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Jamie Purves: Preparing a workforce for the energy transition and the future of an evolving training industry

AIS Survivex training.
AIS Survivex training.

As the North Sea offshore industry finally sees some light at the end of the global pandemic tunnel, there continues to be a strong focus on the energy transition and how the workforce can prepare for it.

With the rapidly changing requirements, now more than ever, it is important to have the ability to react quickly and the correct protocols in place in order to support the sector.

Responding to what the industry needs is key to AIS Survivex’s growth as a business, and being able to do that allows us to come out of the pandemic even stronger.

As the industry evolves, so too must the way we train the workforce.”

Not only did we recently complete the acquisition of our industry’s leading training centres (Petrofac Training sites in Aberdeen and Montrose, which were acquired by AIS Survivex parent 3t Energy Group earlier this year), but in May last year we were also the first in our sector to reopen under Covid-compliant regulations.

We streamlined our offering and now bring together two market-leading names, AIS and Survivex, under one refreshed brand.

Transforming skills

We understand the need to support the energy transition and to ensure this we have deepened the content in terms of technology, provided increased learnings and expanded our capability, particularly in Aberdeen, around our renewables training.

Our aim is to make sure the sector is prepared for the transition – now more than ever delegates are retraining to evolve and enhance their skills. Firms must also evolve their business models around environmental, social and governance standards, as well as carbon reduction and net-zero commitments.

Being market leaders in renewables training, we have the expertise and capabilities to support all their needs, and we work in collaboration with our customers to ensure the highest level of compliance and competence.

Jamie Purves

We are seeing an increased appetite for cloud-based technology solutions in the delivery and management of training. It is essential the training sector continually looks at technology or digitisation, bringing innovative and bespoke solutions to the energy industry and beyond.

This process has not stopped for us during the pandemic – we have been able to continue developing and, in fact, accelerate products because we have seen the demand is there.

As an example, we have seen an increase in uptake within the area of well control, and by continuously advancing our technology offering and quickly reacting to trends we also moved our simulation product to the cloud and were able to quickly roll this out to the international market.

Transforming training

As the industry evolves, so too must the way we train the workforce. The provision of training has to adapt, and it is vital that we follow both the sector and our customers on this journey in order to understand how we can best support them with their commitments towards carbon reduction.

The deployment of technology will increase to provide the right learning outcomes and deliver a safer, smarter workforce.

Remote training also continues to be in focus across the sector, and we offer e-learning, video learning, virtual reality and other options. As technology advances, we want to remain on the ball and be able to offer our clients the best and most up-to-date training services.

Offshore worker carries out helicopter safety training at AIS Survivex.

Completing an acquisition during a pandemic was challenging but made complete sense for our business. We have brought marine training capabilities as well as strong expertise in the area of emergency response management to the group’s portfolio.

It allows us to be in a stronger position to deliver a wider array of products and solutions to our customers. The acquisition we have completed brings with it a new, diverse client base which aids our growth, in both domestic and global markets.

As we continue into 2021 we have already seen many of our customers walk through our doors, both in the north of England as well as north-east Scotland, looking to not only refresh their qualifications but also retrain. We will offer them our full support on their journey, as we look ahead to how we continue to evolve as a training business.

Jamie Purves is general manager at Aberdeen-based AIS Survivex, the UK’s largest energy sector training provider.

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