Working with the oil & gas industry to deliver skills solutions Issue 03 January 2008
Skills Academy will help
deliver long term success
tV explorer Bear Grylls
invites you to Go explore
02 Editorial OPITO Express
A bright future
on the horizon
ews that the North Sea industry has Gas Academy will support and enable the
N created its first ever skills academy delivery of a workforce with appropriate and
brought to a close a very exciting year in relevant skills.
OPITO’s history – and turns the page on a Our industry has always suffered from
brand new future for the industry as a whole. poor profiling. We are simply not good at
The announcement was met with communicating all that is good about this
widespread support and probably, at least in industry, particularly to young people. For me
some quarters, a little relief. Relief that finally one of the best things about the Academy
the landscape has been tidied up and there will be its remit in raising awareness of the
is to be an industry-wide approach to the tremendous career opportunities and lifestyles
crucial issue of developing and delivering the this industry has to offer.
STOP PRESS workforce capability needed for the long-term Our Go Explore campaign has already had a
sustainability of the UKCS. great impact on young people looking to get
RBG Limited, the The creation of OPITO – The Oil & Gas into the industry. We must build on that and
integrated oil, gas and Academy will see the industry, for the first work with education at all levels to encourage
petrochemicals services time, have an independent, employer-owned, take-up of subjects such as maths and science.
contractor, has become led and funded organisation that will provide I have an offer to the whole industry – we are
one of the first firms an effective link between the industry and on the brink of a new era in oil and gas, let’s
in the energy services Walter Diaper (left) of RBG Ltd receives learning provision across the UK to improve work together to make it a bright one. If you
sector to gain OPITO OPITO approval from David Doig. the supply of relevantly qualified people into need more information to understand what
approval of its competency management system. the oil and gas sector. This surely must be a this is all about, how it is funded, who owns
Approval enables RBG to progress assessments of its good thing. and governs it, then please just call me and get
workforce to recognised industry standards and it positions The Academy will be a focal point for the the truth and the facts.
the company at the forefront of its industry peer group in whole industry to come together to deliver
terms of personnel competence development. on its skills and knowledge agenda. With Chief Executive
employers at the centre, OPITO – The Oil and David Doig
indonesian government partnership
A landmark agreement has been reached after waters,” said OPITO chief executive David Doig.
OPITO struck a major deal with the Indonesian “Our hope is that it will influence the wider
government. region and see the same high level of OPITO
A new competence standards framework will safety training for offshore workers, which already
see thousands of Indonesian offshore workers operates in more than 20 countries around
trained to the globally-recognised OPITO the globe, introduced in other key oil and gas
technical and emergency response standards for provinces across south-east Asia.”
the first time. The Indonesian industry in turn will The standards will require the Indonesian David Doig with representatives of the
benefit from the robust quality assured training workforce to complete a training course based Indonesian government.
and competence environment provided by the on the OPITO Basic Offshore Safety Induction & The agreement will also establish a high quality
OPITO standard. Emergency Training (BOSIET) standard before technical training supply chain in Indonesia,
“This is another significant achievement for travelling offshore, and other more specialist which will enable the indigenous workforce to
OPITO as the Indonesian government holds the standards as the development programmes are be trained and qualified to the highest technical
mandate for training throughout all Indonesian fully implemented. standards for offshore workers.
www.opito.com News 03
Go Explore with TV’s Bear
T elevision explorer Bear Grylls swapped jungle
survival for a taste of life as an offshore oil and
record for being the youngest Briton to climb Mount
Everest at the age of 23, said: “The best thing about my new website
gas worker when he called on young people across job is that I get to travel the world, meet new people
the country to take up an exciting offshore career. and do things that most people can only dream of. is a winner!
The intrepid adventurer, best known for his popular There aren’t many other jobs that compare, but the
Channel 4 series Man vs Wild, helped launch Go opportunities in oil and gas come pretty close. www.oilandgas4u recorded a massive
Explore, OPITO’s campaign aimed at raising awareness “There is the potential to travel to some of the most increase in visitor numbers in the two
among 16 to 25 year-olds of the career opportunities far-reaching areas of the world, work in some of the months following the launch of the Go
available in the offshore oil and gas industry. most challenging environments and operate some of Explore campaign.
