Ryan Collie’s passion for fixing things, alongside his uncertainty about going to university, meant that the opportunity of a technical apprenticeship was not to be missed.
The 21-year-old, from Aberdeenshire, preferred on-the-job learning.
He said: “People can go to university for four years and still struggle to find work after they have graduated. Companies are looking for experience which you get with a Modern Apprenticeship, as well as earning and getting industry-recognised qualifications.”
Former Kincorth Academy pupil Ryan works offshore with the Wood Group as an apprentice Mechanical Technician. As he explained, working on the rigs as a technician is a varied and challenging experience.
He said: “I get to fix diesel engines, monitor power generators, keep systems running, change important machine filters, monitor pressure and temperatures and generally help keep the plant running. It’s my passion.”
Working away from home for fixed periods is a fact of life for many in the oil and gas industry. Modern technology, however, allows Ryan to keep in contact with his family and friends.
Ryan explained: “My family and friends are really proud of what I’m achieving. They’re always really interested to see how the apprenticeship is going and thanks to the internet, I can keep in contact with them. It’s as though I’m only round the corner.”
Going to university is still something Ryan is considering. He understands from his apprenticeship he can go on and do almost anything.
He said: “University is still on the cards. There is no reason I can’t go. Right now though I’m simply aiming to develop my career and complete my apprenticeship. Every day is a huge learning experience.”
Kelly Johnston, early careers manager, Wood Group said: “Ryan is an outstanding individual who has thrived as part of Wood Group’s early careers programme and has the positive attitude and dedication that will help him achieve his career goals and enjoy a long and successful career in the oil and gas industry.”