By Cherie Fox.
Maritime Training and Competence Solutions Ltd (MTCS) has signed an agreement to market courses and deliver training at a new facility for the subsea sector – the Centre for Subsea Technology Awareness, Training and Education or C-STATE as it is known. This facility is the first of its kind and is a unique collaboration between industry and education. C-STATE has been created to address the growing skills gap in the subsea engineering and service sectors, by providing an unrivalled platform for specialist training and education – and is offered to the entire industry.
Subsea UK, the industry body, which represents the £8.9 billion subsea sector, revealed that British subsea companies need around 16,000 new recruits to help them grow to £11 billion and increase the country’s 45% share of a £20 billion global market.
Launched at Darlington College, C-STATE has been developed by Modus Seabed Intervention Ltd in partnership with MTCS, Darlington College, Teesside University, Tees Valley Unlimited and Darlington Borough Council. C-STATE has been created to ensure a supply of excellent personnel, and will offer through its training and education partners; MTCS, Darlington College and Teesside University, the only holistic approach to subsea education. The purpose built facility will offer a range of subsea courses from apprenticeships to further and higher education, and industry-recognised and accredited training.
Trainees will have direct, hands on access to a dedicated 200hp hydraulic remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in a safe and controlled environment, combined with classroom based training for all courses. Industry recognised and accredited training is being delivered by leading specialist, MTCS Ltd, with the first courses already underway.
MTCS, which runs monthly ROV induction courses at Windermere as well as in Singapore and Houston, has the responsibility for marketing and running C-STATE short courses, which include: work class ROV technical, high-voltage skills, high-pressure hydraulics, umbilical reterm, and subsea client awareness. Bespoke courses can also be developed.
Jake Tompkins of C-STATE explained “C-STATE has been launched as a facility to offer unique access to subsea remotely operated technology. The intent is to provide a platform for specialist training and learning delivered by our industry and education partners, all recognised leaders in their respective fields. We hope to be able to create significant opportunities for individuals and companies alike and ultimately bridge the skills gap in an important industrial sector. In terms of location, the Tees Valley is a significant and growing centre for the offshore supply chain. Darlington’s local airports serve Aberdeen, London and the continent as well as many other international locations on a daily basis; it’s on the national mainline rail network and has first rate local facilities. Discussions on extending the C-STATE facility are already underway.”
Richard Warburton, Managing Director of MTCS, said: “Not a day goes by when we don’t hear about the acute shortage of skills in oil and gas. The subsea sector is already showing signs of being constrained by this. If we carry on trying to solve the skills issues using the current solutions, the industry will not achieve growth. That’s why our collaborative approach is different.
“With many companies it is not simply about finding people, but more about how they recruit, how they keep people and how they equip them with the skills they need to do the job,” explained Mr Warburton.
Mr Warburton added: “We have fully investigated what the industry needs in terms of skills and explored the existing programmes which work well for individual companies. We have shared best practice from industry and designed pan-industry programmes which deliver solutions in the short to medium-term.
“C-STATE aims to make a material and sustainable difference by helping companies source and develop the people they need to prosper. Here at MTCS Ltd, we help people from the military such as airframe technicians and weapons engineers, who make good technicians and subsequently ROV pilots. And there are those with trades like electrical engineers and car mechanics who also have a good aptitude for our courses.”
In addition to attracting military people and those with engineering skills, the College and University will take a medium-term approach to train apprentices and graduates for the industry. C-STATE will also develop programs to educate school children about the careers in subsea.
Based on the Darlington College campus, C-STATE benefits from access to excellent on-site facilities including cafeterias, restaurants and a host of other services.
Tim Grant, Principal and Chief Executive of Darlington College commented, “We are delighted to be a partner in C-STATE and to host the facility at the Darlington College Construction and Engineering Centre. Together we are developing a subsea curriculum for full and part time students and apprentices that will run alongside the MTCS program of courses. We are planning to launch an educational program in Autumn 2014.”
