Scotland’s skills agency, Skills Development Scotland, has awarded The Underwater Centre in Fort William funds to ensure Scotland continues to supply qualified workforce for the subsea industry.
According to the center, the downturn in the oil and gas industry has led to a reduction in training, both by individuals and companies. It believes that, without ongoing investment in training, skills would be lost to the industry as older workers retire without the skilled workforce to replace them.
The Scottish Government said that it was vital to support subsea training so that the country’s workforce is ready to respond to positive market conditions when the oil price begins to recover, as well as being prepared for opportunities in decommissioning and the offshore renewables sector.
Starting in June 2017, Scottish residents will be able to train in key courses at The Underwater Centre for 50 percent of the usual cost. The other half of the fees will be paid by Skills Development Scotland. The total value of the funding is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
The support is not seeking to bring new people into the offshore industry but is aiming to increase the capability of the people already in the sector.
The Underwater Center underlined that this is an opportunity for existing ROV pilots and commercial divers and existing offshore workers new to these professions to train in these areas, supported by the Scottish Government.
Steve Ham, commercial director at The Underwater Centre, said: “While none of us have a crystal ball, there are increasing signs that the upturn is coming. This support for subsea skills training will help companies benefit more quickly and more effectively from that upturn. It will also help individuals advance their careers by making it easier to invest in themselves.”