Photo: Illustration; Source: OPITO

UK a step closer to delivering ‘first-in-industry’ digital solution for workers in offshore energy sector

Energy training services & technology solutions provider 3t Energy Group has been selected to develop a pioneering digital solution in partnership with OPITO to help workers identify gaps and gain the training, skills, and certifications they need to work flexibly across the offshore energy sector.

After OPITO was awarded £5 million (around $5.7 million) from the Scottish government’s Just Transition Fund in October 2022 to deliver an Energy Skills Passport in collaboration with partners, this safety and skills organisation for the energy industry disclosed last Friday that 3t Transform, a learning technology business part of 3t Energy, has been selected to develop the “first-in-industry” digital solution as part of a competitive tender process. The Energy Skills Passport is expected to be deployed in 2023.

John McDonald, CEO of OPITO and Energy Skills Alliance Chair, commented: “We estimate that 90 per cent of the UK’s oil and gas workforce have skills transferable to adjacent energy sectors, and therefore, there is a tangible opportunity to create new jobs which can meet our national demand for safe, affordable and reliable energy both now, and in the years to come.

“This is a major milestone for the industry as we move one step closer to delivering the Energy Skills Passport, an innovative digital solution to create pathways for workers to pursue flexible careers across the offshore energy industry.”

Back in May 2022, OPITO – on behalf of the UK oil and gas sector and with the support of the Energy Skills Alliance – published the Integrated People and Skills Strategy (PSS), highlighting the benefits of a just and managed energy transition for the energy workforce, industry, governments and communities.

In line with this, the Energy Skills Passport, which will transform how offshore energy workers transition between sectors, was a commitment within the first of five action plans, ‘Aligning Offshore Energy Standards.’ This will create an aligned training and standards framework across oil and gas, offshore wind, hydrogen, and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), which is “a priority for the workforce, trade unions and companies alike.”

Furthermore, EY – as part of its ongoing role scoping, developing and engaging with the industry on the PSS – led the competitive vendor procurement process, which assessed both technical and commercial aspects. This was scored by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), OEUK and OPITO. OPITO underlined that EY will continue to programme manage the Energy Skills Passport to deliver the solution in Q3 2023.

Keith Farquharson, Director at EY, said: “EY is delighted to continue to support OPITO and work closely with 3t Energy Group in the development and implementation of the Energy Skills Passport. Supporting the offshore energy industry in enabling the transition of workers to pursue careers and creating the much-needed flexible workforce is a privilege and is an integral part of our purpose to Build a Better Working World.”

Moreover, the process has been supported with insight and guidance from Energy Skills Alliance members and the Energy Skills Passport Steering Group, which includes trade unions, and skills and membership bodies including; ECITB, IMCA, Cogent, Global Wind Organisation, OEUK and RenewableUK. On the other hand, the industry is represented by a cross-section of organisations, including Aker Solutions, BP, CNOOC, Equinor, Ithaca Energy, Shell, Total Energies, Wood, and Worley.

Kevin Franklin, CEO at 3t Energy Group, remarked:“We’re delighted to be the chosen partner to deliver this first-in-industry digital solution. This project directly supports the energy transition by identifying gaps, upskilling, and reskilling workforces across the offshore energy sector.

“This partnership highlights our commitment to the wider energy sector with training and development recognised as being key to ensuring we have a world-class UK energy workforce of the future, which we’re proud to be taking a leading role in across our businesses at 3t Energy Group.”

Regarding 3t Energy Group’s activities elsewhere, it is worth noting that 3t EnerMech, the company’s strategic alliance with EnerMech, unveiled plans in February 2022 to launch Guyana’s first oil and gas training centre.

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This is expected to support in-country skills, safety training and certifications for the local offshore workforce.