Five Minutes with Trainee Pilot Tech Rory Vass

What is your background?  

I come from an electrical background. I completed my apprenticeship with Ross-shire Engineering and dedicated over five years to the company. After successfully completing my apprenticeship, I transitioned into the role of an electrician.

Seeking new challenges and greater career advancement opportunities, I applied for the ROVOP Training Programme with the ambition of becoming an ROV Pilot.

Where did you go to school?

I undertook a renewable energy course during my sixth year at Invergordon Academy. The course introduced various aspects of the renewables sector, covering electrical, plumbing, and mechanical skills.

One of the highlights was constructing a turbine, which was a hands-on learning experience. The course definitely fuelled my interest in the renewables sector.

What was your first job when you left school?

I left school and became a lifeguard at the swimming pool in Tain. I stayed there for three years and gained various lifeguarding and Swim teaching qualifications.

I got an apprenticeship in civil engineering, which led to a role with Ross-shire Engineering. I enjoyed gaining hands-on and practical experience.

What did you want to be when you were little?

I did kart racing when I was younger, so this inspired me to want to become a Racing Driver.

When did you start with ROVOP? 

I started as a Trainee Pilot Technician with ROVOP in October 2023. 

How did you get your start at ROVOP?

I sent my CV to ROVOP and applied for the Trainee scheme. I had an interview in June, and about three weeks later, I heard I was successful and was invited to join the team for the October Intake of trainees.

What does your job currently involve?

As part of the ROVOP Training Programme, I completed courses on health and safety and offshore survival.

I have also completed classroom training and spent time on the ROV simulator. The highlight was spending three 12-hour shifts on the simulator to experience flying an ROV in real time and in different conditions.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I have enjoyed the varied tasks associated with flying and maintaining ROVs.

What’s your plans for the future?

To carry out all the relevant competencies required to become a Pilot Tech Level 2 in a timely manner.

Where do you see yourself in one year?

I hope to complete a minimum of 100 flying hours and have a bank of experience in the offshore environment.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I would like to travel and experience different global projects while on rotation with ROVOP.

What’s your greatest achievement so far?

Becoming a fully qualified electrician, as the experience helped me get my position at ROVOP.

What advice would you give somebody looking to become a Pilot Technician?

Gather experience in various disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic.

Apply for an apprenticeship and get as many hours of experience as possible.

Don’t be shy to ask questions. And don’t be disheartened if you don’t get successful applications. The right opportunity will come along.


Rory Vass, ROVOP