Apprenticeship Week Spotlight: Bradley Cowan and Lewis Nichol

Bradley Cowan and Lewis Nichols are both training through the Oil and Gas Technical Apprentice Programme and are working their way towards successful careers in the energy industry.

Lewis Nichol (left) and Bradley Cowan (inset)


First year apprentice Bradley Cowan has aspired to work offshore since his schooldays and has achieved the first step by being accepted onto the OGTAP scheme.

While studying at North East Scotland College (NESCol) and training at its ASET facility, the apprentice process technician has experienced independence for the first time, living in accommodation provided through OGTAP, making friends and working towards qualifications while earning.

Bradley said: “I think that the apprenticeship is very thorough in giving you an idea of working in the oil and gas industry. The college course is taught with the industry in mind and most of our lecturers have experience with the industry themselves.

“Alongside the college course, we are also put on numerous offshore training courses that would independently be impossible to do on the scale we are doing now."



Trainee mechanical maintenance engineer, Lewis Nichols, is currently in the third year of the OGTAP scheme, completing onsite experience with his placement company Shell. He thinks that this worksite training, combined with the comprehensive teaching he receives at North East Scotland College (NESCol), will mould him into a valued maintenance team member with an exceptional knowledge of the discipline.

Lewis believes that working closely with more experienced personnel has helped him to learn more about the plant in which he works.

Lewis said: “The qualifications I have gained from the scheme as well as the work experience I will have completed will put me in a fantastic position to progress with my career and keep pushing on within the industry. After completing my apprenticeship, I hope that I will be kept on by Shell as an operation technician at the Bacton Gas Terminal."

“Before I started the scheme, I had the perception that oil and gas was a dangerous industry. However, since starting the apprenticeship, I am now aware that safety is of the upmost importance and that it is one of the safest industries in the world."