Scottish school pupils will head below the waves to test their technical skills as virtual ROV pilots during SPE Offshore Europe in Aberdeen today (Friday, 8th September).

Energise Your Future (EYF), a programme led by global safety, standards and workforce development organisation OPITO, will provide one of the biggest opportunities that school pupils have to get closer to the technologies and people working in the industry.

The mission is to inspire the next generation of oil and gas professionals through interactive activities and information sessions, which this year include a technology treasure hunt, virtual reality engineering and hands-on marine experiments, all supported by industry experts.

This year more than 200 secondary school pupils from across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray will attend SPE International’s largest conference and exhibition in Europe, which is expected to attract more than 40,000 visitors and 1,300 exhibitors.

Young people engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at National Qualification, Higher and Advanced Higher level will gain an insight into the variety of roles available in energy related industries, shaping their curriculum choices and career options.

Companies taking part include major operators and contractors including Aker Solutions, GE Oil and Gas, Shell, Total and Wood Group; engineers and manufacturers EC-OG, JDR Cable Systems and TSG Marine; and technical advisor to the oil and gas industry DNV GL.

On the Robert Gordon University (RGU) stand, teams of pupils will go head-to-head using miniature ROVs, battling it out to collect as many tokens as possible using their underwater robots. The groups will have to work together to find the coloured tokens as they navigate through a tank in a set time.

John McDonald, chief executive of OPITO, said:

“Energise Your Future is a chance for the industry to invest a portion of its time and effort in young people. We enjoy the support of a strong line-up of exhibitors willing to engage with the pupils, including well-known industry players and newer, tech-savvy start-ups. With everything to see and do at Offshore Europe, we hope the next generation will be inspired by the excellent technologies, meet the people that make our industry great and soak up the sights and sounds of the exhibition.” John McDonald, Chief Executive · OPITO

Students will find out from energy industry leaders about career opportunities and the many positives of choosing to work in the oil and gas industry in the North Sea and around the world. They will also make the crucial links between education and the working world.