The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), the trade association representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies, announced that their membership has reached 400 companies in 47 countries.
"We are delighted to be able to announce this milestone on the first day of Offshore Europe - a key event on the industry's calendar and one that we actively support," says the association's chief executive, Hugh Williams. "The growth in membership has been truly dramatic over the past few years. We reached 200 member companies in 2002; we passed the 300 mark in April 2006; and now here we are with 400 member companies literally all around the globe."
"As the membership grows, the good effects continue to be noticed. Our voice becomes better heard and recognised; our materials spread further and wider throughout the industry achieving the improvements in safety and efficiency which members seek; feedback from new members, perhaps from distant parts, improves our work programme; and, the new members have an opportunity to introduce IMCA to their clients, partners and subcontractors which continues to promote further membership.
IMCA promotes improvements in quality, health, safety, environmental and technical standards through the publication of guidance and information notes, codes of practice, and by other appropriate means.
"Those ‘other means' can of course encompass such activities as being here at Offshore Europe, where we are holding a meeting for members of our Europe & Africa Section; and taking an active role in Friday's Education Day," says Hugh Williams.
"Throughout this year we have been particularly active in promoting careers in the industry and not only publicising the skills shortage, but finding solutions to the challenge. Naturally, we're looking forward to meeting members and prospective members throughout the show. And, on Friday we'll be meeting and encouraging the youngsters who come to Education Day to consider a career that combines travel, technology, good pay, safe working conditions, responsibility, and real opportunities to reach their full potential.
"Yes, the sea is increasingly the place to be! With new offshore oil and gas installations; ever-more sophisticated vessels and equipment, plus new opportunities to survey, explore and chart the seas and oceans of the world, there are exciting opportunities out there waiting to be grabbed!"
Membership of IMCA is open to companies active in the offshore, marine and/or underwater engineering industries. There are separate classes of membership for contractors; suppliers (suppliers of equipment and services; personnel agencies; and training establishments); and non-voting corresponding members (which embraces oil companies, governmental and regulatory bodies).
Each member organisation (membership is not open to individuals) joins one or more of IMCA's four divisions - diving, marine, offshore survey, remote systems & ROV) according to its own areas of operation and expertise; and gains access to the core world-wide activities of the association and to its local regional section (Americas Deepwater; Asia-Pacific; Europe & Africa; Middle East & India). Full information on the benefits of membership is available on the IMCA stand (851) and from www.imca-int.com