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Are you match-fit for your next offshore job?

“Recruitment is about matching skills, experience and competency,” Laura Paterson, Senior Resource Specialist of Prodrill Energy Resources explains. Laura has seen significant recruitment changes over the past 4 years in the Oil & Gas sector.

The industry has always focused on training and certification for compliance purposes. But the industry downturn makes it more apparent at the recruitment stage that candidates need to demonstrate competency. Certifications are part of the competency suite required to work in certain oil and gas roles. In most cases, these certificates need to be submitted to clients as part of the initial recruitment and screening process. Therefore, candidates must ensure all appropriate certificates for their disciplines are current and valid.

Before the industry downturn in 2013/14, clients were more likely to be flexible with job applicants who needed time to renew lapsed certifications. Clients in the past may have afforded individuals time off to renew IWCF certifications, for instance, and delay mobilisation if required. However, this is no more the case.

 The main safety certifications for offshore roles include:

  • BOSIET (with CA-EBS)

  • Medical certificate (UKOOA approved)

  • MIST (Minimum Industry Safety Training)

  • Other job-specific certifications are:

  • IWCF

  • NEBOSH

  • Dangerous Goods By Air & Sea

  • Hydrogen Sulphide Awareness

This is not an exhaustive list. There are many more industry-specific certifications to support various skills and experience. The above list, however, represents some of the job-specific certificates required for offshore roles.

Over the last few years, it has become more vital than ever for candidates to ensure that all certifications are up-to-date at the job application stage. Industry volatility, changes in projects and cost control measures mean that clients often do not recruit too far in advance of their needs. 

At Prodrill, it is common for some job vacancies to have just a 10-day window for mobilisation. “It is often impossible to renew a lapsed certification within such a short timeframe,” Laura explains.

As a job seeker in the offshore oil and gas industry, you need to ensure that you manage your own certification. Plan your certification renewals into your schedule and ensure you have time (and money) to update your certificates. Clients might not consider you to be competent or mobilisation-ready without the required valid certification. The reality is that in the current economic environment, clients will not wait. The large pool of candidates in the market means that clients have more choice than in prior years. “Candidates could miss out on an opportunity if they are not ready to mobilise,” Laura confirms.

With the oil price stabilising and many projects getting the green light, confidence appears to be returning to the sector. Therefore, it is the ideal time to ensure you have all certifications is in place to capitalise on opportunities as they arise.

At Prodrill, we have experienced an increase in the volume of drilling and offshore related roles in the past 2-3 months. For instance we have seen a 36% increase in drilling and offshore vacancies in 2017/18 compared to 2016/17 in the UK. Particularly in Q3 & Q4 of 2017/18, vacancies jumped by 59% compared to the same time in 2016/17.

We expect that an increase in projects being sanctioned should lead to an increase in vacancies across completions, drilling, reservoir and production engineering.

At Prodrill, we understand that it is difficult to fund the cost of renewing certifications, especially if a potential candidate has been out of work for a long time.  To support oil and gas workers who have been made redundant, the Scottish Government has set up the Transition Training Fund. The fund is managed by Skills Development Scotland. 

The fund offers training grants to help individuals to retrain, upskill or get accreditation or certification that would help in securing a new job in oil and gas, the wider energy sector, or engineering and manufacturing. This is a potential source that oil and gas jobseekers can use to improve their skills and update certifications for securing new employment. 

Our passion at Prodrill is securing employment, or a contract position for our candidates. Laura notes, “There is nothing more satisfying than helping people find a job, so that they can support their families and develop their careers further.” It is much easier to secure a new offshore role if you are “match-fit” to mobilise straight away.