AIS is celebrating after becoming the first place south of Aberdeen – and only the second UK-wide - to get OPITO industry approval for its offshore blasting and painting courses.
The Blaster Painter courses, developed by AIS, will qualify offshore workers to prepare, paint and blast offshore structures at introductory and advanced levels. Run over three days, the level 1 training course is the only blasting and painting qualifications outside of Aberdeen to achieve formal approval from OPITO – the standard setting body and authority on training for the oil and gas sector.
AIS is also launching an advanced competency assessment service for individuals and employers in the sector who want to check that any potential or existing painting and blasting employees reach the required industry standards.
Achieving official recognition from OPITO for these courses is a coup for AIS and the North East. Currently there is only one other centre in the UK – in Aberdeen - which offers OPITO-approved blaster painter level 1 training and blaster sprayer level 2 competency assessments.
To help achieve the coveted industry approval, AIS has invested £300k in a new 10,000 square foot fabrication centre. The centre includes dedicated teaching areas and specialised environmentally controlled painting and blasting booths where trainees are able to learn and practice the highest industry standards and latest techniques in a safe and controlled environment.
This new centre will also house AIS’s growing portfolio of fabrication services such as engineering metal pipe work to insulate offshore installations and industrial sites.
Emma Spiller, training operations manager at AIS, said: “We are delighted to gain OPITO-approval for our Blaster Painter courses as it clearly demonstrates the high quality of our training provision. Our new facilities have been tailor-made allowing us to offer the very best painting, blasting and fabrication services and training premises that the UK has to offer.
“The UK’s oil and gas industry is enjoying a period of renaissance with sustained growth and record levels of investment and renewed government support. With an ageing workforce, skills shortages and high earnings there has never been a better time to look for work offshore. And for those wanting an offshore career in painting and blasting, or those already working in the sector, these qualifications offer great currency to finding employment. Indeed we find that increasingly employers are coming to us to identify new recruits.
“We already have an excellent reputation as a world-class training provider for the offshore sector and these new courses expand our portfolio offering. We’re confident that demand will be very high as we already have a database of more than two hundred people ready and waiting to complete the qualifications with us.”
AIS, which was set up in 2006, provides industrial training tailored to the offshore sector including working at height, insulation, rigging, health and safety and rope access training.
The company also manufactures bespoke insulation products primarily for the offshore oil and gas sector globally and then installs them on-site using rope access due to the great heights involved.
Anyone interested in the new OPITO approved course should contact AIS on 0844 800 1810 or visit www.aisgroup.co.uk