It's all doom and gloom for the land based construction industry as a third house builder in a week announces job losses as the battle against plunging home sales and property values intensifies. However, under the sea, the construction industry is booming.
With a shortage of subsea workers to service the growing demand, the Underwater Centre in Fort William is leading the way in solving this skills gap crisis, and is calling upon those workers with traditional construction trades to step forward and use their transferable skills for a job offshore.
The Centre is a world leader in the provision of residential HSE accredited professional diving courses, from SCUBA to advanced mixed gas diving, as well as everything in between from first aid to the use of tools underwater and underwater inspection. The Underwater Centre also boasts one of the best Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) courses in the world.
According to the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) who represent over 350 offshore marine and underwater engineering companies worldwide, over 40 more floating drilling rigs will be commissioned over the next two years, creating a demand for 5000 more support roles, of which commercial divers and ROV operators make up a proportion.
In addition, figures released recently by the UK Offshore Operators' Association (UKOOA) show that investment in Britain's oil and gas industry will increase substantially this year and beyond due to renewed oil exploration. In the North Sea alone a £150 million pound seven-well development project is planned and in the recent North Sea licensing round, a record number of oil and gas licences were granted generating increased investment and exploration.
Another recent report predicts that work class ROV usage will rise by 76% over the next 3 years. This estimate is supported by the large number of dive support vessels (DSVs) currently under construction. In addition, the number of operational subsea wells is forecast to double by 2011.
The Underwater Centre Manager, Steve Ham said, ‘The oil industry is clearly more buoyant and with renewed investment in oil exploration, we are seeing a really strong demand for divers and ROV operators. With the continued high price of oil and the rising interest on offshore renewable energy, this demand is set to continue for many years. Anyone considering a career in the subsea industry is welcome to get in touch to talk about the opportunities.'
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