Oil & Gas UK has called for more women and people from ethnic minorities to apply for the trade association’s technical apprenticeship programme.

Recruitment for the posts of apprentices has already started and organisers want to see more females and companies applying for the programme.

Around 1,500 young people have been employed in the industry through the ‘Oil and Gas Technical Apprentice Programme’ (OGTAP) during the last two decades.

Oil & Gas UK workforce engagement and skills manager Dr Alix Thom said: “There is always a big demand for an OGTAP place, which is not surprising given the many exciting and diverse opportunities this industry offers.

“Many previous apprentices have gone on to hold varied and senior roles. This year, we expect to recruit around 55 apprentices and we’d really like to see more females and people from ethnic minority groups applying as these communities are under-represented in both the offshore population and OGTAP.

“We are very keen to widen the diversity of applications.”

“We’re also keen for more companies to get involved in the scheme, which already has the backing of 17 oil and gas operators and contractors.”

Taking into consideration the growth in number of participating companies and legislation changes, the charter setting out the governing principles of OGTAP has been updated.

Offshore Contractors’ Association (OCA) chief executive Paul Atkinson said: “OGTAP is a wonderful opportunity for people from all backgrounds to lay down the foundations of an interesting and rewarding career. We are very keen to widen the diversity of applications.”

OGTAP allows applicants to become apprentices in areas such as electrical maintenance, mechanical maintenance, process operators and instrumentation and control maintenance.