Offshore Achievement Award for Commercial Diver Training Initiative
We were delighted to pick up a top award at the prestigious 2014 SPE Offshore Achievement Awards. The awards celebrate outstanding successes within the UK offshore industry in categories including safety innovations, new technologies and individual achievements; we were shortlisted for the Working Together Award.
Skills Development Scotland funding for commercial diving courses
Our entry was based on the initiative last year in which we were awarded £490,000 funding by the Scottish Government’s Energy Skills Challenge Fund, managed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), to train the next generation of commercial divers for the oil and gas industry. The money allowed us to offer commercial diver training places at half the original cost, the only criteria being that candidates had to have a Scottish postcode.*
Mike Duncan, Director of Energy Skills Scotland (ESS) said: “This award is well-deserved and I’d like to congratulate The Underwater Centre on the successful delivery of transition training through the Energy Skills Challenge Fund. This sector-specific training has set a group of commercial divers on the right track to successful careers within the energy sector.”
Subsea industry skills gap
Our primary focus is on providing industry-specific skills and competency training for commercial divers and ROV pilot technicians: helping graduates into their new careers and providing the energy sector with the workforce which it needs.
General Manager, Steve Ham, said: “It is really heartening to see that we are being recognised by our industry peers. In 2012, The Underwater Centre identified an opportunity to work with SDS to train Scottish candidates to become commercial divers. The financial package they offered meant that training became significantly more accessible for Scottish-based applicants.
“The aim of the initiative was to address the much discussed skills gap across the industry, and the project sought to create a means for workers to transfer their land-based engineering, fabricating and construction skills to create opportunity for Scottish workers in the subsea sector. Almost 70 Scottish candidates have come through the scheme to become commercial divers, allowing candidates to begin a new and lucrative career in one of Scotland’s flagship industries.
“Initial feedback shows that candidates have been successful in gaining employment and are earning significantly more than the national average.”
You can view photos from the Offshore Achievement Awards here; as you’ll see we also enjoyed the company of top comedian Sean Lock! If you have any questions about our commercial diver training then leave a comment below or contact our Student Advisors in Fort William on +44 (0) 1397 703 786 or email [email protected]
*Please note, the current funding has now all been allocated.