Amadou Camara is 21 years old and in his 2nd year of the work placement stage of the OGTAP apprenticeship programme in the discipline of measurement and control engineering. He studied at Edinburgh College and is now doing work experience and training offshore with BP. Amadou is currently focussing on the final stages of his SVQ L3 qualification and hopes to become qualified in the upcoming months.
How did you find out about the industry apprenticeship scheme?
My friend’s dad works offshore and told me it was one of the best ways to get into the oil and gas industry.
What inspired you to apply?
I've always had a passion for engineering and knew the OPITO/ OGTAP apprenticeship scheme was a great way to further my knowledge and gain useful qualifications
What were your perceptions of the oil and gas industry before starting?
To be honest, I didn't have many perceptions on it, I just knew it was both a very challenging and very rewarding industry
What has been the best element of the training so far?
My favourite part of the apprenticeship so far has been living in Edinburgh whilst attending college. I've made some great friends from all over the UK that I stay in regular contact with.
What has been the most challenging part of it?
The most challenging part was getting used to offshore life. It's a big change being away for 3 weeks at a time and working long shifts
How do you think your apprenticeship will prepare you for entering the working oil and gas industry?
I'm sure my apprenticeship will prepare me very well for entering the industry. College gave me a good knowledge of the theoretical side of things and my work placement is giving me good practical experience.
How does being on the industry training scheme help you compared to your peers in terms of progressing your career?
Some of my friends stayed in education and went straight to university which is good. However I feel the work placement experience is a huge advantage as many are stuck in a loop of needing experience to get a job, and not being able to get experience due to not being able to get a job.
What is your ideal job after you finish your apprenticeship?
My ideal job when I finish my work placement is to be a BP instrument technician
Given the current climate of job losses within the industry, why would you encourage young people to enter the oil and gas industry - what are the rewards?
Every industry has its ups and downs; it's happened before in the oil and gas industry and I'm sure it will happen again. It's important that young people enter the industry, without apprentices, experienced workers will have no-one to pass their knowledge and experience on to and ensure the future of the industry.
What advice would you give to young people thinking of entering the industry after you?
I'd say go for it, oil and gas is a very interesting industry to be in. There is so many aspects to it and you're learning new things every day.
Anything else you want to add?
The oil and gas industry provides you with opportunities to travel and work all around the world which is also a great reason to get involved in it.