Training through the downturn

Louise Smyth

John Benson reveals how a new online course platform has been created with a view to preparing for the coming upturn

The present downturn is severely affecting most companies in the oil and gas sector. The low oil price and complicated political position has led to many major projects being delayed until a time where they again become economically viable. The industry has survived quite a few of these dips in the past, but this one seems particularly brutal. Each time the industry dips, vital experience is lost. Personnel diversify into other industries, and inevitably, skills are lost forever. Over the past few years, the offshore industry has – for a number of reasons – failed to attract, younger personnel. All of these factors combined will result in a severe skills shortage when the oil and gas sector bounces back.

During the next couple of years, the training establishments will be busy, with new starts and existing offshore personnel, trying to get an edge on others.

In early 2016, Digital Edge Subsea is launching an online training course for its range of digital video inspection software, the EdgeDVR.

The online course platform is more suited to offshore personnel; logistically, getting personnel in one place to attend a course is difficult. The trouble with PC-based courses is that they often turn into a box ticking exercise. This potential pitfall has been avoided, by creating a course that replicates all the major functions of the software, in a fully interactive interface. Users first work though various course modules and answer questions along the way. The modules consist of multiple choice questions, interactive EdgeDVR dialogue boxes and tutorial videos. The user will then complete an exam at the end of the course to gain certification.

Course modules include an installation section, where all the various connection options are explained, including the differences between high and standard definition systems. The display and logging of RS-232 survey/ROV data is also covered, together with wiring diagrams and details.

The certification will be valid two years, with refreshers available, which will include any version updates.

The course will be available for all ROV, diving and inspection personnel. There are also additional job-specific modules, so the course is tailored to the user. The distributors for the EdgeDVR will also be catered for, with a dedicated module, including troubleshooting and sales guides.

An eye on the future

In the future, Digital Edge will also add more job-specific modules aimed at ROV trainees and newly qualified 3.4u underwater inspectors. These will concentrate on the various operational tasks of ROVs and divers, and how the features of the EdgeDVR can be utilised.

In addition to the online training course, Digital Edge has also donated high-definition, multichannel EdgeDVRs to two leading training centres. The first system was installed at Fort William in early 2014. More recently, a system was provided to Fugro’s ROV training academy in Abu Dhabi. These have been supplied to give the trainee’s a good understanding of recording digital video and the importance of the deliverable to the client.

A demo course will be available for personal and corporate evaluation. In addition to the online training course, Digital Edge can also provide on-site training, if required.

John Benson is director of Digital Edge Subsea.

For more information, visit www.engineerlive.com/iog

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