24 October 2013


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A subsea tool specialist has found an innovative way of bridging the oil and gas industry’s skills gap by collaborating with a world class commercial diving training academy.

Fisher Offshore is working in conjunction with the Professional Diving Academy (PDA) in a partnership which will see both continue to place an importance on supporting new industry talent.

A range of hydraulic tools – which includes a mixture of wrenches, saws and grinders suitable for underwater use – has been handed over to Dunoon-based training facility and will be used to prepare its next generation of divers prior to them working in the field. The donated range of tools has been renovated to a high standard allowing it to be used for diver training purposes.

The handover is also set to benefit the academy’s ADC approved commercial diving sister company, Shearwater Marine Services, which provides a vital interface between the training programme and real world work environment.

Mags Bruce, Fisher Offshore’s subsea tool co-ordinator, said: “At Fisher Offshore, we are committed to using the highest-spec technology possible and our range is constantly evolving. As a result of this, we are occasionally left with a number of tools which, although still operational, no longer represent our core tooling range. We were keen to find a better solution than simply storing the equipment and we are delighted to have been able to do that.

“We have worked with the Professional Diving Academy and Shearwater Marine Services in the past and felt putting the tools to use in this way would be a gesture of our support for a diver training facility that’s fully committed to providing hands on industry relevant training. It is satisfying to be able to give something back to a client and also to know we are aiding the next generation of commercial divers in being as equipped and prepared as possible.

“We recognise the effects on the industry of the well-publicised skills gap and feel this gesture in its own way plays an important part in improving the skill set and ultimately the experience of divers. We would definitely consider making similar donations in the future as and when tools become available.”

Neil Macmillan, training manager at the Professional Diving Agency, said: “We greatly appreciate this latest opportunity to work with Fisher Offshore and the tools that they have provided will stand us in good stead for the future development of our divers.

“It is very much our goal to ensure that PDA graduates have an edge over other new divers entering the industry and these tools will form an integral part of our current training syllabus, giving our divers first-hand experience of using machinery that many usually only get to operate when they start their first job.

“It’s our continued aim to ensure that PDA graduates are recognised as highly employable assets for recipient companies and by gaining early hands-on knowledge using the sort of tools they will have to work with in the subsurface environment, we can provide critical development for our delegates in a safe controlled setting.”

Alastair Baird, director of Shearwater Marine Services and co-director of the Professional Diving Agency said: “Shearwater Marine has a long-standing commitment to providing an outlet for PDA graduates and the donation of tools by Fisher will enable these trainees to be as equipped and ready for the working environment as possible.

“The diving and marine sector can be fast-paced and challenging for graduates initially entering the industry so any contribution that aids this transition to be as stream-lined as possible is incredibly welcome.”

Fisher Offshore is a lifting, deck machinery and subsea excavation specialist for the offshore, subsea and marine industries. Part of James Fisher and Sons plc, Fisher Offshore offers a comprehensive range of equipment for rental and sale, including but not limited to: winches and hoists, marine cranes and deck machinery, subsea hydraulic tooling, breathing air compressors, handling systems and deck equipment. The company also provides subsea excavation services and precision engineering and fabrication services and is an authorised distributor and service centre for Ingersoll Rand equipment.

For further information, visit www.fisheroffshore.com









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