the industry and contribute whatever is possible for us for the coming generations. This industry still has many years of activities left, and we need smart brains, skilled hands and enthusiastic employees in the times to come!
"Repsol has had positive experiences with apprentices offshore. People become more focused when they have to train apprentices, because they have to delve deeper into the things they do. The apprentices are also an enormous resource for us that lifts the mood on board the platform," says Holst.
NRK was on location at Sola Heliport to welcome the students and make a news report on their experiences and feelings after the stay offshore.
The feedback from the students has been nothing but fantastic. They say that it has been very motivating and that they have gained a better understanding of the nuts and bolts of the offshore activities. They have participated in specific work tasks that have been performed, ranging from the actual helicopter flight, lifting operations, morning meetings and drills, to the pleasure of eating excellent food. They tell of having had a fun time - but most importantly - they found it to be very instructive and that they have become very motivated for an offshore career.
They also reported that they met very friendly people on board. The employees were very welcoming, and were very patient in including the students in their daily work and showing them how things function on a platform. They have learned how extremely important safety is offshore, and how strong the focus on HSE is both in Repsol and within the rest of the oil industry.