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Oil & Gas Skills Body Forges New Partnership with The Open University

19 October 2012

Oil and gas industry skills and training body OPITO is to support The Open University’s work in transforming lives through higher education with a new long term funding agreement.

OPITO will donate £30,000 a year for the next three years to help support a breadth of initiatives led by the University internationally. Tasked with developing a sustainable, safe and competent workforce for the oil and gas sector, over half a million offshore workers in 40 countries worldwide have been trained to OPITO standards in the last three years

David Doig, Group chief executive at OPITO said: "Our role internationally is to take the approach adopted in the UK and tailor it for each oil and gas province so that the global workforce is trained to the same high standards.

"The Open University (OU) opens doors for people both here in the UK and far beyond by inspiring them to take their learning further. Increasing access to education for people in all parts of the world is a vital element in improving competency and safety in oil and gas around the world and ultimately saving lives.”

The OU is the largest university in the UK with more than 260,000 students and in excess of 1.6million people worldwide have achieved their learning goals by studying with the University since its inception in 1969.

Students study part-time via distance learning and need no previous academic qualifications to study at undergraduate level. This open access approach allows those who may not otherwise be able to realise their ambitions to access high quality university education.

The OU is involved in a number of initiatives based around its core principal of open education at scale. These include projects in both developing and mature oil and gas provinces such as the USA, Russia, Africa, India and the Middle East among others.

Matthew Gorman, Deputy Director of Development at The Open University, said: "The OU is very grateful for this support from OPITO which will particularly help us widen access to higher education in the developing world. The OU’s work includes two flagship programmes, TESSA and HEAT. TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa) has reached over 430,000 primary and secondary school teachers since its launch in 2005. HEAT (Health Education and Training) was launched in 2010 to help sub-Saharan Africa stride towards its goal of 1 million more frontline healthcare workers by 2015.”

Daniel Nti, Director of International Development at The Open University, said: "The OU’s programmes aim to impact the many, rather than the few. Our work helps create sustainable social and economic development. With the support of OPITO we can do even more to train and empower people across the developing world.”