Launched in September during Offshore Europe, the most advanced technology. From roustabout to Statistics showed the number of
Go Explore uses the internet and digital media as tool-pusher to offshore installation manager, the job visitors to the site increased by an
well as advertising on buses, radio and the press prospects are as exciting as the job titles.” astonishing 980% from 1,623 to 17,500
throughout Scotland and the north of England to David Doig, chief executive of OPITO, said: “The Go across September and October, while
refer young people to the on-line information portal, Explore campaign aims to dispel the myths which the number of page views rose almost
www.oilandgas4u.com, which has been completely surround working offshore and highlight the exclusive 400% from 10,795 to 41,767 in the first
re-vamped. combination of factors that make up an exciting four weeks of the campaign alone.
The website allows prospective employees to career. On the back of the media drive, the
explore recruitment opportunities offshore and find “The oil and gas sector is thriving and here for many number of people taking the online
out about the pay and rewards, years to come. It offers unrivalled career development taster test increased 330% from 488
training and safety and travel opportunities to its employees. It’s (between September 3-9) to 2099
schemes as well not a typical 9am-5pm job and the work is often (September 10-16), with a 151% increase
as the practical challenging, but the excellent salaries in passes.
aspects of living combined with generous onshore leave “I am delighted with the impact of the
and working provide a lifestyle that is matched by few Go Explore campaign, which can be
offshore. other industries.” measured by the early success of the
Bear, who relaunched oilandgas4u.com website,”
holds the said chief executive David Doig.
“A 980% increase in the number of
visitors to the site in such a short space
of time shows that the campaign is
Ramage, Bear Grylls generating a real interest among young
and David Doig people of the benefits to be gleaned
launch Go Explore. from an exciting offshore career.”
Screening makes people, places and time
The online Skills Screening tool, which aims for new entrants, it can also be used to test Walter Diaper, competency training advisor
to solve the recruitment issue by getting the the skills of existing workers for personal at RBG Ltd, added: “Skills Screening has
right people in the right place at the right time, development and people who have returned proved invaluable to RBG in providing a tool
has proved a hit with the industry since it was to work on maintenance programmes and for recruitment to establish an individual’s
launched in June 2006. hook-ups. knowledge of their trade.”
Created by OPITO in partnership with the Liz Thornton, training and development
Offshore Contractors Association with funding manager at Wood Group Engineering (North
from the OTF, it sets a standard across the energy Sea) Ltd, said: “Skills Screening has been an
sector as part of the attraction and filtering important development for us as it provides
model for bringing in new people by screening the capability to remotely conduct trade tests For a taster visit www.opito.net/
potential recruits online at mobilisation. quickly and efficiently. It is easy to use from a skillsscreening or for more information
While the software gives a guarantee of candidate and operator perspective and the contact Diane Johnston on diane.johnston@
underpinning knowledge in specific disciplines transition to its use was seamless.” opito.net
04 The Oil and Gas Academy OPITO Express
Employer-led body links industry and training
PITO – The Oil & Gas Academy was formally
O launched in Aberdeen on December 4 by
Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks at a breakfast event
attended by over 150 leaders from education
and industry. It was also launched in Norwich on
December 5 to a similar audience.
The launch followed Oil & Gas UK’s
announcement in November when the creation
of the Academy was mooted. At the OPITO launch,
the industry revealed how the Academy will work
to develop and deliver the workforce capability
needed for business success and the long-term
sustainability of the UKCS through a first-of-its kind
For the first time, the industry will have an Annette Thomas (left) joins speakers David Doig and Malcolm Webb to launch OPITO –
The Oil and Gas Academy.
independent, employer-led organisation that will
provide an effective link between the industry and is all about creating new ways of addressing the Gas Academy has a board made up of industry
learning provision across the UK to improve the skills issues to make a difference that is positively leaders representing employers, trade bodies
supply of relevantly qualified people into the oil felt by the whole industry. It will create new and trade unions. It will actively engage with
and gas sector. relationships which will result in tangible outcomes employers by listening closely to them in order to
The Academy results from the merger of oil that respond to different companies’ needs. identify, understand and evaluate
and skills body, OPITO, and the Offshore Training “There are good initiatives throughout our their needs. Those needs will be
Foundation. Chief executive of the newly formed industry but they are being carried out in a translated into practical projects
academy, David Doig, explains: “The Academy will piecemeal fashion. By consolidating the and initiatives and delivered by
be a focal point for the whole industry to come efforts and resources currently the academy through its work
together to deliver on its skills and knowledge being invested by in three core areas: Faculty of
agenda. With employers at the centre, the OPITO employers, the Learning, Learning Supply
Oil and Gas Academy will support and enable Academy will and Enterprise and
the delivery of a workforce with appropriate provide a sharper, Innovation.
