A new training syllabus from Green Marine Solutions (GMS) will provide answers for a new breed of skilled specialists who can take the tough offshore environment in their stride.
Modern marine coordinators (MCs) must be able to respond rapidly to events and incidents that unchecked could have serious consequences as larger wind farms operate further offshore. It is important that the right person is not intimidated when making hard choices quickly where a great deal of money is at stake.
As a result, as a specialist offshore services provider, GMS is developing a unique syllabus designed to give well-selected personnel the extra skills and knowledge they will need to take up responsible posts offshore. GMS has developed a double-MC-offering for wind industry operators. A marine coordination audit – essentially a wide-ranging GAP analysis – is followed by a package to train up the client’s own staff.
This twin-track approach has already been taken up by C-Power which operates the Thornton Bank Wind Farm off the Belgian coast. GMS is taking it more widely into Europe. The new syllabus, which GMS’ own service teams will go through, will also be rolled out to the industry.
A key element will be developing the skills and mind-set needed to anticipate and solve problems pro-actively with the goal of maintaining productivity and minimising costs at all times.
However, the company is bringing the same approach to other offshore skills. Operations Director, Richard Pargeter, is concerned about the future of many enthusiastic young people anxious to join the offshore wind industry and make good careers.
“A lot of lads are spending hard-earned money on training courses in the hope of finding work offshore. Yes, a seven-day course will give them the qualifications of a ‘safety passport’ to work in the industry.”
“But from an employer’s standpoint, what skills will they then be able to take offshore? They have to be able to add value from day one in a tough environment that may not suit everybody. Everyone has to justify their place in the boat!”
“Maybe their aptitude makes them best suited to being a painting, coatings or lifting equipment inspector. We think that gaining this skill is the first priority. New entrants can get their marine training from us and then go on to qualify to work offshore. That way, they have a greater chance of job security and satisfaction. No-one wants to see good people fail. Quite the opposite,” says Pargeter.
The advantage of this approach for the wind industry is a ready supply well-rounded, useful and confident employees or contractors who can fit in immediately. In parallel, GMS wants to circumvent the extremely high day-rates that are a legacy of the oil & gas industry.
Press release, July 01, 2014; Image: GMS