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Lochaber is Proud of its Underwater Centre, Says Ian Blackford

Ian Blackford MPLast Friday Ian Blackford MP visited The Underwater Centre in Fort William, an outstanding local enterprise and a global leader in the training of divers and in the field of ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) training.

Speaking after his visit to the Underwater Centre, Ian Blackford said:

“The Underwater Centre is a business that we should all be proud to have based here in Fort William. The business is a world leader in the training of divers that employs 70 people at its base in Fort William.

I was highly impressed by the skill set and capabilities of The Underwater Centre that plays an important part not only in the local economy but also by making sure that we have a highly trained workforce working in Scotland and further afield providing diving capabilities.

We all know of the highly specialised nature of the training offered at Fort William which is critical in providing a diving workforce that allows for offshore companies to compete both here and abroad.

With the success of The Underwater Centre in training divers not just from the home market but also globally, demonstrates that it is possible to establish and develop world leading businesses in the Highlands & Islands.

I was particularly struck by the collaboration between Skills Development Scotland and the Centre that created the circumstances three years ago to see a marked increase in Scottish trainees using the facility more than quadrupling to 60 in one year, demonstrating the success of targeted financial support leading to an increase in the supply of Scottish divers, something that is so important to the future development of for example the oil and gas as well as the offshore renewable industries.

For any community to prosper it needs to have a range of opportunities for employment and Lochaber is home to a number of enterprises that employ considerable numbers of locals and offer future growth potential. With a shared desire that we all have of seeing a high skilled, high wage economy in Scotland, it is important that facilities such as The Underwater Centre are given all appropriate encouragement and support.”

Commenting on the visit of Ian Blackford, Steve Ham, Commercial Director of The Underwater Centre said: “We were delighted to have the chance to show Ian around our subsea training and testing centre. We work hard to help companies around the globe be more effective, whether that is in training their divers and ROV personnel or helping them test new subsea equipment, and it is always a pleasure to show locals what we do.”

To find out more about the commercial diving and ROV pilot technician training and testing facilities offered by The Underwater Centre, visit their website here.  


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