New apprentices visit Fife Ethylene Plant
Three teens who have just begun their Modern Apprenticeships with ExxonMobil visited Fife Ethylene Plant at Mossmorran last week.
Ben Sharp (18), from Dunfermline and Kyle Petersen (18), from Grangemouth, are embarking on an apprenticeship in Instrumentation and Process Control, while Jamie White (19), who is also from Grangemouth is an Electrical apprentice.
The trio started their four-year apprenticeships at Forth Valley College this week.
A year of study at the college will be followed by two years of day release with the other four days working and learning at FEP and a final year of full-time work at the plant.
The apprentices were invited to attend an informal evening with their parents at FEP, when Jacob McAlister, plant manager, welcomed them and gave a brief introduction to the plant while they enjoyed pizza and refreshments.
“We have had some 200 people who have come through the apprenticeship programme and it is a very valuable route for future talent in our plant,” he told them.
“You were one of 180 applicants who wanted to join, so there were several other people who wanted to be in the position you are now in! You are the best of the best.”
Doug Gillespie, maintenance support group manager, told the group that he had been in the same position as them 30 years ago.
“I can remember it like it was yesterday,” he said.
“It may be a bit daunting to start, but you will be surrounded by a great group of people and the opportunities that are available to you are outstanding. It is up to you to make the most of them.”
Ben, a former pupil of Woodmill High School in Dunfermline, said he was “really chuffed” to have gained an apprenticeship with FEP.
“I heard about it from my Grandad who just retired from here four years ago,” he said.
“I had applied last year but I didn’t get in, so when I got in this year I felt very proud of myself.
“I am looking forward to working hard and learning lots of new things.”
Dad Brian added: “I am very proud of him. Getting the opportunity to work at a place like this will be amazing for him.”
Kyle Petersen, who went to Grangemouth High School, was on holiday in Lanzarote when he found out he had been successful.
“I was on the balcony of our hotel and I actually missed the call, but I phoned back and got told the good news. I was delighted and it really made my holiday,” he said.
“I can’t wait to get started. I hope if I work hard during my apprenticeship that I will have a good chance of joining ExxonMobil permanently.”
Jamie, who is also a former Grangemouth High pupil, said: “I am over the moon.
“I’ve always wanted to learn a trade and I think this is the best way of doing it because you can learn the job while studying. It’s like a dream come true and I would love to get a full-time job at FEP.”
Mum Julie added: “I am so happy for him. I walked in one lunchtime and found him with a huge smile on his face and he said he had got the apprenticeship.
“I worked in the oil and gas industry a while ago and I am glad Jamie is coming here.”
Lorraine Kerr, business development partner at Forth Valley College said: “This apprenticeship programme is great because it is teaching young people practical skills while they are learning.
“We have worked with ExxonMobil for many years and their apprentices have always been really good.”