If you start a new job, you can expect some training. Depending on the job, the training is different. In office jobs, for instance, a new worker has to familiarize themselves with the computer programs used and in customer oriented jobs, new workers get updates on how to address customers. Lots of industry jobs in the U.S. even have very specific trainings so they can work safely. Check FMTCSafety for more information. All these courses are fairly normal if you compare them to the courses some people in other industries have to follow, though! If you work in the offshore sector, you must be able to survive at sea or even survive when something goes wrong with a helicopter. In this article, we tell you more about the offshore sector and what employees are trained on.
Why is offshore training so hardcore?
Working in the offshore sector isn’t for everyone. After all, the work goes on 24/7, 7 days a week. You have to be able to work in shifts and you should be ready for some harsh conditions. You are in the middle of the sea for the duration of your stay, so in case something goes wrong, you need to be able to survive at sea. The offshore sector is considered one of the more dangerous ones, so each employee has to be trained to have a variety of important skills. The organisation that handles this, is OPITO. There are multiple OPITO courses; e.g. a basic OPITO training, for all employees and very specific courses, for example for delegates who travel from land to the offshore base with a helicopter.
The industry – Working in the offshore industry
The offshore industry often consists of platforms in the sea where oil or gas is extracted. By working offshore we, therefore, mean work that does not take place on the mainland but often in the middle of the sea or the ocean. Working in the offshore industry is attractive to many people because the salary for these jobs is often a lot higher than onshore.
So by onshore, we mean on the mainland. People who work offshore often also have a lot more days off. This all sounds very attractive of course. Still, these benefits also come with some drawbacks. For example, it is true that offshore work is often followed for two to six weeks with a few weeks off. During the weeks that you are working, however, you work long days of 12 hours every day.
Working on an oil platform in the sea
The long twelve-hour days you work on an oil platform in the sea are often filled with heavy physical labor. It is therefore not work for people who are not physically strong. Working on an oil platform requires a lot of physical strength. In addition, there is also the necessary danger involved in the heavy work that must be performed. Especially in combination with the long days that have to be worked, this can sometimes lead to unsafe situations. Of course, a lot of maintenance is always done and safety comes first.
Knowing this, the higher salary that the people working in the offshore industry is justified anyway. After all, the danger of the work must be weighed against the reward you can receive. It should also certainly not be forgotten that although you often do not have to work for several weeks, you are also not at home every evening to see your family while working on an oil platform. The offshore work is therefore not suitable for everyone.
Examples of working in the offshore industry
Example 1: Escaping a helicopter
To continue with the example above: OPITO offers HUET courses, specifically for delegates who have to travel by helicopter occasionally or often. These courses teach the skills required in the event of a helicopter emergency. Think of having to escape the helicopter and ditching the helicopter at sea and then surviving in the middle of the sea with the sea survival techniques that were taught.
Example 2: Fire fighting
If you work on an offshore oil installation, you’re not even allowed to have your lighter on you, because obviously oil and gas are very flammable. That’s why it’s really important to know how to work safely so the risk of fires is almost non-existent. But if there is a small fire, all offshore workers need to know how to deal with it. So having the skills of a fire-fighter is just part of the job!
Don’t worry – if working offshore has always interested you, you don’t need to be scared of these courses. You will be taught by skilled professionals with years of experience in the field!
The number of offshore wind farms in the Netherlands will only continue to grow
The Netherlands has made great strides in the field of offshore wind energy. The first wind farm at Egmond aan Zee (OWEZ) was constructed in 2006 and the Princess Amalia Wind Park followed in 2008. The Netherlands also has the Luchterduinen Wind Farm and the Gemini Offshore Wind Farm. The goal, as set out in the Energy Agreement, is, among other things, to generate 40 percent of all energy in a sustainable manner by 2050. The energy generation by means of offshore wind farms will therefore only continue to grow and this means an increase in the demand for professionals in the offshore wind industry.
Perfect conditions for offshore wind farms
The Netherlands is fortunate that it has the perfect conditions to make offshore wind farms a success: shallow waters, good wind conditions and modern port facilities provide an ideal environment, among other things. The great advantage of this method of energy generation is of course sustainability, but also that the scarce land in the Netherlands is not taken up by the large parks. In addition, local residents can complain about the view and the noise that wind farms generate. This is avoided with the offshore wind farms.