For oil and gas companies, ensuring staff are able to travel to vital projects is a necessary but expensive operation that every business wishes could be made simpler and cost less.
Staff at Wings Travel Management’s Aberdeen office have undertaken an extensive course to help their clients become more efficient in deploying personnel around the globe. The five-strong team of travel specialists is among the first “energy champions” to graduate from the Wings Energy Academy, a unique 12-month educational programme, launched last year by the global oil and gas travel company.
Split into four phases, the year-long programme focussed on four different roles in the industry – roughneck, derrick-hand, driller and rig manager. In addition to providing an overall view of industry, the course covered topics such as types of drilling platforms, rotational schedules and what life is like for a rig worker. The final stage required students to study one of their oil and gas clients in detail and identify ways in which Wings could enhance its travel management services to support the client’s business more efficiently.
Tracey Beveridge, Wings head of operations, said: “Travel spend is one of the biggest costs for many companies. In the current climate, it is particularly important that travel is handled efficiently and our Energy Academy provides our staff with greater insight into the industry. It challenges them to put themselves in the position of those who are doing the travelling.”
“The training focussed on the aims and issues our customers can face. Armed with this knowledge our consultants can appreciate the vital role they play in organising travel efficiently and offering solutions in what can be critical situations,” she added.
“We believe the Wings Energy Academy takes a unique approach and that no other travel management company is giving its staff such extensive training which is specific to the oil and gas sector.”
A total of 44 Wings Travel Management consultants worldwide graduated as Energy Champions after completing all stages of the course with a pass-rate of 80% or more on all assessments. The next class of students will commence the course in June 2015.
Fiona Gillespie, assistant team leader at Wings Travel Management in Aberdeen said: “The training gave us great insight and a clearer understanding of how the oil and gas industry operates, especially learning about the different types of rigs and what the role of a rig worker entails.
“I now really understand what the crew go through on each rotation and have a new respect for the work they do. It makes me want to do everything I can to make their travel as smooth as possible.”