Course launched to address potential repeat of North Sea skills gap

Apprentices at ITCA Training centre.
Apprentices at ITCA Training centre.

An Aberdeen training company claims there could be another potential skills gap looming in the North Sea due to the ageing workforce.

The offshore industry suffered from a lack of fresh talent between 2012 and 2014 that was eventually plugged through a variety of schemes.

However in a bid to avert any future repeat scenario ITCA Training, which is based at the Kirkhill Industrial Estate in Dyce, has come up with a specially tailored course for “the engineers of tomorrow”.

The Skills for Engineers course (S4E) to provide in-depth training for learners aged 16 to 18 years old who have left full-time education.

ITCA deliver a mixture of practical workshop based training with classroom based studies over the 16-week course, which is funded through the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) employability fund.

The course offers in-depth training in a wide range of disciplines including general workshop skills, health and safety awareness, hand fitting, service engineering, assembly skills and welding.

The course ends with a four week work placement to build on their skills in a proper working environment.

June Jones, managing director of ITCA, said: “It is important that businesses address the issue of a potential skills gap, before it becomes a serious problem for the North-east in the future. In the current market, it is more important than ever before to have relevant experience and an industry standard qualification when applying for a job.

“The aim of S4E is to give learners the training and workplace experience required to get a foothold in the engineering industry, build their confidence and raise their understanding of safety in the workplace.

“This type of hands-on experience instantly gives S4E participants an advantage over other jobseekers in an extremely competitive market. Since the establishment of the S4E course, we have seen a high number of learners gaining full-time employment at a number of different companies, not only in the oil and gas sector, which is extremely positive.”