The successes and achievements of a group of mentors and their mentees working in the oil and gas industry have been celebrated at an awards ceremony in Aberdeen.

Fifteen project managers from a number of companies successfully completed the Oil and Gas Industry Project Management Mentoring Programme, which is co-ordinated by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB).

Now in its fifth year, the eight-month scheme allows qualified and experienced project practitioners to ‘mentor-forward’, imparting wisdom and providing guidance to less experienced project professionals with the aim of accelerating their performance and careers. To date, almost 65 participants have benefited, many of whom are working towards chartered status with professional bodies such as the Association for Project Management.

Evidence shows that while technical skills can be learned online or in a classroom, behavioural and leadership skills can be enhanced via mentoring so, in 2014, ECITB and the Oil and Gas Project Management Steering Group (OPMSG) set up a pilot scheme to mentor 14 young oil and gas professionals from the Aberdeen area.

Following its success, a full programme was launched, the aim of which was “to impart good practice in project execution within oil and gas-related organisations, through knowledge-sharing and knowledge-transfer”. It has attracted interest as a blueprint for other mentoring activities across the country, as well as other parts of the engineering construction industry, such as nuclear decommissioning.

Chris Claydon - ECITB Chief Executive

ECITB CEO Chris Claydon

Chris Claydon, Chief Executive of the ECITB, said: “The delivery of projects to world-leading standards is vital to the future well-being of the oil and gas sector. Our project management mentoring programme shows how industry can put aside commercial interests to cooperate for the benefit of the sector as a whole.

“The ECITB is proud to support this and the other project management development programmes that the Oil and Gas Project Management Steering Group is leading. The learning and experience from oil and gas is highly transferable to other sectors and, following the success of this scheme, we are rolling out similar programmes across other sectors.”

Peter Benton, Chair of the Project Management Competence Working Group, described the mentoring programme as an excellent way of sharing learning and experience from delivery of oil and gas projects, something that is vital to the future well-being of the sector.

“The Project Management Mentoring programme goes from strength to strength each year, and that is very much down to the ongoing commitment and enthusiasm of all those concerned,” he said.

“It also demonstrates the value of mentoring in the workplace. It is quite an undertaking for both mentor and mentee, but the feedback highlights the practical benefits and how much both parties get from the scheme. Our evidence is that this is a success story for everyone involved, with both sides learning a great deal, not just about their approaches to work, but also about themselves and their own ambitions. We are very much looking forward to welcoming the next cohort, which will be starting in 2020.”

PIcture of mentee, Kenneth Nicolson

Oil and gas mentee, Kenneth Nicolson


Kenneth Nicolson, who was mentored, said the scheme had helped him develop professionally in many ways. “The past eight months have been great, and I have really appreciated the support given by my mentor, who has given me new tools, insights and skills with which to develop my career,” he said.

“I have been able to identify my strengths and weaknesses, as well as reflect and plan how I would like the next three years of my project management career to go. It has also been reassuring to discover that our mentors have gone through all the same issues as we have at some point in their working lives and that we all still face the same challenges.”




Congratulations to all those who completed the programme:

Group photo of All the oil and gas mentors and mentees, Aberdeen January 2020

Oil and gas mentors and mentees, Aberdeen January 2020










Alan Glennie, Subsea 7

Alasdair Smith, Step Change Engineering

Bethan Vasey, Shell UK

Douglas Walker, Wood plc

Innes Simpson, Oceaneering International Inc


Jacqui Aird-Paterson, Pro-Fection Training Ltd

Jonathan Bird, Pearl Engineering Ltd

Ken Hope, Subsea 7

Mark Brennan, Subsea 7

Martin Urquhart, Experienced Knowledge and Technology (EKT) Ltd

Peter Benton, Cephas Project Management Ltd

Will Black, EnQuest PLC



Andrew Smith

Bryan Smith

Craig Bell, Chrysaor

Craig Hunter, TechnipFMC

Dileep Sudhakaran, Wood plc

Douglas Combe, Wood plc

Ellie Zemani, Spirit Energy

Geoffrey Marmonier, TechnipFMC

Greig Morrison, Petrofac

Greig Ritchie, PD&MS Group

John Elcoat, Wood plc

Kenneth Nicolson, Sealand Projects

Kenny Anderson, Wood plc

Luis Franco, TechnipFMC

Richard Thomas, Wood plc