04 June 2014
Petrofac invests in reskill programme to take gas plant workers to the next level
Seven Shetland Gas Plant (SGP) workers are looking forward to bright futures as skilled tradesmen after undertaking a training programme designed by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) to support the transfer of skills into the energy sector from related industries, and to enhance skills and competency for the oil and gas environment.
The intensive six-week ReSkill programme, which took place at the MetTECH training centre in Grangemouth, went beyond the workers’ usual disciplines by training them in a wide range of necessary construction site skills and vital safety education.
Upon completion, they received a formal certification in SVQ Level 2 skills in “Supporting the Installation of Engineering Construction Plant and Systems”, with three qualifying as mechanical fitters and four as pipefitters.
Andrew Leaper, pipefitter’s mate, is one of the seven graduates of the ReSkill programme. Originally from Shetland, he had 28 years of experience in the fishing industry before moving on to work on the SGP project in May 2013 – a transition that was made easier by his mechanical experience in engine maintenance.
Andrew believes the skills gained from the training programme will open new doors for him. He said: “It’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to change careers. I’d recommend anybody who gets the chance to grab it with both hands.”
The workers’ new qualification will enable them to progress towards a discipline-specific SVQ Level 3 qualification over the next five to eight months. Each trainee will complete various work-based assignments required by the ECITB with the help of an on-site mentor who will guide them through this stage.
George Maconnachie, Site Manager, said: “This course has been a fantastic opportunity. We’ve invested in some talented people who are keen to improve their career prospects and their mobility within the industry. This serves the needs not just of the project but of the whole industry, which will continue to need many more qualified workers in the years to come.”
Petrofac’s investment was supported by funding from the ECITB and Skills Development Scotland (SDS).