Professor Cliff Hardcastle of Teesside University also commented, “”We are delighted to be part of this exciting initiative which will be delivering the skills for an industry of increasing importance to the North East and the United Kingdom”.
Ex RAF Survival Equipment Fitter, Duncan Macdonald, couldn’t believe his luck, when his resettlement process not only gave him valuable training in the use of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at MTCS Ltd, Windermere, but he was also fortunate to be offered a training placement at Ocean Force Management (OFM), Sheffield, where he was piloting an ROV to salvage copper and brass from sunken shipwrecks.
Senior Aircraftsman, Macdonald, left the RAF in February 2012 after a 12 year career as a Survival Equipment Fitter. His final posting was to the Army Air Corps centre of Aviation, at Middle Wallop in Hampshire, where he spent time in Brunei in preparation for a major jungle exercise. He also did a tour of duty in the Falklands working with Tornado F3 aircraft and in 2006 he was posted to RAF Coningsby with No 6 Squadron. Macdonald was presented with a Commendation by the station Commander at RAF Coningsby for meritorious service, due to faults being found in the parachute rigging lines during the maintenance of a Euro fighter Typhoon Emergency Escape Parachute. As part of his resettlement process, Macdonald underwent 2 weeks training with Maritime Training & Competence Solutions (MTCS), which is based in Windermere, Cumbria.
MTCS Ltd is a fully accredited assessment and training centre providing a spectrum of operational, technical and supervisory training to the offshore industry. The majority of their courses focus on ROV’s as used in the oil & gas, nuclear and renewables industry.
Commenting on his ROV training, Macdonald said: “MTCS is perfect for guys like me, who already have an engineering background, gained through my aviation career. They operate an informal class with small numbers and very helpful instructors. There’s a state-of-the-art ROV Simulator with a range of deepwater construction activities to gain hands-on experience, plus I was fortunate enough to be offered a practical training placement with Ocean Force Management, which was arranged through MTCS.”
Tracy Llewelyn, Managing Director for Ocean Force Management , said: “Our projects allow candidates, such as Macdonald, to acquire field experience, while working with our equipment and systems. Various materials are recovered from the sea-bed with the use of an ROV, where objects are then returned to the surface for further investigation. The ROV tasks for the candidates are both broad and of a high technical nature that newly-trained individuals don’t often have the opportunity to experience. We are delighted to confirm that Duncan Macdonald has now been offered a permanent place on our salvage team, as a direct result of his training with us”
Macdonald commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed my practical training placement with OFM – it was just an amazing experience. Using the OFM ROV on board, we were able to locate shipwrecks via mapping with a multibeam sonar, and afterwards launched the ROV to investigate targets that would produce images via the ROV’s HD camera.
“We found numerous metals from bronze and copper, which the ROV recovered by using the manipulator arms to feed a lifting strap around it before using the vessel’s crane to raise it. I certainly believe the experience gained was second-to-none and the fact that both companies, OFM and MTCS – and the Royal Air Force enabled this all to happen was a very positive side to the resettlement process for me.”
By Cherie Fox
Managing safety risk at sea is a challenge! Commercial divers work at depths of up to 300 meters and spend weeks living in enclosed hyperbaric chambers and often face tough working conditions requiring a high level of training and competence.
With training and competence playing a key role in todays industry, the joint partnership of Maritime Training & Competence Solutions (MTCS Ltd) and KB Associates Group of Companies (KBA) is a leading initiative that will establish new benchmarks within the commercial diving and ROV industries. Both organisations have a keen passion for safety, training and competence and will be collaborating to deliver their range of services to the industry.
The joint partnership will see multiple benefits where both organisations will be sharing the knowledge to enhance the training courses offered, while both groups of clienteles are also able to enjoy broader diver / ROV competency development training at more training locations to fit their plans.