and relevant skills. This will be achieved through clearer focus on
three distinct areas; working with education and delivering a
academia, working with training providers, much greater
and working with government and return.”
trade bodies as well as enterprise OPITO –
agencies and local The Oil &
www.opito.com News 05
Guests at the
Raft of new
A new set of training and competence
standards have been introduced for the
fabric maintenance industry.
Working with representatives from the
main employers of the industry, OPITO
has developed approved competence
standards for blaster/painters, installers
of non-metallic insulation systems and
waste management specialists.
Experienced personnel can be
assessed against the standard, by their
the Academy’s three core areas
employers, to ensure they have the
necessary capabilities to undertake
various projects. Employers will
Faculty of Learning training standards, quality assurance of training monitor adherence to the competence
This will enable the Academy to collaborate with provision, innovative skills solutions and workforce standards themselves.
education and academia. Working at the highest development programmes as well as the facilitation The OPITO board has approved the
levels with schools, colleges and universities, the and management of programmes such as the new standard and two pilot courses
Academy will seek to inject practical, relevant industry’s Modern Apprenticeships and Petroleum are currently being audited. Full details
industry-based learning into the curriculum. Open Learning courses. The Academy will continue are already available online through
In relation to schools, the Academy will seek to to fulfil these roles. the OPITO library for training providers
enhance the access to technology and science “It is anticipated that the Academy will, to a large considering applying for approval to
for children, increase the number of pupils taking extent, be self-sustaining but, through the Offshore offer the course.
Scottish Standard, Higher and Advanced Higher Training Foundation, the industry will inject funding The announcement comes at the end
grades and English GCSE and A Level grades in to kick-start new initiatives to address specific skills of an exciting year for OPITO standards,
maths and science, develop curriculum materials issues.” which have seen the release of the
that enhance the understanding of the industry. Operational funding will be generated using revised BOSIET/FOET and Tropical
The overall aims will be to increase the number existing income streams from the sales of products BOSIET/FOET standards as well as the
of people entering the industry with relevant and services to the industry. Other income streams development of the Offshore Drilling
qualifications. will be derived from the development of national Industry Green Hand Standard, currently
and international offerings using tried and tested undergoing a final consultation round.
Learning Supply business models that already exist within OPITO. OPITO standards manager Tricia
To influence and support the development of a The increased remit of OPITO means that new Wilson said: “2008 looks equally
learning infrastructure that is relevant to the industry, skills and additional resources are required to inspiring with standards for normally
the Academy will engage with commercial and complement and support the existing team. A unmanned installations, offshore
non-commercial learning providers. This arm of the recruitment campaign will shortly be under way surveying and positioning, offshore
Academy will aim to ensure a world-class learning to find people for key positions in the Academy to telecommunications and well services
supply that supports a world-class industry. support the existing team within OPITO. At least 11 in the pipeline.
new jobs will be created. A £700,000 investment “It’s challenging work, but I have had
Enterprise and Innovation in OPITO’s building at Portlethen is also planned to tremendous help both internally and
Working with trade bodies, government agencies provide the working space and environment to meet externally and what could be better
and others, the Academy will pro-actively identify the Academy’s needs. than knowing that OPITO is helping
opportunities, facilitate innovation and share best The Academy will be wholly focused on oil and the industry focus their efforts by
practice to support the industry’s learning needs. gas but will, through its membership of Cogent, producing documents that reflect
Mr Doig adds: “OPITO has an international contribute to the wider national skills and education best practice in both competency and
reputation for delivering common global policy agenda and share best practice. safety?”
06 News OPITO Express
The hunt is on to find a
suitable location for OPITO’s
new Middle East/Africa
heads up Asia
Newly-appointed regional manager for the Asia
Pacific region Peter Lammiman (44) will play a
OPITO develops its
significant part in OPITO’s overall growth strategy.
