Islands firm offers chance to fabricate a career start

Published: 01 Oct 2015

A marine engineering firm from Shetland has become the first employer from Scotland’s islands to support the Press and Journal’s crusade to help young people excel in their careers.

Gremista-based Ocean Kinetics has been taking on trainees for the last 12 years – and is now ready to recruit one more as part of our Apprentice 100 campaign.

Candidates for the role of welding and fabrication apprentice will be given a taster of life with the company.

Earlier this year, Ocean Kinetics started offering applicants for various junior posts a chance to work with the firm for a full week to help them decide whether the job was right for them.

The firm, which has about 70 staff, said the experiment was a success and definitely worth repeating.

Ocean Kinetics

HR manager, Gwen Malcolmson, said: “It’s difficult to recognise the strength of candidates through a CV.

“A trial gives a better feel for the person and whether they’re genuinely interested in welding and fabrication.

“It also gives candidates more of an insight into what they would be doing. It’s an opportunity to pair them up with someone experienced who can show them the ropes.”

Gary Sutherland, who is undertaking an SVQ in welding and fabrication at Ocean Kinetics, said he joined the company after veering away from his father’s career path.

Gary, 18, said: “My dad was a joiner and I did a lot of work with him but it didn’t really interest me.

“But I do like being hands-on and I enjoyed welding. I’ve learned a lot here. It’s interesting as well, I’m always busy doing something different every day.”

Gary also said those who impress at Ocean Kinetics could harbour hopes of enjoying top oil and gas careers on Shetland.

Managing director, John Henderson, who founded the firm in 1992, said apprentices were fundamental to bridging the widening skills gap in the Northern Isles. The firm has pedigree in the field of apprenticeships.

In February, Ocean Kinetics employee Scott Jeromson took home the prize for young apprentice of the year at the annual Energy North Awards.

Mr Henderson said: “The skills shortage is more acute on Shetland than it is on the Scottish mainland so it’s important to get more people into apprenticeships to ensure we get our fair share of welder fabricators.

“We’ve got an ongoing apprenticeship programme, but it’s important that we are not the only ones.

“The Apprentice 100 campaign provides an excellent opportunity to increase awareness that apprenticeships are a good starting point for young people in their careers.”

Become an Ocean Kinetics apprentice by sending a CV and cover letter to gwen.malcolmson@oceankinetics.com

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