KBA Group provide an integrated professional specialist solution for consultancy and training that fosters safety excellence and quality in the Offshore Oil & Gas industry and onshore terminals construction industries.
Darren Brunton (CFIOSH), the Managing Director of KBA, brings a wide range of diving and safety management expertise to the courses planned by both companies. He has worked in the Offshore Oil & Gas Diving industry since 1990 as a diver, diving supervisor, client representative, diving system / company auditor, safety management and diving trainer with experience globally such as in the Asia Pacific, China, United Kingdom, Middle East and South American regions. Darren posses the hands-on experience of offshore operations, safety management, compliance and training deliverables in all the courses developed.
Darren commented: “We’re thrilled to forge this partnership with MTCS Ltd on the various training courses and other projects within the work scope. Strategically located in Singapore and Aberdeen KBA offers MTCS a platform to bring its brands and training to the Asia Pacific region and we gladly welcome MTCS instructors and trainees to our facility in both Singapore and Aberdeen, UK for the series of competency training courses conducted. We strongly believe that this synergy will set us apart and offers a more comprehensive solution to our clienteles.”
Some of the available KBA training courses include: Diving System Assurance Awareness – 1 Day course; Diving System Assurance – 4 Day course; OGP Client Worksite Representatives Training – 5 Day course; IMCA Air/Bell Diving Supervisor and Assistant Life Support Technician Training; Diving Technician competence courses such as DSI KBM Helmet Technician and a range of internationally accredited safety training such as NEBOSH Training from WSH Qualification to International Diploma levels.
MTCS Ltd are to deliver training alongside KBA at their new facility in Aberdeen as well as in Singapore, where they plan to run Diver Competency schemes and also a Skills Assessor course.
MTCS Ltd is a fully accredited assessment and training centre, whose head office is based in the Lake District and currently manage the largest independent assessment and certification programme for people involved in Subsea Operations such as ROV, Diving and Hydrographic Survey. Providing a full IMCA-aligned Competence Scheme Management service, MTCS Ltd ensure personnel are demonstrating competence in the offshore workplace.
Richard Warburton, Managing Director for MTCS Ltd said: “Working with KB Associates can only be beneficial for both companies, as many of our courses complement one another and the sharing of expertise will result in improved safety to divers and a better service to our clients. MTCS Ltd has extensive experience in competence working. There is an on going requirement for offshore personnel to demonstrate competence in the work place and one of these areas is in diving. The main driver for this comes from the oil companies who insist personnel are registered in some form of competence management system. This system must prove that personnel are competent, or working towards competence, in safety critical, operational and technical activities. Many of the contracting companies have had successful competence management systems in place for many years. There has, however, always been an issue regarding agency personnel or ‘freelancers’, in particular how do they demonstrate competence when they often work for a number of different companies.”
For further information on course opportunities, please contact Richard Warburton, MTCS LTD, Tel: 015394 48233 or email email@example.com. www.mtcs.info; KBA – firstname.lastname@example.org or +65 6546 0939
by Becky Oskin, OurAmazingPlanet Staff Writer
For decades, viewing the bizarre underwater ecosystems at seafloor hydrothermal vents has been the privilege of scientists shoehorned into submersibles or researchers steering diving robots.
Now, anyone online can watch live high-definition video of marine life at the Mushroom vent, a 12-foot-tall (4 meters) chimney sitting 5,000 feet (1,520 m) below the ocean’s surface. The HD camera is part of a $239 million National Science Foundation project to install a permanent, cabled observatory at Axial Seamount, an underwater volcano located 250 miles (400 kilometers) offshore of Oregon at the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Other cabled sites along the West Coast seafloor will help scientists explore earthquakes, climate change and methane deposits. Watch the video online here: Interactive Oceans
The HD camera was turned on yesterday (Aug. 12) after installation by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The video first travels from the hydrothermal vent camera to the ROV over a 30-foot-long (9 m) cable, then up the ROV tether to a research ship, according to the project’s website…
[read more at http://www.livescience.com/38854-explore-submarine-volcano-live-video.html]
[ROV footage of volcano vent http://www.livescience.com/15474-vent-underwater-volcano.html]
A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is about to uncover some previously forgotten history when it dives down into the hidden depths of an abandoned mine in Ceredigion, Wales.
