A new program for the development of graduate engineers has been implemented in Denmark on a stimulation vessel in the North Sea. It is designed to provide graduate engineers with a three-year period of extensive experience in offshore operations, knowledge of equipment and designing effective stimulation jobs. There are many components to the program that address training, skills, demonstration of capabilities and evidence of competence. These are essential components that ultimately lead to improved operational performance and highlights.

The North Sea oil and gas industry requires a constant effort to maintain the engineering skills of its offshore workers so vital to continued success. Paradoxically, there are numerous factors that hinder on site development of young engineering talent in the North Sea. There is a lack of offshore accommodation that often restricts onsite time for trainees. This is exacerbated by a low frequency of many operations compared to other provinces in the industry. A further barrier arises from the costs associated with the extensive obligatory HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) training requirements before going offshore. In general, these factors are getting more difficult to manage with time.

The North Sea vessel provides an excellent environment for the program with a number of aspects that are very important to graduate engineers. Firstly, the vessel has a design life of 30 years and so provides confidence in the prospect of a long term career. Secondly, the vessel has the newest technology and a large number of experienced personnel on board to act as mentors. Thirdly, the vessel performs operations regularly and fourthly, it has plenty of bed space. In addition, the vessel boasts excellent welfare. Each person benefits from a single occupancy bedroom which has natural light and is en-suite. It has a first class free restaurant and great recreational facilities.

Participation in the development program provides the opportunity to work and study at the sharp end of the industry, overcome exciting tough technical challenges and most importantly a vehicle to developing a meaningful long term career.

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