OPITO is aiming to deliver common standards in the global oil and gas workforce that improve safety and competency.
The UK oil and gas industry’s skills organisation has today announced a major restructure which will see OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy continue to deliver its skills agenda in the UK and a new entity, OPITO International, formed to deliver standards to improve workforce safety and competency in world-wide oil and gas provinces.
David Doig, currently chief executive of OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy, will spear-head the international drive, becoming group chief executive of OPITO Strategic Limited which is the holding company for OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy, The Offshore Training Foundation and OPITO International. A managing director for the academy is currently being recruited.
“In the last five years we have introduced OPITO standards to improve safety and competence of the indigenous and transient workforces in 26 countries. Currently every year 110,000 people around the world are trained to those standards. As well as ensuring every offshore worker is trained to the same standard – increasing safety and competency – having common standards will ultimately save time and resources on training and administration.”
OPITO International will initially have three business units focused on Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and the Americas. The new international organisation will work with Governments, national oil companies, multi-nationals and contractors to meet their skills needs to provide independent advice and guidance on effective management of workforce skills development, emergency response and occupational standards and qualifications and quality assurance of training delivery.
“Many of these markets are not as mature as the UK and therefore the skills offering has to be different. We have separated our business to reflect this and provide a distinct offering for each province.
“As UK innovations are exported and emerging markets evolve, OPITO wants to be at the forefront in serving these markets - recognised for its proven expertise in improving workforce safety and competency.
“The UK industry currently invests around £12 million per annum in OPITO and we are, year on year, delivering a return on that investment. By going global, we will ensure that this investment continues to grow and is not just an investment in the UK workforce but in the global workforce where the industry operates.”
OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy, launched in 2007, is an exemplar model for other government and industry funded skills academies. Wholly owned by employers and trade unions, it is an independent body committed to delivering initiatives and activities which ensure a competent and safe workforce supply for the industry in the UK.
The Academy manages the UK’s most successful Modern Apprenticeship scheme and has recently managed the introduction of the biggest change to UK offshore training since the introduction of basic survival training in the nineties. The new Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST) will be applied to every existing and new offshore worker by 1 January 2011.
Doig added: “The Academy will continue to engage meaningfully with industry to deliver existing and develop new initiatives that meet the challenges of emerging skills agendas in the changing energy industry in the UK.”
OPITO International will introduce and promote products and services developed by the Academy in the UK and used within the UKCS into the international marketplace in line with demand and as the markets evolve.