With more than 20 years experience in the oil and
gas industry, Mr Lammiman will be responsible for
leading business development in the Asian Pacific
region from the Kuala Lumpur office.
“The regional oil and gas operators, contractors
and workforce in general have benefited greatly
by having a permanent OPITO presence within PITO has embarked on an international The search has begun to find suitable
the region and I am looking forward to increasing O development drive with the creation premises within the Middle East/Africa
our profile in the region and promoting OPITO’s of a new regional office servicing the Middle region. Once established, the office is
key aims of raising the bar on standards and safety East/Africa market and a key appointment to expected to have an immediate effect on
within the industry,” he said. lead business in the Asia Pacific region. the promotion of common global industry
“Companies will benefit through gaining more The Aberdeen-headquartered organisation, standards, whilst providing greater support
knowledge regarding other OPITO products and which currently operates one regional office to developing regions seeking improvements
services which are currently not widely used in the in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, aims to increase in both workforce safety and competence.
region. These services will contribute to increasing its presence and raise the bar on industry Chief executive David Doig said:
workers competence thus improving operational standards and training worldwide through “International business is now a significant
safety performance.” the creation of a network of bases around element of the OPITO business model, with
Mr Lammiman started his new role in Malaysia the globe. 23 countries now using the OPITO standards.
in December. These offices will support the rising An increased local presence in key areas
number of OPITO-approved training around the globe is key to sustaining the
STOP PRESS providers in oil and gas provinces, linking existing OPITO market and enabling the
each region to the specialist technical skills continued export of product excellence from
Global hose and fittings supplier Hydrasun has become in Aberdeen. the UKCS.”
only the ninth company in the world – and the first in
its field – to gain OPITO approval of its learning and
competence management system.
The alignment of its training and assessment
total develops workforce with opito
systems to meet OPITO criteria brings Hydrasun in OPITO has been awarded a major contract by This has resulted in the largest project
line with internationally recognised standards of Total E&P UK Plc. undertaken to date by the competence services
best practice. Certification ensures employees are The scope is for the provision of independent department of OPITO. The outcomes of the work
fully assessed on their capability to consistently specialist services to work with Total to design started in mid 2007 have been well received
perform their job roles to a strictly defined standard of develop and implement their enhanced by Total. This has resulted in the scope of work
performance. competence management system, which is used being broadened and the contract extended for
as the basis for developing its workforce. a further two years.
www.opito.com Community news 07
A winning formula H2S standard
amryn Mathers has the world at his feet
C after scooping the distinguished OPITO A new training standard has been
Apprentice of the Year Award 2007. launched which provides quality-assured
The future is looking rosy for the talented OPITO-accredited training in basic H2S
18-year-old who is in his second year of the OPITO safety, fully trackable through the Vantage
Mechanical Technician apprentice scheme at system.
Aberdeen College. The training standard introduces
Camryn beat off competition from students at delegates to the characteristics of
both Aberdeen College and Jewel & Esk Valley hydrogen sulphide gas and the potential
College in Edinburgh to win the top award. physiological effects of exposure as well as
“I’m really pleased that my hard work throughout the use of H2S detection equipment and
the year has been recognised,” he said. “I try to be escape breathing apparatus.
as successful as possible at whatever I do in life and Industry demand for a common
not waste the opportunities I am lucky enough to standard for H2S Safety Training resulted
Camryn Mathers, OPITO Apprentice of the Year 2007.
have. in a workshop convened in Abu Dhabi in
“Winning is a huge achievement for me as it will OPITO chief executive David Doig said: “It is February 2007. More than 125 industry
hopefully help me secure a good job at the end encouraging to see the oil and gas industry is attracting contacts worldwide were involved in
of the course and go on to have a successful and such a wealth of talent and choosing a winner was shaping the draft standard in time for a
rewarding career.” immensely difficult, such was quality of the work and pilot course, which took place at the Qatar
Camyrn has to complete his onshore training level of knowledge demonstrated by the nominees. International Safety Centre in Doha last
in Aberdeen before being posted offshore for a “However, Camyrn is an outstanding apprentice July.
further two years on-the-job training at the end and we are proud to present him with the award – A total of 16 participants from companies
of which he will be a fully qualified mechanical we’re confident he has a great future ahead of him in such as Qatar Shell, ConocoPhillips, Dubai
technician. engineering.” Petroleum, Dolphin Energy, Occidental
and Nabors Drilling were asked to test the
ability of delivering a course against the
requirements of the draft standard.
