With more than 10,000 direct job losses – mostly in the Grampian region – and a further 55,000 across the UK supply chain since the crude oil slump which began just over two years ago, there has been very little to cheer about on employment issues. Until now.
In the space of just over a month, the industry has witnessed two significant initiatives both designed to make valuable training freely available, as a key step towards investing in tomorrow’s oil field professional.
The first initiative comes from the independent training and accreditation body the IWCF. Launched in early March, the organisation has developed a basic well control awareness e-learning course specifically designed to meet the recommendations of the IOGP (International Association of Oil & Gas Producers) following the BP / Macondo disaster
These recommendations required the formation of a five tier well control training syllabus, and while already offering the higher 2, 3, 4 and 5 levels, the Montrose-based IWCF has now invested in developing the first ever basic level 1 training course.
Aimed at those with a secondary involvement in well control as well as students considering a career in oil and gas, in fact anyone involved in the industry wishing to increase their understanding of this key subject, the IWCF has taken the unprecedented step to offer the course without restriction and free of charge worldwide.
David Price, Chief Executive of IWCF said: “It is important to us, particularly in the current climate to give something back, and by making this training readily and freely available we believe that it will help to increase understanding of how well control events can occur, their consequences and importantly prevention, with the ultimate aim to see an increase in global well competency which we believe will significantly improve offshore safety.”
Treading hard on the heels of the IWCF launch comes a second free initiative, this time from ADC Virtual Academy, Scotland’s leading online Oil and Gas training provider.
The Academy is publishing online a range of free webisodes each focusing on either a specific rig procedure or piece of rig machinery.
Designed specifically to instil a real practical understanding in the viewer, content is drawn from the Academy’s 80-plus modules and course units, including their unique IWCF accredited Drilling Well Control Level 2 course. Combining a mixture of state of the art animation, archive footage and live course learning, each webisode outlines the history, development, function and importance of specific machinery or operational procedure, its role within the drilling programme and its interrelation with other onboard workings and equipment.
Two webisodes have been published to date covering ‘The Iron Roughneck’ and ‘Well Control’ respectively, with more planned to be launched throughout the year.
Commenting on the IWCF and his own Academy initiative, Austin Hay, Director of ADC Virtual Academy, said: “Before the downturn the profession was forecasting an experienced manpower shortage of 200,000 plus.
“With the IWCF’s Level 1 course augmented by our operational specific webisodes, these valuable free training investments are sure to make a significant contribution now and well into the future for a whole new generation of oil field professional.”
“That – coupled with the professionals lost to the industry through recent redundancies and the possibility of many choosing not to return when the recovery starts – means that training will play a crucial role in helping the industry to recover.