Fergus Ewing, MSP - Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism, met with leading international skills and learning provider, Atlas, to discuss the importance of training in the UK oil and gas sector last week.
Mr Ewing and CEO of Atlas, John Rowley discussed some of the challenges and opportunities facing the energy sector, including the need for workers to have the necessary level of skills and knowledge to enter this industry and help them operate safely and efficiently. The meeting focused on the technology-led training that Atlas is providing as a solution to meet the challenges of the energy industry in the UK and internationally.
Atlas, which has its global headquarters in Aberdeen, is a leading provider of e-learning products and bespoke training solutions for organisations ranging from major international and national operators to contractors and service companies right across the global supply chain. It is also a delivery partner with industry training bodies including OPITO and Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB).
As well as increasing its export to 50% over the past two years, Atlas has also provided over 60 new jobs in the past 12 months, 20 of which have been through a successful graduate training programme in conjunction with the local college.
Following on from the recent publication of the latest Oil and Gas UK Workforce Demographic report, which reveals there has been an increase in the number of people working offshore in the UK oil and gas industry since 2006, Atlas is continually urging the industry to ensure that new entrants into the sector and experienced workers obtain the highest levels of skills and training to maintain and enhance the highest standards possible.
John Rowley, CEO of Atlas said: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity to sit down with Mr Ewing and discuss the challenges the UK oil and gas industry faces, and demonstrate to him just how Atlas is trying to combat these issues.
“The industry requires thousands of new recruits and although there are more young people working offshore, this means it’s more important than ever to ensure they are trained to the highest standard. We are working with operators and major employers in the UK and internationally to deliver the most up to date training courses available. Our e-learning courses offer a solution to the younger generation brought up in the digital era.
“But it’s also about training the experienced workers. On the back of the success of MIST (Minimum Industry Safety Training) in the UKCS where we have trained 60,000 workers online, we are promoting one global industry standard – IMIST (International MIST) Online - so every worker can feel confident in his or her colleagues knowing they are trained to the same high level throughout, regardless of where in the world they are working.”
Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing said: "It was a pleasure to visit Atlas this week. Atlas is an impressive example of an Aberdeen based company operating internationally using leading edge technology, to construct high specification computer graphics and apply innovate approaches developed in-house to ensure delivery of key skills and learning required by the oil and gas industry.
"The oil and gas sector is vitally important to Scotland's economy. With more than half of the value of the North Sea's oil and gas reserves yet to be extracted, up to 24 billion recoverable barrels with a potential wholesale value of £1.5 trillion, oil and gas will remain an enormous economic resource for decades to come. The promising future of the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen is evidenced by companies like Atlas who, starting from a small base have provided over 60 new jobs in the last 12 months, including 20 graduates employed in conjunction with local colleges.
"The Scottish Government's Oil and Gas Strategy, developed in conjunction with industry, lays out a plan to help the industry go from strength to strength, and rising capital investment - reaching £8.5bn in 2011 and expected to rise to £11.5bn in 2012 - demonstrates the confidence investors and the industry have in Scotland."
Atlas continues to invest in the development of new innovations and products to meet the challenges of industry. The Atlas’ Knowledge Centre, a cloud-based learning solution, supports technical oil and gas learning and knowledge acquisition, and so improves workforce performance. The Knowledge Centre allows new and experienced workers to refresh and grow their knowledge in relation to the job they are about to perform. It also enhances knowledge retention, helping workers become closer to the task at hand.