Leading authorities today (Wednesday, January 30, 2013) hailed the launch of an innovative skills and development academy as “a crucial investment in the next generation of talent and towards ensuring the future prosperity of the UK’s energy industry”.
The Rt Hon Brian Wilson, UK Business Ambassador and former Energy Minister, officially opened The Fabricom Offshore Services Academy in Newcastle which has fast become a hub for design and project engineers.
Established by facilities engineering company Fabricom Offshore Services, the Academy has been developed by engineers for engineers to provide a fully-integrated training, learning and development set of programmes aimed at graduates, apprentices and people looking to upgrade or diversify their skills.
More than 30 people are already undergoing apprenticeships, graduate training programmes and professional development schemes at the academy with another intake of around 12 expected this year.
Mr Wilson said: “This is what the British energy industry should be about – confident about the future, investing in people and ensuring that the necessary skills exist to take advantage of the opportunities that will present themselves. Engineering apprenticeships are just as important as university degrees in maintaining the UK’s world-leading position in offshore technologies.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Demand for skills in the oil and gas sector, both nationally and globally, is incredibly high. This is a high tech sector, where developments in the UK often lead the world so the Fabricom Offshore Services Academy will be an important skills and talent hub for the energy industry. Maintaining engineering skills and increasing apprenticeships reflects the Government's ambition, and is something we will be working with the industry on as part of our Industrial Strategy for the oil and gas sector."
Dr Alix Thom, Oil & Gas UK’s Employment and Skills Issues Manager, said: “Britain’s offshore oil and gas industry is booming and with activity set to increase further in the years to come, it offers high skilled and well rewarded employment for the long-term – but we must pull out all the stops to ensure we have people with sufficient skills and experience to meet the demand.
“We applaud Fabricom Offshore Services for their investment in this dedicated training facility which is testament to their clear and long sighted vision for the future of their business in this country. It will be of significant benefit to the people and economy of north east England and will help the oil and gas sector continue to flourish for decades to come.”
Fabricom Offshore Services, which has offices in Newcastle, Teesside and Aberdeen, created its academy to consolidate the company’s position for future growth and as a result of attracting a significant number of trainees, apprentices and graduates. The Academy also offers Fabricom’s staff the opportunity to enhance their skills through access to training and development across other areas of the business.
Allan Cairns, Fabricom’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “People are at the core of our business success and we take great pride in having a strong track record of retaining staff. We have been overwhelmed by the amount of high-quality trainees, apprentices and graduates that we have recruited to the company over the past few years and their commitment, enthusiasm and talent are already showing dividends.
“We want to build on our fast-growing team of dedicated engineering and technical expertise, which is vital to our business, as well as encourage the next generation of talent into the vibrant oil and gas industry.
“The Fabricom Offshore Services Academy provides a solid platform to develop engineers from the start of their careers through to Chartership in eight to 10 years which bolsters our internal supply chain and I am already confident that we are helping to address the skills shortage by delivering the engineers and industry leaders of the future.”
The demand for Fabricom’s team of engineering and technical consultants is increasing considerably across the UK, particularly in Aberdeen’s offshore brownfield sector where resources are constrained. The company’s innovative academy model involves participants learning from Fabricom’s expert team in a real work environment as well as through an integrated set of training and learning programmes.
The Academy includes:
- Monitored professional development schemes for graduates, trainees and apprentices.
- Mentorship and mentoring programmes.
- Fully-aligned staff development philosophy via a unique staff development review process.
- A full 2013 training and development services calendar, available to all staff.
- Cross-functional competence-based learning and development programmes.
The four-year graduate scheme offers work experience across a range of core engineering and business functions, real responsibility and the opportunity to make an early impact on the business. It includes appropriate skills training, an assigned mentor, an excellent grounding of the business prior to specialisation and the basis for accreditation to a recognised body for chartered engineer status.
The Four Year Modern Apprenticeship Scheme offers classroom-based training at Tyne Metropolitan College, three years’ on-site experience at Fabricom’s engineering head office, practical training in various engineering disciplines, NVQ Level 3, HNC qualifications and sought-after industry experience.
Since its inception in 2007, Fabricom Offshore Services has rapidly evolved as a leading provider of brownfield engineering, procurement, construction and project management services to the offshore oil and gas industry through consistent and robust delivery of a range of technical services and solutions through the life-cycle of assets.
The company, which has a growing employee base of around 320 across its three locations, specialises in multi-discipline engineering, design, procurement and project management supporting offshore construction, installation and commissioning.