Every week, between January to March this year, ABB is opening the doors of its Aberdeen facility to apprentices from the UK Upstream Oil and Gas Industry Technician Training Scheme (UOGITT).
Groups of up to 10 apprentices will spend time at the facility learning how a major electrical and automation provider to the industry helps to improve operational performance through advanced technologies and services.
“It is important that the apprentices get to see the role that companies like ABB contribute to the major operators,” explains Troy Stewart, ABB’s Service Manager for Oil, Gas and Chemicals. “We have some of the most advanced technologies and services that are helping reduce operating costs while enhancing safety, improving efficiency and maximizing production. It’s important that apprentices see this technology first hand and spend time interacting with the engineers who operate it.”
UOGITT is recognized as one of the most successful apprenticeship programs of its kind. Established in 1999, the scheme offers a reputable learning experience, whilst providing the oil and gas industry with suitably skilled, trained and motivated technicians. Apprentices undertake a 21 month training program followed by a two year work placement with an operator. Over 1200 trainees have now completed the apprenticeship scheme and have found a successful career within oil and gas.
The trainees are managed by OPITO; the skills organization for oil and gas – who support the industry to build and maintain a sustainable, competent and safe workforce in collaboration with industry and government partners.
“The Scheme covers four key disciplines: process operations, electrical maintenance, mechanical maintenance and instrument and control maintenance,” explains Gordon McNeil, Technical Programs Director for OPITO “ABB is actively involved in each of these areas and a visit to the company’s Aberdeen facility will help put a lot of the classroom training into perspective.”
During the visit the apprentices will spend time in ABB’s advanced learning center which supports the development of the skills required now and into the future to operate, maintain and extend the life of automation systems. The center includes ergonomically designed interactive control room screens which aim to improve the safety and efficiency of operators by providing detailed and timely plant information.
The center also focuses on specific technologies such as instrumentation, electrical equipment including motors, drives, intelligent switchgear and advanced protection systems. ABB's D3 collaboration desk, also in the learning center, allows users to see real-time process data and key performance indicators, alongside other documents from various sources. Demonstrations running on the desk illustrate how the different functions in an operating company can collaborate to improve performance or manage process excursions or incidents. The desk shows how the wide range of ABB's offerings are brought together to help its customers improve their operating effectiveness.
Image from UOGITT