New year, new horizons, new challenges. It is sound business advice to say that if you stand still for too long you get left behind.
One thing OPITO can never be accused of is dragging its heels when it comes to expanding its reach.
We recently announced a major restructure which will see OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy continue to deliver its skills agenda in the UK and a new entity, OPITO International, formed to deliver standards to improve workforce safety and competency in worldwide oil&gas provinces.
Under the new structure, we will have the resources and the infrastructure to significantly increase this, with an ultimate goal of all offshore workers anywhere in the world trained to common industry standards.
It is my inherent belief that every worker has the right to go to work and get home again safely.
This new structure will establish Aberdeen and the North Sea as a global centre of excellence in skills, learning development and training in the oil&gas supply chain and see the best practice learned here at home rolled out across the global industry.
OPITO International will initially have three business units focused on Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and the Americas.
The new international arm will build on its extensive market position and increase its work with governments, national oil companies, multinationals and contractors to meet their skills needs, to provide independent advice and guidance on effective management of workforce skills development, emergency response and occupational standards, and qualifications and quality assurance of training delivery.
Many of these markets are not as mature as the UK and therefore the skills offering has to be different. We have separated our business to reflect this and provide a distinct offering for each province.
As UK innovations are exported and emerging markets evolve, OPITO wants to be at the forefront in serving these markets – recognised for its proven expertise in improving workforce safety and competency.
The industry currently invests about £12million per annum in OPITO and we are, year on year, delivering a return on that investment. By going global, we will ensure that this investment continues to grow and is not just an investment in the UK workforce, but in the global workforce where the industry operates.
Meanwhile, here in the UK, the academy will continue to engage meaningfully with industry to deliver existing and develop new initiatives that meet the challenges of emerging skills agendas in the changing energy industry.
2010 sees us on the brink of significant change and, hopefully, significant opportunities not just for OPITO but for everyone involved in the global oil&gas industry.
Whether that comes in the form of new business, new safety practices, new training or new recruits going forward in this new venture, one thing is clear – it should be one world, one industry, one standard.
David Doig is group chief executive of OPITO Strategic Limited