Much like the industry itself, the last 12 months were a time of great change and positive momentum for Opito (Offshore Petroleum Industry Organisation).
Not only did we recruit and build a new senior leadership team capable of delivering tangible benefits to industry and driving the UK organisation during the next stage of its development; we also invested in a new office in the heart of Europe’s oil capital, taking us closer to the people and the sector that we serve.
As an industry, we once again received some clear reminders last year about the importance of safety training, designed to protect all staff working across the oil and gas sector. It is vital that we always remain focused on the safety of our people and do all we can to minimise incidents and encourage the adoption of safe working.
At the very core of Opito’s work is our management and assurance of the industry training and safety standards. Working closely with the sector, we continue to develop and audit training standards that are fit-for-purpose and designed to deliver a safe, competent workforce, now and into the future.
During 2013, we worked with the industry to review and refine five standards centred on roles and responsibilities for key personnel during offshore emergencies; we also launched the new standard for elected safety representatives and carried out an industry wide review of the MIST standard (Minimum Industry Safety Training) which was adopted sector wide in 2011.
With a new director of standards and approvals now in place, our intention is to continue to build further on this work in 2014.
Addressing the recruitment and skills challenges faced at all levels has also continued to be a major focus for us in recent months. The challenges faced in recruiting talented, skilled individuals that are experienced and capable of delivering key results and ensuring UK-based companies remain competitive in a global industry is most certainly the main focus for most organisations.
These challenges have been well publicised by a cross section of employers and organisations and, for me, delivery through positive engagement is now the focus as we move into 2014 and beyond.
Among the major initiatives we are delivering is the first ever industry wide Labour Market Intelligence Survey and the newly reshaped Transition Training Programme. Both are, ultimately, designed to help the industry meet the fierce need for attracting, recruiting and retaining capable and competent people now and for many years to come.
We are all well aware of the challenges we face. But just as we as an organisation have undergone a significant transition in the last few months, I believe there is a real thirst in the industry to make a real change in how we address the skills and competency issue.
We have some of the brightest, best and most innovative people working in the sector – let’s make 2014 the year we make our industry shine.
David Doig is group CEO at Opito