Pembroke Refinery’s newest recruits were thrown in the deep end (quite literally) for a day of teambuilding exercises at Llanion Cove recently.
Twenty-seven new pre-apprentices took part in kayaking, problem-solving games and rock climbing, as part of a pilot project by Valero’s training team. Senior Technical Trainer Hugh Roch said: “This was our first teambuilding event for apprentices, and it was a great opportunity for everyone to get to know each other and have fun too.
“It also enabled the Learning and Development team to monitor the group’s interaction and assess their leadership and teamwork skills.”
A few days earlier the 27 new apprentices also visited the Refinery for an induction event, where they met current apprentices who were receiving their passing out certificates, and spoke with key refinery staff and members of the leadership team.
Director of Refinery Operations Andy Thorp – himself a former apprentice – said he was thrilled to welcome so much fresh talent, the biggest single intake in the refinery’s history. “This opportunity isn’t one you can buy, you have to earn it,” he told the group. “You are here because of your hard work, and we expect you to continue being the best you can be. As you go through the years here your confidence will grow, and you will find your own niche. This job can take you anywhere if you put the effort in.”
This year’s cohort span a large age range from 18 to 37, with a mixture of school-leavers and mature candidates seeking a new career direction.
They include 18 operators and 9 maintenance, who will be further split into the traditional routes of electrical, instrumentation and mechanical.
On 3rd September they all started a full-time year’s course at Pembrokeshire College, which includes a broad curriculum with a strong emphasis on maintenance via a combination of academic study and practical, hands-on experience.
Added Roch: “For most of this group, this will be their first taste of refinery life.
“What a great opportunity they have laid out in front of them at Valero, and we wish them the very best of luck for their futures.”