For many years, OPITO was known only for its role in regulating training delivery to industry standards. In fact, we were often referred to as the “standards police”.
While those days are long gone and our role as the Oil & Gas Academy gives us a much wider remit in developing a sustainable and competent workforce for the industry, we do still have a role to play in standards. Indeed, in the current climate, we can help employers to get best value from their learning and training. As Oil & Gas UK’s latest activity report underlines, this industry is no longer immune to the effects of the global downturn. Already, today’s oil price is having a detrimental impact on tomorrow’s projects.
However, I’m confident the industry will weather the storm, as it has done before. But the short to medium term will probably see consolidation and a drive for efficiencies and returns on investment. Investment in skills – one of the areas where the industry can get best value – must continue despite the tough times. The academy has developed some products and services focused on helping the industry beat the recession and the uptake from operators and contractors, both at home and abroad, is encouraging.
Our Competence Management System (CMS) audit is an external third-party assessment of a company’s existing people development systems, standards and processes. It is carried out to a set of industry best-practice guidelines and, if past experience is anything to go by, it leaves the employer with a range of recommendations to improve their people development systems, making them more efficient and effective.
It’s also common for our people to be invited back to advise on improvement and implementation plans. In many cases, companies are requesting the full system approval – a much demanded and respected accolade that helps them win business.
If your people development system is approved by OPITO, it means that the people you list in your tenders are being developed in a way that makes them competent in the context of this industry. But how much time, effort and money are wasted in selecting and evaluating learning products? Get it wrong and you double your costs as the training need, if not met, will have to be addressed again.
OPITO’s product certification scheme gives employers peace of mind as we do all the quality assessment work on their behalf, and we don’t charge for the privilege. If your learning suppliers’ products are “certified” by the academy, they will come up to scratch.
Even in a time of redundancies, this industry will always need specific skills and quality people. With other sectors shrinking, there is an opportunity to tap into a pool of good-quality talent. While these people may not have all the skills our industry needs, they will likely have some good foundations on which to build.
Using the academy’s skills screening tool, their current level of knowledge can be assessed, and then our new 12-week transitional training programmes for electrical, mechanical, instrumentation and process disciplines will transform their skills into those needed in the workplace.
Your industry has invested in OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy. Get a return on that investment by using us to make sure you continue to invest in skills and training in a cost-effective way.
David Doig is CEO of the Oil & Gas Academy, headquartered in Aberdeen