A first-of-its-kind subsea training academy is marking its first six months by expanding its range of courses in response to industry demand.

Aberdeen head-quartered company Ashtead Technology invested almost £500,000 in the state of the art academy last year in order to meet global demand for improved competency in the configuration, operation and maintenance of increasingly sophisticated equipment required in more complex subsea oil and gas projects in deeper waters and hostile locations around the world.

Since its launch in October 2014, the academy has delivered 21 courses to leading subsea companies including Subsea 7, Saipem, Bibby Offshore, Harkand, DOF, Nautronix, Canyon and UTEC Survey and has welcomed delegates from both the UK and overseas.

Ross MacLeod, business development director at Ashtead Technology said: “We are able to demonstrate tangible returns on investment in training. Well-trained people will get things right first time, every time, even on the most complex project. This saves costs and reduces risk. As the subsea industry continues to adjust to a lower oil price environment, our customers must have the skills and competency to ensure systems are properly configured, operated and maintained as efficiently as possible.

“We are providing engineers with an insight into the equipment they use offshore, from deployment to fault-finding to repair through practical, hands on training that our delegates have told us is much needed. We have been encouraged by the excellent customer feedback received over the last six months.”

In direct response to this feedback, Ashtead Technology has been developing new course material. This includes Pipe and Cable Tracking Systems; Attitude, Heading Reference and Motion Sensing; Multibeam Sonar and Swath Bathymetry Systems; and Hydrographic and Geophysical Survey Systems.

The courses available at Ashtead Technology’s purpose-built facility cover the basics and the more complex functioning of offshore survey equipment, acoustic positioning and motion sensing systems, hydrographic and geophysical survey equipment, cable and pipe detection and tracking systems and ROV sensors and multiplexors, with the latter proving the most popular course to date.

In addition to these regular standard courses, Ashtead Technology is able to design tailor-made courses to meet specific needs of individual customers. Tim Sheehan, commercial director of Ashtead Technology, said: “We recognised a need for high quality training to meet the required competences and to bridge the gap between manufacturer’s training and company’s training programmes. By investing in the best facilities, trainers and training materials we have developed a range of courses which will give delegates the skill set needed to work with the latest systems available in the market and to deliver benefits to their employers which are a necessity in the current market environment.”

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