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First common global qualifications for oil & gas to build competent workforces

17 March 2015

For the first time, workers anywhere in the world will be able to work towards vocational qualifications which will be recognised by the global oil and gas industry. Training standards body, OPITO International, has developed global technical standards and a qualifications framework which will help meet current and future skills demands in oil and gas and improve competence in the operations and maintenance activities associated with the extracti

Whether a school leaver in Mumbai or an existing offshore worker in Kuala Lumpur, individuals will be able to gain qualifications in processing hydrocarbons, electrical and mechanical maintenance and instrumentation and controls which will be recognised by oil and gas companies the world over.

Group chief executive of OPITO, David Doig, said: “In the last 18 months governments, international oil companies, national oil companies and contractors have turned to OPITO for a solution to delivering skilled and competent workers with the technical competence required to exploit the world’s remaining oil and gas reserves.

“Our response has been to deliver a flexible framework with industry-designed and industry-recognised qualifications that can be measured against industry standards. Our quality assurance then makes sure that the training, anywhere in the world, is delivered in the correct way, by the right people, using the right equipment in a safe and well-managed environment.”

This unique global vocational qualifications framework, supported by SQA, is underpinned by technical training standards, occupational standards, a robust assessment process and accredited certification and qualifications. 

As part of the framework, a newly created Oil and Gas Foundation Level will provide training that acts as a gateway into the industry for individuals who don’t have the basic skills normally associated with entry to a vocational skills development programme.

According to OPITO, the international oil and gas industry faces a significant challenge in building a safe and sustainable workforce with the right skills as it seeks to prolong the life of existing fields, develop new fields and operate them safely and efficiently. 

Mr Doig added: “In many oil and gas provinces, governments and industry are grappling with building indigenous workforces, making sure they provide employment for local people. They have turned to OPITO to design appropriate, industry-specific, valued, nationally and globally recognised training outcomes that will result in a safe and competent workforce.

Funded by industry, for industry, OPITO has a proven track-record in responding to the global oil and gas industry’s training needs. Having successfully designed and monitored safety training standards in the North Sea for many years, OPITO created an international organisational structure to support the move by the industry to adopt common global standards in emergency response and hazardous activities. In just over a decade, 250,000 people around the world have been trained to those standards, helping prevent incidents through greater safety and competence.


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