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Wanted – Recruits For New Offshore Training Programme!

Thursday 22 October 1998

Wanted – Recruits For New Offshore Training Programme!

Twenty-four young candidates willing to rise to the challenges of working offshore are being sought for a new technician training initiative to attract fresh recruits into the offshore oil and gas industry.

The first intake of trainees on the Offshore Petroleum Industry Technician Training Programme will start at Aberdeen College in January next year.

Designed to provide a single point of access for young job seekers wanting training in core offshore technician skills, it is hoped that the intensive two-year full-time programme of practical training and further education will be rolled out to other local colleges across Scotland and England from September 1999.

All fees will be paid by the industry, with each trainee receiving a bursary, regardless of parental income.

The new training programme has been specially created in response to Industry concern that it will face a shortage of skilled offshore workers in the next five to ten years, and is a result of extensive collaboration across the whole of the Offshore Industry sector.

Three offshore employers associations - UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA), the International Association of Drilling Contractors North Sea Chapter (IADC) and the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) - have worked closely with two national training organisations. The Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO) has sponsored course development and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) will administer it.

Trainees will be introduced to basic engineering skills and will go on to specialise in one of four key areas of offshore operation: instrument and control maintenance, process operations, electrical maintenance or mechanical maintenance.

Successful trainees will finish the course with a portfolio of accredited qualifications and while a job is not guaranteed, professional support will be available to all trainees to help them find work with sponsoring employers.

While this sector is not alone in the problems it faces in attracting new recruits, there is no doubt that the age profile of our skilled offshore workforce is of concern, said James May, Director-General of UKOOA. The majority of these skilled workers fall within the 40-55 age group. There is a fear that the current numbers of new recruits being trained approximately 70 a year will not be sufficient to compensate for the natural contraction anticipated over the next decade as workers retire or leave the industry altogether.

More information on the training programme is available from local Careers or Employment Service offices, or by phoning Jenny Brandy on 01923 260000 (quoting offshore).

For more information, please call 020 7802 2400.

John Macdonald at OCA Tel: 01224 645 450

Dennis Krahn at IADC Tel: 01224 874 800

John Lawrence at ECITB Tel: 01923 260 000

John Ramsay at OPITO Tel: 01674 662 519

Roy Robertson at Aberdeen College Tel: 01224 612 221