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Career Option Offered to Ex-Mod Staff by World Renowned Subsea Training Facility

07 October 2011

Fort William based subsea training provider, The Underwater Centre, is offering a potential career option to ex-MOD staff through free introductory sessions which could maximise their skills.

The Centre specialises in commercial diver and ROV pilot training and past experience has shown that skills of Forces personnel, such as flight technicians, are often transferrable to posts in the subsea sector.

In the wake of the recent MOD redundancies, which saw hundreds of people lose their jobs, the Centre is offering free introductory sessions to a limited number of applicants.

The Centre is a preferred supplier for the Career Transition Partnership, a national body which provides specialist careers and resettlement advice to ex-Forces personnel.

Steve Ham, General Manager at The Underwater Centre, said:  "We were saddened to hear the news of the redundancies but we hope we might be able to offer some opportunities to the people who are affected.

"Former armed forces personnel are ideal candidates for employment in the subsea sector as they have an excellent range of technical knowledge and skills which can be easily transferred to our ROV and diving courses.

"Working in the armed forces will often involve being away from home and this can also be the case with working in the subsea sector, so ex-Service personnel tend to have the work ethic and experience which suits being either a diver or an ROV pilot.

"We see quite a number of ex-Forces staff coming to the Centre and using their Enhanced Learning Credits to help with the funding.  This is a MOD scheme in which money is awarded to those who wish to pursue higher level learning.

"The free introductory sessions we are offering will give the attendees a flavour of what the Centre can provide in terms of training facilities and what to expect on the courses we run in ROV and commercial diver training. The sessions will also provide an introduction to where their new careers could take them in the subsea industry, from our industry-experienced staff.

Jeremy Douglas is a former member of the Forces who has gone on to establish a new profession after training at the Centre.  When he left the army he decided to utilise the skills he had learned to help him embark on a new career.

Jeremy signed up for the three week intensive ROV Pilot Technician Course, which is aimed at those with a good grounding in electronics.

"There are other providers offering ROV training for less, but The Underwater Centre is recognised as the premier facility, and the only one which offers concurrent ROV and diver training an important skill for an ROV operator to master, he said.

"The course was very well structured and well delivered and provided me with the skills which I required when looking for my first job in the industry.

The Underwater Centre will be attending a Career Transition Partnership training day in Peterborough on October 18, more information can be found at

The Underwater Centre is  the only training centre in the world which offers the full range of Health and Safety Executive (HSE) commercial diving qualifications in air and mixed gas diver training, from HSE SCUBA to HSE Closed Bell diving.

Based at the head of Loch Linnhe, the Centre offers a unique sheltered, seawater site with a large private pier extending into the loch. The waters plunge to depths of 150 metres, which are ideal conditions for commercial diving and ROV training. There is also a large, purpose built, onshore diver training pool.