Atlas, the leading international learning and skills provider, has urged the UK oil and gas industry to ensure that new entrants into industry obtain the highest levels of skills and training to maintain and enhance the highest standards possible.
Atlas chief executive John Rowley welcomed the publication of the latest Oil and Gas UK Workforce Demographic report, which reveals that more young people are working offshore but added the industry must maintain a strong focus on training to ensure not only safety remains paramount, but also to ensure there is no knowledge gap between experienced workers and new recruits.
The Oil and Gas UK report, published on August 30, reveals there has been an increase in the number of people working offshore in the UK oil and gas industry since 2006. The average age of the workforce has remained relatively constant at just over 41 years. However, there are two and a half times as many workers aged between 23 and 28 as there are aged between 60 and 65, indicating the offshore industry continues to attract new entrants.
John Rowley, CEO at Atlas believes that knowledge is the key to continue maintaining high levels of safety and maintaining a highly skilled workforce. He said: “The MIST (Minimum Industry Safety Training) on-line initiative is one example of training that is being undertaken across the whole of the supply chain, with an aim of increasing awareness and reducing incidents.
“Many business leaders I have talked to are very aware of the need to plug the skills gap as experienced people reach the end of their careers. It is good that new people are coming into the industry but this creates its own challenges in terms of training and providing employees with the necessary skills to develop their careers and for employers to invest in their people. People continue to see it as a challenging and rewarding career choice, but continued investment in training must remain a priority for employers and industry bodies such as Oil and Gas UK.”
“While it is very encouraging to see an increase in the number of workers travelling offshore, as well as a big increase in the number of younger workers, there has to be strong focus ensuring these people are fully trained to the highest standards. It is clear that there is still growing demand, and insufficient of suitably qualified and experienced workers to meet that demand and that requires all interested parties working together to ensure there is not a critical shortage of skilled and experienced workers.”
Atlas, which has its headquarters in Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, has one of the world’s largest portfolios of e-learning content focused on the oil and gas industry, covering health, safety, environment, compliance, risk and technical subjects for upstream and downstream, office and shore based operations and offers more than 200 industry focused courses. Earlier this year it launched its own Atlas Knowledge Centre, delivering a cloud-based learning solution to the oil and gas industry to support employee learning and knowledge acquisition and so improve work performance.
Mr Rowley said: “We live in a digital environment, and this is especially true of the younger members of the oil and gas workforce who most need to grow their skills and knowledge quickly. They have grown up taking the 24/7 always-on world of information for granted – we have recognised that providing training tools that they can use when they need it, benefits the individual and the organisation.”
Atlas has also worked in partnership with various industry bodies to bring class-leading training to oil and gas industry workers including OPITO’s IMIST (International Minimum Industry Safety Training) Online; the groundbreaking new global training standard for the oil and gas industry. IMIST brings for the first time a standardised level of basic safety training to an estimated 1.5million oil and gas workers worldwide. The training assesses basic safety knowledge in nine subject areas including risk assessment, asset integrity, the use of hazardous substances, working at height and mechanical lifting among other subjects.
Earlier this month, the Atlas Mechanical Joint Integrity (MJI) e-learning course was launched and is the first to be approved by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), delivering up-to-date training for oil and gas workers operating in safety critical roles.
For more information visit www.atlasknowledge.com