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Claxton uncovered: Being an apprentice in the oil and gas industry


“Coming into the apprenticeship, my biggest area of interest was with hydraulics and pneumatics. While the information I learned at College was incredibly useful, after working within Claxton for just a few days, I’d realised that only 5-15% of what I learned were just the principles.”

“I knew from this point on that I needed to be proactive in widening my knowledge and experience. That started from asking to work alongside some of the senior engineers and not being afraid to ask questions as to how things work. In between tasks I was set as an apprentice, I used my free time to read through our product manuals to get an even deeper understanding of the machinery I was working on.”


“With support and guidance from the senior team, in the last six months of my apprenticeship, I was given free reigns to work on preparation for our subsea well abandonment tool (SWAT™).”

“Taking place in our maintenance workshop, I was tasked with preparing the SWAT™ for mobilisation. This included refurbishing, re-building and then completing a range of pressure tests to ensure the maintenance went as planned. It was great to get my hands dirty and learn, as well as obtain the trust of the rest of the maintenance team.”


“Now I’ve managed to obtain a full-time Maintenance Technician role at Claxton, I want to broaden my knowledge of our full product range and the rest of the oil and gas industry. Alongside more experience in the workshop, I’d like to complete my offshore safety and survival training – allowing me to go offshore in the future.”

“My advice to other apprentices looking to progress in the oil and gas industry is to be clear on what you want to achieve and channel your ambitions to make this happen. The current market situation means there is a lack of opportunities for apprentices at the moment, but by applying yourself and going above and beyond others in the industry – you can set your career up to head in the right direction.”


Beyond apprenticeships, Claxton focuses heavily on competence assurance. In addition, the company promotes a culture of “can do” and everyone is encouraged to step outside their comfort zone and learn new things with a blended learning approach. Due to the bespoke nature of our products, technical training is something we continuously work on to ensure we nurture talent and learn best practices from the specialists within the organisation.

We invest in our Line Managers, including the senior team, in areas such as leadership development and in 2015, all managers were trained in coaching skills amongst other subjects. Combined with the company’s apprenticeship scheme, Sarah Tarrant believes and proactively promotes personal development and believes this is key to keeping Claxton at the forefront of innovation in the oil and gas industry.

“Despite the current market conditions, there is real value in developing our staff in order to create an innovative and efficient ethos – something that the whole industry is trying to tackle. Through our PDR process and the senior management team exposing staff to things they wouldn’t normally do – we’re confident that this company will continue to learn and continue to be the go-to company for offshore decommissioning and asset life extension expertise.”

Decom case study pack
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Decommissioning Case Study Pack

The Claxton offshore decommissioning case study pack showcases our vast experience of delivering successful decommissioning projects.