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Yannick Paccou, operations engineer apprentice: "With work-study programs, learning a trade is a hands-on experience"


After completing his internship at Gaz-Opale, the Dunkerque LNG terminal operator, Yannick Paccou chose to do his work placement there as an operations engineer. Now 23 years old, he divides his time between the terminal and his engineering school, the INSA Centre Val de Loire, in Bourges. Yannick Paccou shares his journey with us.

"I am originally from Dunkirk and I saw the terminal being built because I used to practice shooting sports nearby. I was intrigued to find out more about these industrial facilities. So I applied to do my end‑of‑studies work placement there as part of my technical degree in Thermal and Energy Engineering. I enjoyed the technical aspects and the teamwork. Since April 2018, I have been an Operations Engineer Apprentice at Gaz-Opale. I alternate between periods of several months at the school and then on site. Out of my three years of study, I have spent about two years at the terminal and one year at INSA. Over that period, I have developed both technical and managerial skills. I like my work because it is both technical and varied. One of my main duties is managing work permits and coordinating the daily meetings for approving these permits. I am also in charge of a project for improving energy efficiency at the terminal, by setting up monitoring indicators and identifying unnecessary equipment. I also played a part in the optimisation of the process alarms at the terminal.

At the end of the academic year, I will present a dissertation on combining energy efficiency and safety. In September, it will be time for me to go full time into the professional world. I am aware of everything I have learned during my three years at the Dunkerque LNG terminal. I discovered the world of work in a very practical way and I have enjoyed it, more than school.

Alongside my studies and my work, I still devote time to the Olympic sport of pit shooting, the most prestigious form of what is commonly called clay pigeon shooting. I have already been crowned world junior champion in team clay pigeon shooting, French vice-champion in individual and team and European champion in individual and team. The health crisis brought the competition calendar to a halt, but they are finally starting again. My dream would be to compete in the 2024 Olympics; I really hope that dream comes true."

This is proof that a 23-year-old can play sports at a high level and at the same time pursue an in-depth training programme.

Article présenté sur la lettre d'information : Juin 2021


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