A first-of-its-kind subsea training academy is being launched in Aberdeen today in the world-renowned subsea centre of excellence at Westhill.

The subsea technology training academy will 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.

Aberdeen head-quartered company, Ashtead Technology, has invested almost £500,000 in its subsea technology training academy which will attract delegates from around the world.

In a pilot scheme prior to launch, the Ashtead Technology Academy has already delivered several courses to a number of leading subsea companies, including a three day acoustics course and a one day introduction to offshore survey equipment course. The courses, for support engineers and new recruits from the subsea construction sector, have achieved tangible results and excellent customer feedback.

Donald Campbell, Senior Survey Support Engineer at Subsea 7 said: “We have been pleased to support Ashtead technology in the development of this ground-breaking training academy. Our delegates have been more than satisfied with the professionalism and knowledge of the training team. Also the level of training delivered has met our needs and that of our staff comfortably."

Tim Sheehan, commercial director of Ashtead Technology, said: “As the subsea industry continues to grow and leading-edge technology evolves to deliver systems to meet more complex challenges in deeper waters, subsea survey, construction and maintenance companies must have the skills and competency to ensure these systems are properly configured, operated and maintained. Ashtead is well positioned and resourced to fill the gap in the market for high quality training that will meet the skills and competences required.

“Today’s launch is the result of considerable investment in the best facilities, trainers and training materials by Ashtead Technology. Through our 30 years of experience and expertise in working with specialist subsea technology, we have developed a range of courses which will give delegates the confidence and competence required in working with the latest systems available in the market.”

The Ashtead Subsea Technology Training Academy will be led by Steve Cullen who has joined the company in the newly created position of training manager. Formerly with Subsea 7, Mr Cullen is an electrical and electronic engineer with over twenty years offshore experience in subsea construction, hydrographic survey, fibre optics, remote intervention and drilling operations support. He spent several years in vocational and public sector education and training roles focussing on science technology subjects with particular experience in innovative instructional design methodologies.

The courses available at Ashtead Technology’s purpose-built training facilities will 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.

In addition to regular standard courses, Ashtead Technology is able to design tailor-made courses to meet specific needs of individual customers.

Neil Gordon, chief executive Subsea UK, welcomed the investment in the academy. He said: “This will make a significant contribution to our industry. The UK has long been regarded as the centre of excellence for the subsea sector and people are a key part of that success. The Ashtead Training Academy will have a truly international reach and I am confident that it will further bolster our industry’s capabilities leading to a highly competent workforce which remains the global standard.”

Ashtead Technology is a market leader in the rental, sale and associated engineering services of subsea equipment.

The company is committed to further improving and growing its range of value-added services which include the supply of offshore personnel, equipment sales, asset management, calibration, custom engineering, repair and maintenance and training.

Employing 90 people in Aberdeen, London, Houston and Singapore with agents in Abu Dhabi and Perth (Australia), Ashtead Technology has a global market reach.

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