OPITO Opens New Operation in Heart of Energy Capital and Announces New Standards Director


10th January 2014

OPITO, the oil and gas industry skills body, has invested in a new Aberdeen office - a
strategic move which cements its position at the heart of the energy sector and reaffirms its commitment to the UK Continental Shelf.

Retaining its headquarters in Portlethen, OPITO has signed a long-term lease on a second 1,033sq ft office in the city’s West End. Providing conference facilities for the industry, it will also house up to eight OPITO staff.

The move coincides with the appointment of the final director in OPITO’s newly established senior leadership team. Mark Neilson joins as standards and approvals director following a 30-year career in the engineering, competence and training fields.

OPITO UK managing director John McDonald said: “We are at a very exciting time in our development as an organisation. Both our investment in this new facility in the heart of Europe’s oil capital and the further strengthening of our leadership team will ensure we are best placed to meet the industry’s needs both now and in the years to come.

“We have undergone a transition as an organisation in recent months, initiating some major developments and are now gearing up for a step change in how the industry addresses its skills and competency needs.

“The Aberdeen office brings us much closer to the people and the sector that we serve. This, combined with Mark’s addition to a management team with an outstanding breadth and depth of experience, means we are well positioned to build stronger links with our stakeholders and meet our key primary focus of delivering a competent and safe workforce.”

Prior to joining OPITO, Mr Neilson was UK training, development and competency manager for Wood Group PSN. He has also held a number of vocational training and competency roles with Aberdeen College and ASET focussing on competence management process, international workforce development, industry transformation programmes, modern apprenticeships and bespoke training and competence solutions for industry organisations.

Mr Neilson said: “I’m in a fortunate position of understanding the objectives and challenges faced by the industry and how OPITO, as the custodian of world-leading safety and competency standards, can ensure greater alignment between the two.

“Having worked in a number of different sectors in technically focused roles, I’m really looking forward to leading the development and delivery of robust and fit for purpose training and competence standards throughout the industry.”

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