Bibby sends ROV apprentices ‘offshore’ at Fort William

Bibby Offshore apprentices Ed Beattie (left) and Alan Mackintosh at The Underwater Centre
Bibby Offshore apprentices Ed Beattie (left) and Alan Mackintosh at The Underwater Centre

Scottish subsea training facility The Underwater Centre  has linked up with Bibby Offshore to provide ROV apprentices with the opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience.

The apprentices, who are employed by Bibby Offshore  but are still too young to go offshore, will benefit from operational experience in the field with live ROVs and will undertake a  wide variety of tasks including the mobilisation/demobilisation of the work class ROV.

The first two apprentices have completed three weeks of training where they gained experience in the centre’s mechanical workshop and also on board the work class ROV vessel, Loch Sunart.

They, and other Bibby Offshore apprentices, will continue to train part-time at the centre until they are fully qualified and ready to go offshore, learning all the skills available to students on the centre’s ROV courses, from the routine maintenance of an ROV system and hydraulic testing to tether insulation measurement and fibre-optic termination.

This is the latest move by the Centre to strengthen links with industry and help create a competent workforce who have been trained in a contextual environment – as close to offshore as possible. 

Steve Ham, Commercial Director, The Underwater Centre, said: “Practical experience is essential for all apprentices and this can be quite difficult to arrange when a company’s main operations are offshore.

 “This is where we are able to step in and work with companies to provide hands-on experience with the equipment and conditions workers would experience offshore. It has so far proved really beneficial to Bibby Offshore apprentices.

Gordon Zimmerman, ROV Manager, Bibby Offshore, said: “Our ROV Apprenticeship Scheme is an important part of our overall award-winning people development programme and we are delighted with the feedback from our apprentices who have attended The Underwater Centre’s excellent practical training.”

 The Underwater Centre is a purpose-built subsea training and trials facility and is based on the shore of a seawater loch, well sheltered by the surrounding mountains.  The centre’s location allows it to provide year-round training and testing in a tidal, open-water environment with access to depths of over 100 metres.

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