A class at Aberdeen Skills and Enterprise Training (Aset) centre will today become the first group of ex-military personnel to complete its oil and gas process operations course.
With energy firms looking at new solutions to fill the industry’s skill gap, efforts have been made to bring in relevant skills from men and women who have left the armed forces.
The 16-week course in how to operate the type of oil and gas processing equipment found offshore was the first step in a two-year training programme set up by oil and gas company Apache.
A group of 11 trainees from the Army, Navy and RAF were selected from 75 applicants by the US firm, which has operations in the UK North Sea, to join the scheme.
David Cook, staffing and development co-ordinator at Apache, said: “We’ve handpicked people who are highly competent and have an aptitude to succeed.
Mr Cook added that while some skills were transferable, others had to be acquired – the key to success was attitude.
The trainees will now start 18 months structured on-the-job training, with close mentoring on Apache facilities leading to a Level 3 Scottish Vocational Qualification in processing operations hydrocarbons.
Although some of the trainees were victims of spending cuts in the forces, for others the decision to retrain for the North Sea was based on seeking “new challenges” and a “more stable” life. Apache said the high pressure and life experiences of ex-forces staff made them a good fit for roles in process operations, a critical skill area for all offshore operators.
Aset is a owned by Aberdeen College and has provided specialised training for the oil and gas industry since 1993.