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Partnership addresses skills gap

Honeywell’s college deal helps future engineers

HoneywellA Scottish college’s efforts to create future engineers to run the world’s advanced oil and gas facilities has been boosted by the delivery of a state-of-the-art piece of equipment from a global corporation.

Honeywell Process Solutions supplied Edinburgh College with a control system that will enable students to study and train on the same equipment being used in about 5,000 refineries, chemical plants, natural gas facilities, offshore platforms, mines and papers mills around the world.

The facility – a purpose-built plant with tanks, pumps, instrumentation and other components – allows apprentices to work on a simulated system as close as possible to an actual plant.

Ross Milligan, curriculum manager for Engineering at Edinburgh College, said, If we are to address the skills gaps we face in engineering and support the industry to reach its full potential, it’s essential we can provide today’s young engineers with the very best training and experience on modern technology.

“The new simulation system here will help students get the best possible preparation for working life, including the understanding and practical application of modern control systems used by industries in the in the UK and worldwide.”

Honeywell has a long relationship with Edinburgh College, which is a key participant in the UK Upstream Oil and Gas Industry Technician Training Scheme. Run by the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO), the scheme is widely supported by the oil and gas industry and has invested in excess of $100 million to train more than 1,200 apprentices.

Edinburgh College handles all the instrumentation and control apprentices under the scheme. For the last six years, the annual OPITO apprentice of the year has come from Edinburgh College.

Honeywell has been working closely with the college in recent months to update and repair its existing simulator, built in 1995 by the college’s students. Among those students was Honeywell’s Kenneth Westmacott, oil and gas solutions consultant, who attended the college in 1995 and is now liaising with the college for this project.

“The work Edinburgh is doing is vital to the future and health of the oil and gas industry,” he said. “Honeywell’s partnership with the college helps our investments have a real impact on the development of the next generation of process engineering talent.”

The original control system will now be integrated into the new one, helping cement the college’s reputation as one of the most advanced technology teaching centres in Scotland.

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