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Secretary of State for Scotland Visits The Underwater Centre
The Underwater Centre in Fort William recently hosted a visit by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, and former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber.
Mr Moore and Mr Kennedy took a tour of the Centre, its pier diving facility and onshore diving tank complex, meeting with key staff members who explained the work the Centre is involved in.
The visit was arranged as part of a series of engagements in Perthshire and the Highlands.
The Underwater Centre is a world-renowned subsea training and trials facility which operates in Fort William, Scotland.
The recent Oil and Gas Strategy announced by the UK government highlighted a future skills shortage as one of the key issues to be addressed. The Underwater Centre, as a UK based subsea training facility, focuses on developing some of those key skills.
A recent report by trade body Oil and Gas UK predicts investment of around £13billion in the sector in 2013 and the Centre is hoping to play a major role in supplying the competent, well trained staff to meet the demand.
The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore said: “I was delighted to visit The Underwater Centre in Fort William with my colleague Charles Kennedy. It was particularly valuable to meet some of the students who are in training there.
“The Underwater Centre is a truly unique facility which emphasises that Scottish companies are at the cutting edge of world technology when it comes to providing support to the oil and gas sector.
“The UK Government through the Oil and Gas Strategy and our global influence wants to ensure that companies like The Underwater Centre are able to exploit the exciting opportunities available in the Oil and Gas Sector.”
Steve Ham, General Manager at The Underwater Centre, welcomed the visit by the Secretary of State for Scotland.
“We are pleased to have hosted a visit from Mr Moore and Mr Kennedy and had the opportunity to show them what is being done here at The Underwater Centre.
“We work very closely with organisations in the energy industry to tailor our courses to ensure we are providing a quality, skilled workforce which can meet the changing demands of this buoyant industry.”
The Underwater Centre was set up in the 1970s to provide commercial diver training and as an underwater trials facility. It provides training in both air and mixed gas (saturation) diving, certified by the Health & Safety Executive, giving graduates internationally recognised certifications. As well as the official qualifications, The Underwater Centre also offers training in the key subsea skills that industry really needs.
The Centre also provides Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) pilot technician training. The ROV courses give graduates considerable practical experience of flying inspection-class ROVs in an open-water, tidal environment, as well as taking their technical understanding and know-how and applying it to the repair and maintenance of ROVs.
All ROV pilot technician students are trained in the same subsea location as the commercial diving students are trained – a unique approach which offers students valuable experience of subsea operations, further preparing them for offshore work.
The Centre provides the location, equipment, realistic experience and facilities to meet the trials and training needs of the subsea industry. It is located on the sheltered Loch Linnhe, with depths ranging from 4m to 150m, all within a mile and a half of the Centre’s secure private pier.
For more information contact [email protected] or call +44 1397 703 786
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