South Africa’s oil & gas industry looks to Scottish alliance for training

A Scottish training alliance has recently hosted an inward mission from South Africa in Aberdeen.

International Energy & Skills Training Alliance (IESTA) met with leaders of South Africa’s oil and gas trade body in Aberdeen to discuss the opportunities for Scottish learning and training expertise in the province.

Warwick Blyth, chief executive officer and Adrian Stryom, head of skills and learning with the South African Oil & Gas Alliance (SAOGA) along with Claude Orgill of the South African Western Cape Provincial Government heard a presentation from IESTA on Scotland’s specialist skills and training knowledge needed to recover South and West Africa’s hydrocarbon resources.

They also met with IESTA member companies 2020 Business Insight, Aberdeen Drilling Controls, Angus College, Atlas Interactive, Enermech, ESD Simulation Training, Macdonald Energy, Mintra Training Portal and Sparrows Training.

The aim of IESTA is to harness the specialist knowledge and expertise in training for the energy industry and promote it around the world to ensure the industry develops the skills required to meet demand.

IESTA’s director of operations, Gary Boyd, said: “Recent research revealed that new developments in Africa represent one of the biggest opportunities for learning providers with offshore North Sea expertise and we are delighted to welcome today’s delegation from South Africa which highlights this demand for our members’ services.

“Already, mature exploration in the harsh conditions of the UKCS North Sea, which includes deepwater work, means our providers are capable of helping to close the skills gap in locations such as West and South Africa where new developments are almost continuously being exploited.

“Our oil and gas industry has developed over more than 40 years and our capabilities as a training and education provider have grown alongside it. We have a reputation for technological and operational excellence, best practice and the highest standards in terms of health, safety, the environment and quality.

“IESTA members are at the leading edge of the industry’s knowledge and capability, and are in a position to be able to offer the expertise needed in emerging provinces.”

IESTA is a not-for-profit organisation formed by an alliance of Scottish universities, further education colleges and private sector training providers, set up to act as a “one-stop-shop” for the provision of integrated training.

Mr Blyth of SAOGA added: “Training is fundamental to operational capability and success. The UKCS is the most mature oil and gas sector in the world, with Aberdeen and the rest of the UK’s infrastructure renowned as a global centre of excellence. Scotland already has a global reputation for excellence and we are keen to see if we can work in collaboration with IESTA and its members to meet our skills and training requirements.

“SAOGA is looking at long-term solutions to labour supply challenges and the general need for an increase in training methods directly tailored to the needs of the industry. We are hoping that today’s meeting will help us identify specific solutions.
SAOGA is a not for profit member organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting the growth of South African-based industry supplying the upstream oil and gas industry.  

The organisation operates as a partnership between the public and private sectors, receiving public funding to carry out a range of industry development activities and working to promote the interests of a 170 companies.  Members include global oilfield service companies with bases in South Africa, marine and ship repair companies that focus on the substantial opportunity in oilfield-related ship/rig repair and maintenance, logistics companies and a diversified base of engineering and service companies that supply equipment and specialised services to the industry.

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