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Oil and gas industry worker Joe Wightman had been unemployed for six months when he went along to a local PACE event which led to a new job.

The 28-year-old from Aberdeen heard about the Beach Ballroom event on the radio and decided to go along with a couple of former colleagues.

Joe previously worked with offshore energy firm ADTI, enlisting on their graduate development programme and working his way up to become a completion engineer and supervisor. 

He said: “Initially I was unsure how much I’d gain by going, but I was hopeful I would meet employers and find opportunities that I hadn’t found previously. I took the view that I had nothing to lose by going to the event and seeing what was on offer.”

However, once Joe arrived at the September event, his mindset completely changed and he found it to be very productive.

“The event was well run, and the list of employers and vacancies was particularly useful.n I also found it useful to ask if companies were looking for someone with my skills and experience, to keep my job applications relevant. This isn’t always easy when you’re searching for jobs online,” he explained.

Joe had been working in the Oil and Gas industry for almost four years when he found himself out of work. Despite his lay-off being relatively short at six months, he still experienced the frustration of being qualified but unable to find employment.

He said: “It was really disappointing not being able to find jobs that were suited to me, because I had less than five years experience.

"Most of my applications were for jobs that I had the qualifications and skills for, but not the length of industry experience. Most vacancies wanted five or more years.”

After attending the PACE event, Joe is now in a job suited to him and his skill set. He is an HVAC engineer at global healthcare company GSK’s Montrose manufacturing facility - a role he is hugely enjoying.

He said: “The new job’s keeping me busy. The site is expanding and there’s a lot of work for me, on top of going to training to get fully up to speed in my new role.”

Joe is now able to offer some sound advice to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation.

He said: “I would say have an open mind and if you can, consider jobs outside the Oil and Gas industry and outside Aberdeen. For me it was more a case of finding a company looking for someone with my experience and skills, where I could continue my work as an engineer.”

“The useful thing with the PACE events is that it helps to speak directly to companies and ask ‘do you have any positions I’m suited to’ rather than just ‘what jobs do you have’.”

“I would say have an open mind and if you can, consider jobs outside the Oil and Gas industry and outside Aberdeen."

Joe Wightman

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