At the height of production between 1850-1900, the Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine played a valuable role within the Welsh mining industry and much of this heritage has been lost. The mine – which was abandoned in 1910 after 160 years of operation – lies underneath the Silver Mountain Experience, with visitors to the attraction able to explore part of the mine.
Most of the mine however is inaccessible due to flooding, but now management at Silver Mountain have teamed up with Liverpool-based company Underwater Vision to use their technology to explore the mine.
The submersible ROV is fitted with lights and a live-feed video camera that will capture…
[read more at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=178160#.UhHgKZJwrFo]
Underwater robot gives deputies new set of eyes during rescue and recovery operations.
Written by Jay Corn, http://lakeminnetonka.patch.com
Whatever you do, don’t call the Hennepin County Sheriff’s new remote operated vehicle a drone.
“My friends at MPR called it drone the other day, but it is not a drone, “said Sheriff Rich Stanek. “It’s attached to an operator with a bright yellow tether cord. I don’t think that would be very sneaky. ”
The sheriff’a new $150,000 ROV was delivered in December, and by April about 10 deputies had been trained on the new equipment. The ROV was paid for with a blend of private and public funds—the Lake Minnetonka conservation District, for example, contributed $14,000.
Sheriff Stanek said the ROV located a body just this week in a car…
[read more and watch the video at: http://lakeminnetonka.patch.com/groups/editors-picks/p/not-a-drone-sheriffs-new-rov-getting-plenty-of-use]
Scientists stumble upon remains of another Harappan town in Gulf of Cambay
Source: India Today [http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/scientists-stumble-upon-remains-of-another-harappan-town-in-gulf-of-cambay/1/232260.html]
The Gulf of Cambay, known for its unpredictably turbulent currents and tidal variations, was particularly unkind to a small group of scientists doing a marine pollution check on board Sagar Paschimi
some 20 km off the Surat shores in the early months of 2000.
The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) team could do nothing much but browse through the multi-disciplinary data and samples it collected while doing the pollution check before returning to its Chennai headquarters.
And then, they saw it. “Pebbles on an ocean floor?”, wondered NIOT Project Director Dr S. Kathiroli, Is there or rather was there a river under the sea?” NIOT Director Professor M. Ravindran and consultant S. Badrinarayan wasted no time in joining Kathiroli to analyse the voluminous data Sagar Paschimi had collected over the months from the area.
After a thorough perusal of the acoustic images collected by using sound waves, the NIOT team was virtually convinced that all these months they were sailing over the remains of a Harappa-like civilisation. If unearthed, it would be the first such archaeological find in the Gulf of Cambay.
“It was an accidental discovery,” says Ravindran. “We were doing some pollution check for a private company and our teams were collecting routine data. And here we are with clinching evidence of a lost settlement perhaps 6,000 years old.” The NIOT contacted the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which “unofficially” agreed that it could be a Harappan site buried under the sea owing to a series of earthquakes.
ACROPOLIS: Acoustic image of buildings spread over 3,869 sq m which may have been the city hub typical of Harappa
The confirmation is yet to come, but the findings are astounding. The acoustic images done by Side Scan , Sonar, Sub-bottom Profiler and Multi-beam Echo Sounder give a clear enough view of a number of structures which resemble those of the Harappan age.
“The Side Scan Sonar has picked up images of several excellent geometric objects which have to be man-made,” says Kathiroli, who spent sleepless nights on Sagar Paschimi during inclement weather in the Gulf of Cambay.
