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Scottish Government supports diver and ROV skills training at The Underwater Centre

Scottish Government supports diver and ROV skills training at The Underwater Centre

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19 June 2017

Skills Development Scotland has awarded The Underwater Centre in Fort William funding to help ensure that Scotland is ready to supply the qualified workforce that the subsea industry will need in the future.

The downturn in the oil and gas industry has led to a reduction in training, both by individuals and companies. Without ongoing investment in training, skills will be lost to the industry as older workers retire without the skilled workforce to replace them.

The subsea industry is a key part of the Scottish economy. The Scottish Government believes it is vital to support subsea training now so that the country’s workforce is ready to respond to positive market conditions when the oil price begins to recover, as well as being prepared for opportunities in decommissioning and the offshore renewables sector.

To ensure this happens, Skills Development Scotland has made it easier for Scottish workers to access high quality, industry-relevant subsea training.

Starting in June 2017, Scottish residents* will be able to train in key courses at The Underwater Centre for 50% of the usual cost. The other half of the fees will be paid by Skills Development Scotland.
With industry needs in mind, the financial support is targeted towards the specific areas where there are likely to be shortages. The support is not seeking to bring new people into the offshore industry but is aiming to increase the capability of the people already in the sector.

This is an excellent opportunity for existing ROV pilots and commercial divers and existing offshore workers new to these professions to train in these areas, supported by the Scottish Government.

Steve Ham, Commercial Director at The Underwater Centre, believes that the support offers huge benefits to the Scottish subsea workforce: "While none of us have a crystal ball, there are increasing signs that the upturn is coming. This support for subsea skills training will help companies benefit more quickly and more effectively from that upturn. It will also help individuals advance their own careers by making it easier to invest in themselves.”

This financial support is available to both individuals and companies who wish to train their staff, and candidates are urged to apply as soon as possible. The total value of the funding is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.