Collaborating and connecting: new mentoring app embraces the needs of tomorrow’s talent

Source: press release, 6 September 2019

From left, Kevin Taylor, Senior Manager, Scottish Enterprise; Susan Brimmer, People and Organisation Development Manager, The Oil & Gas Technology Centre; Alison Porter, UK HR Director, Bilfinger Salamis
From left, Kevin Taylor, Senior Manager, Scottish Enterprise; Susan Brimmer, People and Organisation Development Manager, The Oil & Gas Technology Centre; Alison Porter, UK HR Director, Bilfinger Salamis (photo: OGTC)

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) is revolutionising industry mentoring through a pioneering app aimed at developing a diverse oil and gas talent pool.

The Mentoring with Energy Programme is harnessing the power of app technology, alongside traditional mentoring techniques, to initially match and then connect mentees with suitable mentors. Once successful, it will provide a truly flexible approach to mentoring, connecting people across the industry to ensure tomorrow’s workforce is supported today.

The programme was developed by the OGTC in collaboration with Repsol Sinopec, Bilfinger and CNOOC, alongside the AXIS Network. Participants of Scottish Enterprise’s “Future Industry Leaders Programme” (FILP) worked alongside the team – and were involved in the testing.

Despite 47% of the UK workforce being women, only 22% work in oil and gas and only 20% of that in senior management – with just 1% in CEO roles. This programme supports the specific focus on improving diversity and inclusion in the oil and gas industry, including mid-level career women looking to advance into senior roles.

Susan Brimmer, People and Organisation Development Manager at the OGTC comments, “As an industry, we need to harness the wealth of talent in the region and ensure they grow with industry, inspiring and nurturing the next generation of leaders to ensure the wealth of knowledge and experience isn’t lost forever.”

“Importantly, the value of a diverse workforce at all levels of an organisation shouldn’t be underestimated – we have the opportunity to collaborate and lead the way. The use of technology is exciting as it provides a wider reach across both mentees and mentors. Engagement via the app allows people to participate when it suits them, which is an exciting proposition, especially when everyone has a different pace of life and the traditional 9-to-5 doesn’t always suit,” adds Brimmer.

Long-term, the app aims to develop into an industry-wide resource, supporting professionals looking to transfer their skills into the energy sector, which historically has been very challenging. Collectively, the app will combine with traditional one-to-one mentoring to provide:

  • Flash mentoring (phase 1): The creation of a low-pressure environment for mentoring, focusing on single meetings, rather than an ongoing relationship – getting support where and when it is needed on an ad-hoc basis. Discussions could include specific business challenges, career advice or personal motivation.
  • Circle mentoring (phase 2): Peer-to-peer mentoring of groups (up to eight people) where participants are encouraged to share their experience/challenge with a mentor who has been through something similar and can share their lessons learnt. These discussions might include how to move to a senior role, work-life balance or developing resilience.

Alison Porter, Bilfinger Salamis UK’s HR Director says, “Mentoring is something we are passionate about at Bilfinger, so the opportunity to collaborate on this exciting project was a great fit. Digitalisation is a key focus for our business and this app provides an ideal solution, enabling users to easily make connections across the energy industry. At Bilfinger we will be encouraging colleagues to download the app and get involved, both as mentors and mentees, and I am confident it will have a positive impact both on individual careers and the industry as a whole.”

Kevin Taylor, Senior Manager at Scottish Enterprise comments, “To be able to pass knowledge and experience within industry is critical for our future leaders. The mentoring app will be a powerful learning and connecting tool in a challenging sector. Scottish Enterprise endeavor to inspire, connect and empower our next generation of industry leaders; we have had over 70 cohorts complete the FILP training and they are very enthusiastic to be involved in shaping the future vision of the oil and gas/energy sector. Mentoring is the key to their development.”

The app will be officially launched at SPE Offshore Europe on Friday 6th September at the OGTC stand (3B70), where potential mentors and mentees are invited to find out more and express an interest in signing up.

If you would like to sign up as a mentor or a mentee, visit