OPITO’s Oil and Gas Industry Awareness Programme dropping into Colchester Garrison


2nd April 2014

Essex-based Military informed of future in oil and gas roles

OPITO, the skills organisation for oil and gas, lands at Colchester Garrison in Essex today (2nd April) to help soon to be ex-service personnel make the jump across from a career in the military to a new occupation in the oil and gas industry.

The OPITO Oil and Gas Awareness programme will inform those attending the one-day event about the kind of jobs their current skills and experience could see them applying for in the sector once they leave the Forces.

More than 540 Army, Navy and Air Force service men and women have already taken part in similar sessions at different military bases throughout England and one in Scotland. Topics covered include learning about the drilling process, the different types of rigs and platforms, transportation, pipeline management and the decommissioning process.

The programme began at the end of last year and aims to address the oil and gas industry’s critical need to recruit skilled engineers, technicians for both on and offshore positions, as well as support roles in areas such as project management and logistics.

OPITO skills development director Morven Spalding said: “Ex-military have the kind of skills and experience which can be useful across a whole range of different career options in oil and gas. They may have the technical know-how from working with specialist machinery, transporting materials, working out logistical problems, even dealing with man management issues, all of these attributes can crossover.

“The feedback we’ve received from those attending is really positive. We’ve also had a couple of employers coming along to the last couple of sessions to find out first-hand what these men and women have to offer. The benefit will not only be to the individual, but the oil and gas industry will be getting vastly experienced personnel who may only need a short conversion course to get them started, saving companies time and cost.”

John Roach, a chief petty officer weapons engineer and deputy weapons engineering officer, at HMS Grimsby, found the event he attended hugely beneficial. He said: “The awareness day was very well put together explaining all aspects of the oil and gas industry from exploration all the way through to processing and even decommissioning the rigs when they reach the end of their working life.

“As the day focused on the whole industry it allowed me to pin point the jobs and disciplines that are relevant to my skill set. Plus meeting people within the industry was very useful to gain an appreciation of the roles and the way to access those roles.”

OPITO has been working closely with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), the MoD’s official provider of Armed Forces Resettlement, to raise awareness of the long-term career opportunities the oil and gas industry offers those leaving the Forces.

The OPITO Oil and Gas Awareness sessions have already been held at Rosyth, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Tidworth and Cottesmore, with more dates planned in the coming months.

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