While many companies in the marine industry talk a good game when it comes to "grooming the future generation," a Norwegian company is investing. Aker Solutions opened up the application period for its two-year International Talent Programme. This year the talents will be selected from Brazil, Malaysia and - for the first time - the USA. The program is an intensive two-year on-the-job learning experience, consisting of three eight-month assignments, covering different roles, businesses and geographies within Aker Solutions' global network. This round's intake of some of the oil and gas industry's brightest young talents is the fourth since 2006. The previous intake, in 2008, attracted almost 1500 applicants, of which 10 candidates were invited to join the program. "One aim of the International Talent Program is to expose recent graduates to various job functions to broaden their professional and cultural experiences and guide them through some of their earliest professional steps. The key objective is to prepare the talents for future key management positions in our company," says Sissel Lindland, senior vice president for Human Resources in Aker Solutions. Although completion of the two-year programme does not automatically guarantee a permanent role in Aker Solutions, all talents who have graduated from the three previous programs have been offered - and accepted - positions within the company. Of these, 90 percent are still with the company today. "The quality of candidates that get accepted onto the program is exceptionally high. However, I would like to encourage everyone who fulfils the entry requirements to apply as we are looking for several different types of individuals. In total we will select 10-15 candidates from Brazil, Malaysia and USA," adds Lindland. In addition to the three eight-month assignments, candidates will regularly attend workshops where all participants on the program are brought together to discuss progress and share experiences. Each talent will also be teamed up with a personal mentor who has extensive experience and coaching abilities, and will follow the talent throughout the program to facilitate personal and professional development. The applications period for the fourth International Talent Programme opens today. Application deadline is 14 November.