OPITO, the skills organisation for oil and gas, has been arming a squadron of soon to be ex-military at the Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, today (7th August), with the inside track on the industry and how their Armed Forces background can transfer into a new career.
The one-day OPITO Oil and Gas Awareness programme is aimed at addressing critical needs within the sector to recruit skilled engineers and technicians, as well as those with non-technical backgrounds for both on and offshore positions.
The on-site event began last December in England and Scotland, and more than 600 services personnel have attended so far with another 70 expected today. Those going along will find out about the drilling process, transportation and pipeline management, the different types of rigs and platforms, as well as decommissioning.
OPITO skills development director, Morven Spalding, said: “Many ex-military don’t realise what kinds of roles the oil and gas industry has to offer to experienced workers with the kind of specialist training and on-the-job skills they already possess.
“They may have been working with machinery, transporting materials and developing logistics in high pressure situations, all of which are transferable and highly desirable credentials in the oil and gas sector.
“By taking these servicemen and women through the processes involved, they get a clearer picture of what opportunities are out there and have a better idea where their future lies once they leave the military.”
John Roach, a chief petty officer weapons engineer and deputy weapons engineering officer, at HMS Grimsby, found the event he attended hugely beneficial. He said: “The awareness day was very well put together explaining all aspects of the oil and gas industry from exploration all the way through to processing and even decommissioning the rigs when they reach the end of their working life. As the day focused on the whole industry it allowed me to pin point the jobs and disciplines that are relevant to my skill set.”
The Career Transition Partnership (CTP), the MoD’s official Armed Forces Resettlement service, has been working closely with OPITO to reinforce the long-term career prospects within oil and gas for personnel leaving the Forces.
CTP managing director David Duffy said: “The Armed Forces equips its employees with a high degree of professionalism and a wide range of skills, including technical expertise, vocational qualifications, health and safety, leadership and management and team working. We are delighted to be working with OPITO to promote opportunities in the oil and gas sector and in turn help organisations seeking to recruit highly skilled and capable candidates.”
The OPITO Oil and Gas Awareness sessions have already been held at Rosyth, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tidworth, Cottesmore, Colchester, Kinloss, and Aldershot.