Following approval by the OPITO
board in November, the Basic H2S Safety
Training Standard has been published and
is available to training providers to seek
OPITO accreditation to deliver the course.
It is expected that employers, particularly
in the Middle East, will adopt the standard
to ensure consistent training delivery and
the ability to manage certification through
the central register.
experiments in the pipeline for pupils A total of 93 new trainees from as far afield as
Great Yarmouth, Cambridge, Hull, Middlesbrough,
School pupils were able to find out how oil is recovered, why the sky is blue and how you can smash a Linlithgow, Aberdeen, Orkney and Shetland joined
wine glass using sound when a mobile science laboratory rolled into the north-east in September. the Upsteam MA Industry scheme in September.
Designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, Lab in a Lorry is a free initiative OPITO currently has 273 trainees at various stages
which offers 11 to 14-year-olds the opportunity to explore science through specially created interactive on the three-and-a-half year program. More than
experiments. £52million has been invested by the industry
One of the 44ft Labs was in Aberdeen during Offshore Europe to celebrate a new funding agreement in this scheme, which has delivered almost 800
which has seen the Offshore Training Foundation join founding partners the Institute of Physics and the technicians in the six years since its inception.
08 Staﬀ news OPITO Express
David saddles up
for oil show
bucking bronco brought a touch of Houston
A spirit to the north of Scotland during Offshore Yee-ha!
non-stop Europe 2007 when OPITO hosted a fun-filled
year for Sally
It was back to the frontier days for the industry’s joins in the
movers and shakers as they took the bull by the fun.
A year after she joined OPITO, horns and joined around 200 young apprentices at
trainee business assistant Sally the event. As well as getting a chance to meet with
McKay has gone from fresh- the future workforce, invited guests got to hear from
faced school leaver to vital TV explorer Bear Grylls, try out their riding skills on
member of the Central Register the bucking bronco and line dance to country and
team. western band Country Edition.
Since joining the organisation More than 40,000 visitors passed through the doors
in October 2006, 17-year- of the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre
old Sally has completed during the four days of OE07, making it one of the
an SVQ Level 2 in Business most successful events to date.
Administration and is currently
working towards completing
her European Computing wired for sound
Driving License. Pupils from across Aberdeen City and Shire battled it out
In February 2007 Sally took recently to win the top spot in the Northsound 1 Energy
on responsibility for the SQA Schools Challenge 2007, sponsored by OPITO and the
registrations and she now Energy Institute.
deals with the registration and The annual challenge saw 16 teams from secondary
certification of candidates for schools put their knowledge to the test as they were
OPITO. quizzed on topics such as entertainment, sport, oil and
“OPITO is an organisation that gas, music and movies with the competition broadcast on
encourages self development Northsound 1.
and I have had many Each team is made up of four pupils from S3 to S6, who
opportunities to further my were put through their paces by Northsound 1 DJ Andy
personal development,” she James.
said. After a tough fight, Alford Academy were named the
“I have taken part in fire The winning Alford team, from left, Molly Dobson, winners during the final on December 23. The team received
warden training, emergency Lauren Anderson, Chris Mclean and Jenna Anderson. a trophy and £600 for their school as well as £50 each.
response training and next
year I will also be become one
of OPITO’s first aid appointed Challenge makes youngsters ﬁt for the future
employees. Working in the Young people from across Aberdeen have learnt Community (SBC) Grampian and corporate sports
oil and gas industry is one how to kick, putt and volley their way into health events organiser, activitymix. It saw youngsters
of those areas that you don’t and fitness thanks to OPITO. from communities across the city take part in a
really know a great deal The company was among a group of north-east range of activities not easily accessible to them,
about unless you are actually
Written and designed by The BIG Partnership.
businesses to sponsor the third annual Community from touch rugby and golf to hockey, basketball
involved in it so my friends are Sports Challenge event in September, part of and football.
quite interested in any major a scheme aimed at encouraging children from OPITO’s Sam Howard and Gordon MacNeil were
developments in the oil and deprived parts of Aberdeen to become more among colleagues who lent their support at
gas industry and they are keen involved in sports. various events throughout the course of the five-
to become part of this.” The event was run by Scottish Business in the week Challenge.