A new model for increasing workforce skills in the ROV industry, using a realistic offshore instruction environment, has been launched in the Highlands.
Steve Ham, Commercial Director of The Underwater Centre, said the aim of the industry-led solution is to address the looming skills and personnel shortage by offering both basic and advanced training to a greater number of workers, thereby reducing the time to reach senior roles.
The Underwater Centre at Fort William has received increasing support from the subsea industry and a number of companies – including Technip, Subsea 7, Fugro, Forum Subsea Technologies, FMC Schilling Robotics, Lawson Engineers Ltd, Digital Edge Subsea, Kongsberg and, more recently, Valeport – have been instrumental in developing the training syllabus, as well as donating much needed equipment.
Ham said: “Recently the OGA has highlighted the need for companies to continue to invest in training and developing people, and this is just what we are doing in collaboration with the industry.
“The oil and gas industry is cyclical and we have seen this happen a number of times before – without the necessary investment now in training, there will be a large skills gap in the future.
“The new programme has been developed with a modular approach, covering topics such as ROV maintenance and operations, tooling, electrical and electronic systems, high voltage, working at heights, fibre optics and OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer), and hydraulics.
“The training is also staged to address the training needs of new entrants, as well as established and experienced personnel. This approach allows training to fit with companies’ existing competence development programmes.
“The competency and training of ROV operators will be an important factor in ensuring the continued development of the industry bringing increasingly significant operational and cost efficiencies.”