OPITO, a UK-based skills and workforce body whose main focus has been offshore oil and gas - as its full name Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organization suggests - is shifting its course and venturing into renewables.
The organization said Monday it has stepped into the renewables arena with the launch of a new suite of safety and technical training standards, and qualifications, designed to address the skills requirements of a net-zero economy.
"Today’s launch marks OPITO’s first step into renewables, with focused products that build on its strong heritage in oil and gas, while recognizing the need for a flexible workforce equipped to support an integrated, low-carbon energy system," OPITO said.
The initial focus will be on the offshore wind sector which, together with solar power, is expected to dominate the growth of renewables as a primary energy source over the next 30 years.
Citing RenewablesUK and IRENA, respectively, OPITOP said that offshore wind is expected to lead to the creation of 27,000 highly skilled roles, in the UK alone, by 2030, with the number of jobs in the sector globally forecast to rise to one million by 2050.
OPITO’s new standards give learners the opportunity to choose from a range of products, designed to equip them with the critical skills needed to
The organization said its Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) for Renewable Energy standard has been created for those seeking to enter or transition to roles in the renewable energy industry.
"There are also refresher courses available for personnel already working in the offshore wind sector. This basic survival standard offers a more flexible approach to individual training needs, with the option to choose from limited or full-access courses. The new product range also features crisis management and helideck standards," OPITO said.
For those just starting out in their careers, OPITO has made available two SCQF-accredited training qualifications – an introduction to mechanical and electrical engineering, and renewable energy foundation training.
"These courses can be used by employers that wish to develop their workforce, and are equivalent to learners at apprentice level looking to achieve SQA Level 3 certification," OPITO said.
"The launch of these new products supports the strong commitments made by the UK and Scottish Governments to this growing market, while addressing the triple challenge of climate change, energy security and affordability of supply; and encouraging the development of a multi-skilled energy workforce," OPITO added.
John McDonald, CEO, OPITO, said: “For more than 40 years, OPITO has been at the forefront of the development of a safe and highly skilled global energy workforce, operating in remote, hazardous and highly-regulated environments.
"These new products mark a strategic shift for our organization and will enable us to apply our vast experience to the renewable energy industry, as the energy mix further diversifies. Recognizing the clear synergies that exist across the different parts of the industry, these new products will help to ensure the provision of a multi-disciplined and flexible workforce, now and in the future."
To support the launch, OPITO has worked with training companies such as Vulcan Training & Consultancy, Poland; Maersk Training UK Ltd.; Humberside Offshore Training Association (HOTA), Hull; Petrofac, Montrose; Petans, Norwich and FMTC, Netherlands. Actemium Oil and Gas Training, has received the first approval for delivery of the global renewable energy qualifications, initially at its center in Nigeria, with a view to expanding delivery to all of its international training centers.