Our Sector Spotlight campaign returns for the summer and we begin by focusing on the Energy Industry. Today, we hear from John Corsie, who is a Production Technician with Repsol Sinopec Resources UK.
After leaving school, John undertook and completed a Modern Apprenticeship in Refrigeration, Air Conditions and Heat Pump systems with local business Steven R Paterson. He then felt ready for a career change and was successful in applying for the OPITO Modern Apprenticeship Scheme, securing one of four spaces available on Flotta. Following the completion of his apprenticeship, he was offered a full-time position with Respol Sinopec Resources UK on Flotta.
Can you describe a typical day in your role as a Production Technician?
Process Technicians work under supervision to produce, process and deliver oil and/or gas. We start up, control, monitor and shut down oil and gas production processes in Flotta. We do this both manually and by using computerised distribution control systems. We maintain safe operations and make sure that all the production systems are operating efficiently to maximise the production of oil and gas. We work alongside the other departments to keep the terminal in operation.
How did you end up in this role?
I left KGS at the end of sixth year and was unsure if I was going to go to University to study Geology or take on an Apprenticeship. I was successful in my application for a Modern Apprenticeship in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump systems with a local Orkney company, Steven R Paterson.
My course lasted three years with my time split equally between studying at North Glasgow College and working back home in Orkney. While at college in Glasgow I gained qualifications including: an NC, SVQ level 2, SVQ level 3, City and Guilds 2079 (F-Gas) and the completion of my Modern Apprenticeship.
After working at home in Orkney for a year I decided that the time was right for me to follow a different career path. Later that year I was one of four people in Orkney to be selected for the OPITO Modern Apprenticeship Training Scheme. This meant 18 months study at North East Scotland College in Aberdeen followed by a further two years working on site at the Flotta Oil Terminal.
I successfully completed my Modern Apprenticeship in Process Operations, gaining a HNC and an SVQ Level 3. As a result I was offered a full time staff position with Repsol Sinopec Resources UK. I have now been in this role for three years, and I have gained a wealth of knowledge across the various operational areas on site.
What is the best thing about your job?
I really enjoy my job and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to work at Flotta and be able to travel home daily after each shift and see my family. The people who work on site make the job what it is and make it much more entertaining.
What is the worst thing about your job?
Working 12 hour shifts for two weeks at time, whether day or night shift, unfortunately means you will miss a lot of family and friends events throughout the year.
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
The key qualities and strengths which I feel you need in this role are, time keeping, working well as part of a team, possessing the discipline and self-motivation to work independently, reliability, being a quick learner, the ability to establish effective working relationships and most importantly a strong work ethic.
What qualifications do you have?
As well as other qualifications that I have gained whilst being employed as a Process Technician.
Would you recommend this job to young people, if so why?
Yes absolutely, for young people with an interest in engineering subjects or chemistry it is worth looking into. It is a career that can develop into many future opportunities.
For more information about Oil and Gas Technical Apprenticeships with OPITO, visit: www.opito.com
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