UK Total Solutions (UKTS) and Gateshead College will open a new oil, gas and renewables academy, the first in the northeast, following a six-figure investment in a purpose built facility, which will provide a gateway to an industry career and help resolve some of the industry’s skills shortages.
The partnership will equip students with the competencies and qualifications required to complete projects utilizing rope access; this skill is in short supply due to a lack of investment in competence assessment over the last decade.
“This partnership is among a number of initiatives that we are fronting to support people into employment, boost local businesses and help secure the future of the local economy,” said Mick Brophy, director of strategic partnerships at Gateshead College.
UKTS, part of the Barrier Group, expects a high uptake of students to pass through its academy each year and will offer practical, on the job experience for high achievers in competence certification on its operational projects throughout the UK.
Alongside their studies at Gateshead College, students will spend 12 weeks at the academy, undertaking their specific trade training at its 7000sq ft facility before undergoing IRATA Rope Access training. They will then progress to a three day competency assessment (TRACC) to certify their ability to work safely on ropes whilst carrying out trade activities. Training will be provided by rope access specialists who, having worked for the majority of blue-chip oil and gas companies, fully understand the specific tasks required in the industry.
“The lack of qualified trade people with rope access qualifications often hampers the supply chain’s ability to effectively service the needs of operators and contractors. Our collaboration will help hundreds of young people gain employment after they graduate thanks to their Trade Rope Access Competency Certification,” said Mick Flaherty, managing director at UKTS.
Image: Mick Brody, Mick Flaherty/UKTS