Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scottish Government pledges ‘significant support’ for Underwater Centre staff

The Underwater Centre, Fort William
The Underwater Centre, Fort William

“Significant support” will be given to staff affected after a world-leading Highland subsea training base went into administration yesterday, putting around 50 jobs at risk.

Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said skills and employability support measures had been put in place to help the “highly experienced team”.

The Underwater Centre in Fort William announced yesterday afternoon it had been forced to cease trading as one of only two centres in the world that offers closed bell training to divers.

David McGhie, managing director of The Underwater Centre, said he was “heartbroken” to announce the closure having been hopeful of finding a solution.

The centre was reported to be in financial difficulties last year when its subsidiary in Australia fell into liquidation.

Paul Wheelhouse, minister for energy, connectivity and the islands, said: “This announcement is a matter of great regret and will be hugely concerning for the workers affected and their families. We will look to provide support for employees affected by this development through our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE).

“Through providing skills development and employability support, PACE aims to minimise the time individuals affected by redundancy are out of work and it has a strong track record of delivery which I hope is of some comfort to those affected.

“The Scottish Government and our agencies have worked closely with the management team in Fort William, and constituency members of both Parliaments to support the Centre. In the course of doing so we have already provided significant support to The Underwater Centre through its recent challenges.

“We will continue to do all we can as this latest very unwelcome situation develops, given that we firmly believe the Underwater Centre at Fort William is a World class asset with unique capabilities and a highly experienced team.”

May 2018 it was thought to have been rescued from the threat of closure after an industry collaboration with offshore firms.

Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), Subsea 7, TechnipFMC, Premier Oil and the Scottish Government’s Highlands and Islands Enterprise joined forces to try to secure its long-term future. However that failed to save it from going into administration.

Mr McGhie said:  “We regret to confirm that The Underwater Centre has been forced to cease trading and will be placed into administration. It was heart-breaking informing our committed, loyal and professional staff and some students who were due to begin a course this week.

“Government, industry and the local management team have been working hard over the past year to try and find a sustainable solution for the Centre. Unfortunately this has not been possible. We were still hopeful of a solution right up to the eleventh hour which is why some students have been adversely affected. We are truly sorry about this and will do what we can to support them.

“The process of appointing administrators is on-going.”

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts