Campaign backers have history of apprentices

An oil services firm with a proven track record of elevating trainees to senior posts has given the Press and Journal’s Apprentice 100 campaign a major boost.

Aberdeen-headquartered Caledonian Petroleum Services (CPS) – part of Global Energy Group – has pledged to hire five promising young people as part of our recruitment drive. The company hopes to fill positions in the coming months.

Apprenticeships are the cornerstone of CPS’s operations and it currently has 46 trainee fabrication engineers on four-year training programmes, plus two people in its own accredited survey training academy.

CPS managing director, Bob Steel, said: “Apprentices make up much of the lifeblood of my company.

“Eight of our senior staff started out as apprentices here and elsewhere, while probably about 100 of our Aberdeen workforce were apprentices at CPS.

“More businesses need to take on apprentices – it’s a logical move which will ultimately benefit the firms themselves, the young people and the country.”

Mr Steel, whose own career started when he became an apprentice plumbing and heating engineer aged 16, said: “My dad was so proud I had become an apprentice and he continually drummed into me the importance of the valuable skills I would learn.

“I did waver slightly when some friends got well-paid unskilled jobs in paper mills earning £35 a week – three times what I was on. But Dad correctly forecast that, four years on, my mates would still be on £35 a week while I would have completed my apprenticeship and the sky would be the limit for my earning potential.

Bob Steel with staff

“Dad was, of course, right and that good start to my working career led to the fantastic opportunity to join the oil and gas industry.”

One of the current CPS apprentices, Jeremy McCraw, said: “After two years at university doing mechanical and offshore engineering, I realised it wasn’t the ideal platform for me.

“It’s fantastic to build your qualifications up through practical experiences as the university learning style isn’t for everyone.

“We’re very fortunate as apprentices, as we’re not only able to avoid the very significant student debt that graduates will incur, but we’re actually paid whilst learning.”

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