VetcoGray apprentices from Aberdeen and Montrose and students from Angola had to draw on their collective brain power and technical skills recently when set a task which affected all mankind – to save the earth from destruction!

You may well ask – what has this to do with subsea technology? However, rest assured, the students have not decided to trade in their apprenticeships in favour of superman powers. This task was one of several challenges set during a team development day, facilitated by Maximillion.

The ‘ruless of engagement’ during the training were:

1 Keep an open mind 2 NO passengers 3 Be open, honest and clear in communication 4 Respect for others

Event Detail

  • Venue: Ardoe House Hotel, Aberdeenshire
  • Format: 2 x 1 day programmes
  • Guests: 35 per programme


  • Aim to provide apprentices and their supervisors with a clearer view of their current roles and responsibilities, generate energy and enthusiasm for the Apprenticeship Scheme and gain an understanding of potential future steps and opportunities.
  • Stimulate networking, cross-functional team work, collaboration, knowledge sharing and a greater awareness of change through positive interaction. Providing opportunities for everyone to play to each other’s strengths and creating productive workplace relationships.


In the morning, the apprentices and students worked in small groups to solve Quick Fire tasks which required team effort, leadership and communication – key skills they’ll develop more fully throughout their training.

The afternoon session brought the groups together to work on building a machine that would save the earth from destruction –Kinetic Connections. Each team had its own sub assembly to construct and then interface with one or more of the other sub-assemblies. When all the components were joined together and working correctly, success was demonstrated by the sound of ringing bells from the machine – signifying that the world was saved.

If the machine did not work, and no bells rang, this unfortunately meant that the world was doomed and one of the unfortunate team members would be “gunged” – yes, green gunge tipped over their head!


Nigel Black, Product Trainer says “Initially, the groups were quiet but the leaders soon started to emerge and directed the groups to solve the challenges. Throughout the day, everyone’s communication skills became stronger.”


Cameron McLean, apprentice from Drilling Systems agrees “The team building day was a good experience. It taught us that teamwork and communication are essential to complete tasks – otherwise nothing would have worked!”