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International drive for common standards in oil & gas workforce safety and competency

12 January 2010

UK oil and gas skills standards could soon become commonplace around the world as a result of a bold ambition by Opito which will also firmly establish Aberdeen and the North Sea as a global centre of excellence in oil and gas skills development.

David Doig, currently chief executive of Opito
David Doig, currently chief executive of Opito

The UK oil and gas industry’s skills organisation has announced a major restructure which will see Opito – The Oil & Gas Academy continue to deliver its skills agenda in the UK and a new entity, OPITO International, formed to deliver standards to improve workforce safety and competency in world-wide oil and gas provinces.

David Doig, currently chief executive of Opito (pictured), will spear-head the international drive. "In the last five years we have succeeded in introducing Opito standards to improve safety and competence of the indigenous and transient workforces in 26 countries. Currently every year 110,000 people around the world are trained to those standards, developed in the North Sea.
"Under the new structure, we will have the resources and the infrastructure to significantly increase this with an ultimate goal of all offshore workers anywhere in the world trained to common industry standards.

"The new structure will establish Aberdeen and the North Sea as a global centre of excellence in skills, learning development and training in the oil and gas supply chain.

Opito International will initially have three business units focused on Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and the Americas. The international organisation will work with Governments, national oil companies, multi-nationals and contractors to meet their skills needs to provide independent advice and guidance on effective management of workforce skills development, emergency response and occupational standards and qualifications and quality assurance of training delivery.
"Many of these markets are not as mature as the UK and therefore the skills offering has to be different. We have separated our business to reflect this and provide a distinct offering for each province.

"As UK innovations are exported and emerging markets evolve, Opito wants to be at the forefront in serving these markets - recognised for its proven expertise in improving workforce safety and competency.

"The industry currently invests around £12 million per annum in Opito and we are year on year delivering a return on that investment. By going global, we will ensure that this investment continues to grow and is not just an investment in the UK workforce but in the global workforce where the industry operates."

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