Recent, significant oil and gas discoveries off the coast of Southern Africa have highlighted the urgent need to develop the skills capabilities of African personnel serving the offshore industry.
According to Seatrain CEO, Pieter Coetzer: “Africa’s oil and gas reserves are largely untapped and so too, we believe, is the potential of its people to serve this industry.
“The offshore industry holds enormous potential for job creation, but realising this potential will require investment in both infrastructure and skills development.”
Seatrain, which has been providing specialist maritime education and training services to the offshore oil and gas sector since 1999, was recently selected as a participant in the Western Cape Department of Economic Development’s ‘Marine, Oil and Gas Supplier Development Programme’ (MOGSDP).
“Being part of this programme has been an enormous boost for Seatrain as it will allow us, as a small, specialist training solutions provider, to scale our services and contribute, even more significantly, to the growth and development of the local oil and gas industry.
“Training is a critical to the future development of any industry and the oil and gas sector is no different.
“Our intention is to use the support provided by the MOGSDP to further develop our business and we hope that growth will, in turn, allow us to increase the number and range of cost-effective and appropriate courses and qualifications for offshore and land based workers.”
Coetzer says South African ports are ideally situated to attract more rig and refurbishment business from the oil and gas industry, but, he says, “We can only do that if South Africa addresses the infrastructural and skills limitations that currently inhibits it from taking advantage of those opportunities.”
South Africa is fully compliant with the Manila amended STCW Code of 2010 and, Seatrain, via its parent company, SAMTRA, benefits from a joint venture with Norwegian oil and gas training provider, Stavanger Offshore Tekniske Skole Course Centre (SOTSCC).
SOTSCC is a highly respected and trusted oil and gas industry training provider with several North Sea clients and the SOTSCC/SAMTRA partnership has paved the way for them to offer oil and gas industry specific training courses to the offshore oil and gas sector in the Sub Saharan region.
The Western Cape oil and gas sector currently provides around 35000 direct formal jobs, mainly in the servicing industry and Coetzer says it hopes that Seatrain’s partnership with the MOGSDP will help grow these numbers by assisting in ensuring the future availability of skills in the sector.
Visit www.seatrain.co.za for more details on the oil and gas related courses on offer.