Aberdeen Initiative Allows Oil, Gas Access to Skilled University Students

Small and medium-sized businesses (SME) in the North Sea energy industry will be able to better access skilled talent from Robert Gordon University (RGU), thanks to a new initiative.

By providing opportunities for companies to tap into the talent pool at RGU, the appropriately named Talent Exchange initiative aims to help those companies that are seeking specific skills or competencies.

Talent Exchange has already been utilized by well control training specialist Aberdeen Drilling School.

“We were looking for additional expertise in graphic design with specialist knowledge in the technology that would enable us to produce our desired training material, and so we thought about engaging with students who are currently studying the subject would be a good solution – and it was,” Phil Burge, chief operating officer at Aberdeen Drilling School, said in a release.

Burge said the school took on two exceptional students he described as “fantastic” and who “exceeded expectations.”

Businesses benefit from Talent Exchange because they’re “accessing new talent and getting a fresh perspective,” Yvonne Cook, project manager for Talent Exchange who is based at RGU, told Rigzone. Students flourish “by putting their learning into action through valuable work-related experience.”

Cook explained the initiative allows for RGU to work with companies in different ways: businesses can set a challenge to be undertaken by one or more students, a student can work on a project while based in the business or on-campus or students can be recruited for placement in the business for up to one year.

“If a business is interested in working with Talent Exchange, we generally meet with them to understand what they are looking for before exploring options to convert this interest into a work-related experience that will benefit both the business and our students,” Cook said. 

Businesses are able to get to know students through challenges, projects and placements, and understand their potential and expertise, which allows the company to determine where students might fit in once they complete their degree, Cook said.

Students are able to build their industry network and engage with potential employers.

The success of Talent Exchange is measured quantitatively and qualitatively, said Cook, by tracking the number of work-related experiences delivered and evaluating the impact from the perspectives of the business, the student and the academic involved in supervising.


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