Eleven young people have just set off on an exciting career journey after taking up an apprenticeship with ExxonMobil Fawley.
And for one of the new recruits, it’s an even bigger journey, as it’s the start of a completely new life in a new country.
Viacheslav Pliuiko is looking forward to taking his first steps on the road to becoming an electrical
The 18-year-old, who is originally from Poltava in the north east of Ukraine said he was delighted to take up the apprenticeship and is looking forward to a brighter future.
“The last few years have been very difficult for myself and my family, but we have been made to feel very welcome since we came to the UK,” he said.
“Poltava is close to the front line and has come under frequent missile attacks. Me and my family had to take refuge in a shelter several times a day.
“I was a 16-year-old schoolboy when the invasion happened, and I found it impossible to concentrate on my studies. Most of my classmates had to leave the country and I knew that I would not be able to progress at school and I would have no prospects for the future, so eventually my mother and I decided to leave.
“My father has had to stay in Ukraine with three of my grandparents which has been very difficult.”
Viacheslav and his mother came to the UK under the Homes for Ukraine programme and lived in a hotel for the first two months, before being housed with a family.
He started an Electrical and Electronic Engineering course while simultaneously continuing to complete his Ukrainian high school education online. He finished both in June.
Then last Christmas, he applied for an apprenticeship with ExxonMobil at Fawley.
“I have always been interested in engineering and good with maths and physics subjects at school, and I saw numerous opportunities in the ExxonMobil programme as the company is a world leader in the oil and gas industry,” he explained.
“When I heard that I had been successful in securing an apprenticeship I was excited and overwhelmed. It seemed unbelievable. My dream had just come true!
“I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity and thrilled to become a part of ExxonMobil.
“I am starting to feel very positive about the future.”
His first year will be spent at Eastleigh College and the Fawley complex learning the practical skills required for a career in engineering whilst starting a two-year BTEC course developing the knowledge aspects of this apprenticeship at Basingstoke College of Technology.
The following two years will be spent at the Fawley complex developing his knowledge and skills and working towards completion of a Level 3 Science Industry Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship.
Louise Leavy, Organisational Development Manager at Fawley, added: “Our new Maintenance apprentices are part of a long and proud tradition of apprenticeships at Fawley and I am sure that Viacheslav and his colleagues will do us and themselves proud.”