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Assessing manpower demands and overcoming personnel shortages…

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Neil Evans

Neil Evans


All over the world headlines say much the same in a myriad of languages “Oil and gas sector poised for jobs and wages boom” – but where are the people to come from to fill the positions?

Neil Evans, Technical Adviser – Competence & Training at the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) aims to provide some answers when talking at three conferences this Spring – one in Houston, USA, one in Oslo, Norway, and the third in Copenhagen, Denmark. Additionally IMCA will be involved with ‘Careers Day’ at Oceanology International 2014, the world’s largest exhibition for marine science and technology in London, UK in mid-March.

“I will be speaking at the Offshore Support Vessel North America Conference, being held in Houston (27-28 March); and then a month later at Subsea Vessels Europe (29-30 April) in Oslo, ” he explains. “At both I will be promoting the concept of working in the highly technical and challenging marine contracting industry as a career option with serious potential and ongoing global opportunities. There are superb internal training programmes that ensure that competence assessment, and continuing professional development (CPD) are part and parcel of working life, and every entrant can find their own level and plan a stimulating and rewarding career depending on their skills, ambition and commitment.

“in Copenhagen I will be contributing to the European Manning & Training Conference (13-14 May) in a way that has particular relevance to an issue of importance to us, and to our members – discussing competence. All three conferences are highly relevant to the work of the IMCA Competence and Training Committee.”

At Offshore Support Vessel North America

In Houston Neil’s presentation will be entitled “Assessing the manpower demands of the offshore support sector” and he will be covering the forecast manpower shortages; the implications of global local content requirements; regional training capacity and educational engagement overview; recruitment and retention activity; and promoting careers in the offshore roles and changing perceptions of the offshore industry.

At Subsea Vessels Europe

In Oslo his topic covers much the same ground under the title “Overcoming the offshore personnel shortage” where he will look at international subsea vessel crewing requirements; developing a subsea talent pool, local content crewing implications; and recruitment and retention feedback.

At the European Manning & Training Conference

Neil Evans will be running a workshop session on ‘Competence Assurance and Assessment – Challenges in implementation and engagement’ at the Copenhagen conference.

He explains: “One of IMCA’s biggest challenges is persuading companies that demonstrating competence of their personnel through the implementation of Competence Management Schemes is becoming increasingly important. Indeed, in many cases it is mandatory for contractual or regulatory reasons.

“I will be showcasing the IMCA competence frameworks, sharing some our issues and hoping to draw parallels with other related industries such as shipping trying to find out if they have similar mechanisms for competence assessment, what can we learn from them and vice versa etc.

“I am looking forward to three stimulating conferences, ” he says. ”I am also looking forward to Oceanology International on Thursday 13 March. The final Day of the three-day event is traditionally the day when university students interested in finding out about careers in any aspect of the marine science and technology are welcomed at the show, and bussed in from around the country.

And at Oceanology International

“This year, IMCA will run the morning session for them before they tour the exhibition. This session will comprise an introduction to IMCA and the industry; an overview of the marine, diving, offshore survey and remote systems and ROV sectors – together with insights from IMCA Technical Advisers into choice of job roles and routs into the industry; A series of spotlight presentations – personal testimonies from industry professionals such as recently qualified surveyors and ROV personnel will bring the session to a close.

“As in my conference presentations, we will be promoting careers in marine contracting which offers opportunities to explore the world in a challenging and highly technical environment. We will also be highlighting how the industry is changing from a very male dominated environment to one where ever more women are encouraged to join the industry at all levels and within all disciplines.’We need you and your skills’, is my constant call.”

Further information

Further information on IMCA and its work on behalf of its 900+ member companies in over 60 countries is available from www.imca-int.com and imca@imca-int.com. The association has LinkedIn and Facebook groups and its Twitter handle is @IMCAint

About IMCA

  • IMCA is an international association with some 970 members in over 60 countries representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies. IMCA has four technical divisions, covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey and remote systems and ROVs, plus geographic sections for the Asia-Pacific, Central & North America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and South America regions. As well as a core focus on safety, the environment, competence and training, IMCA seeks to promote its members’ common interests, to resolve industry-wide issues and to provide an authoritative voice for its members.
  • IMCA Vision & Strategy. As a result of work and collective input in 2013, IMCA has redefined its stated core purpose to be “Improving performance in the marine contracting industry”. To achieve this goal, IMCA’s Vision & Strategy has been devised with two elements in mind: Core activities and ways of working. Targets and objectivesagainst which the association will measure progress in 2014 have been established.
  • IMCA publishes some 200 guidance notes and technical reports – many are available for free downloading by members and non-members alike. These have been developed over the years and are extensively distributed. They are a definition of what IMCA stands for, including widely recognised diving and ROV codes of practice, DP documentation, marine good practice guidance, the Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) – now available electronically as eCMID, safety recommendations, outline training syllabi and the IMCA competence scheme guidance. In addition to the range of printed guidance documents, IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and distributes safety flashes.

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