A six-week intensive training course has been developed by Petrofac to help overcome a skills shortage in the offshore industry.
The Skilled Entrants Conversion programme, which has been devised by Petrofac’s Facilities Management and Training businesses, aims to fill production technician and instrumentation technician vacancies in the North Sea.
A group of 16 technicians with a range of skilled backgrounds are already being put through the pilot training programme.
Paddy Mallan, director of integrated operations at Petrofac Facilities Management, said: “We need to bring new blood into the industry. This pilot programme will give us six new instrument technicians and ten production technicians in a fairly short space of time.
“After successfully completing the course they will be posted offshore in technician designate roles. How quickly they can move through our competence assurance programme and take on full technician roles depends on the individuals but I would expect that the instrument technicians should manage that after three or four trips and the production people should be capable by the end of this year.”
Mike Comerford, Regional Director of Europe at Petrofac Training, said: “This will be an intensive experience for the technicians. Our role is to bring their work skills up to the necessary level of competency In addition, we will take them through modules covering permit-to-work, safety, what it’s like to live and work offshore and the required survival training and medicals.
“The c&idates have a wide variety of backgrounds ranging from IT support to the civil service. They have all been carefully selected for their adaptability, existing skill base and determination to succeed and we have every confidence that they will all quickly become valuable - and valued – members of the Petrofac team.”
The training course is being supported by TTE Technical Training Group in Teesside where part of the programme is being carried out at the group’s Wilton international training centre in Middlesbrough.
In Middlesborough, the technicians utilise the company’s pilot process plants to help develop their team working and practical skills. The plant also offers simulated situations in a real-time environment to allow individuals to learn from an interactive experience under controlled conditions.
TTE provides and manages high quality residential facilities close to its Middlesbrough training centre where the c&idates are residing during the Teesside-based section of the programme.
Phil Blewitt, TTE’s commercial business director, said: “There is an urgent requirement for skilled technicians to enter the offshore sector and programmes like this can help fast track competent people into current vacancies.
“TTE is supporting Petrofac through the use of our high quality training facilities, providing technicians with practical learning in situations comparable to what they will experience during their offshore careers.”
Petrofac intends introducing further courses to provide electrical and mechanical technicians as well as more production and instrumentation people.