One of the images shows structures like tanks, some square and 40 m long, some 41 m by 25 m. There are even steps visible on the side of the structure, suggesting it was “the’ great bath”, the central feature of Harappan towns.
Other striking pictures are those of a group of constructions in an area of 97 m by 24 m resembling the Acropolis of the Harappan culture and a residential settlement spanning an area 73 m by 53 m buried under sand waves and sand ripples. There is even an image of a 44 m-long structure resembling a temple with a pond.
The Side Scan Sonar could not have given better photographs under the turbulent waters where sand currents make imaging extremely difficult. “The monsoon over, we got’ back with more equipment doing sub-bottom profiles of the structures,” says Ravindran. “The results were hair-raising.”
The sub-bottom profiler, which penetrates deep under the seabed to give a cross-section view, confirmed the Acropolis structure. A similar profile of the “settlement” site showed structures with well-designed basements.
“See,” Badrinarayan points his finger still shaking with excitement, “taller structures have deeper basements. Those old guys, I should admit, were great engineers.”
The Harappan theory is strengthened by the pebbles which NIOT had stumbled upon. Rounded pebbles suggest that one or many rivers had run their course through the now-submerged region. That virtually every ancient civilisation flourished on river banks adds to the validity of the NIOT find. Moreover, S. Kalyanaraman, in his recent book on the Saraswati, says the river had flowed into the “sagara in the Gulf of Khambat (Cambay)”.
According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, thousands of years ago the sea level was 6 m higher than at present. Archaeological studies of the Gujarat coast suggest that places like Lothal were port cities as the ocean extended till there. Then how come the structures now identified by NIOT were submerged? According to a note prepared by the organisation, the most probable answer is earthquakes.
- with Stephen David in Bangalore
Written by Cherie Fox
Rapidly expanding Maritime Training and Competence Solutions Ltd (MTCS Ltd), who has virtually doubled its workforce in the last 12 months, has recently made a senior appointment to maintain their level of professional service to the offshore industry.
The highly experienced technical instructor, Jamie Thompson, started with MTCS Ltd, Windermere, this January, having previously spent 23 ½ years in the Royal Navy as an aircraft engineer. In his time spent in the RN, Jamie was in the Eastern Mediterranean in support of the gulf war in 1991; Global deployment 2000 visiting Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Columbia, USA and Tahiti; Gulf 2004/5 and Norway/Germany on detachment.
Qualified in Aeronautical Engineering, civil engineering, leadership training and graduate & leadership mapping on the GCGI career path, makes Jamie the perfect addition to MTCS Ltd.
British based, MTCS Ltd is a fully accredited assessment and training centre providing a spectrum of operational, technical and supervisory training to the offshore industry. The majority of their courses focus on Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) as used in the oil & gas, nuclear and renewables industry
Moving his family to Cumbria in 2005, Jamie continued to live at the Royal Naval Air Station in Somerset and came home to Cumbria at weekends. Jamie finally left the Royal Navy in 2010, to take up a position with McBrides in Barrow-in-Furness, before accepting his new post at MTCS Ltd in January 2013.
Being used to instructing aircraft technicians on similar systems to the ones used by MTCS Ltd, Jamie feels quite at home in his new role – plus having gone through the process of leaving the Royal Navy, Jamie can relate to course candidates on just what it’s like to find their way, once they’ve left the forces:
“On my first day of taking an ROV induction course at MTCS Ltd, I couldn’t believe it when an ex colleague from my old squadron turned up on the course! It was great to be able to help him and to make him and the other candidates feel that I understood what they were going through. Recently, I finished instructing a team of Croatian divers/electricians on the MTCS ROV Pilot induction course, so many of them were picking up on their English skills as well as learning to ROV pilot! You find that many service leavers on MTCS Ltd courses come from different skill-sets, such as electrical, electronic, and mechanical. There have also been some UAV Pilots from the forces with the relevant technical background. Due to the spread of engineering expertise some trainees will be naturally better at certain aspects of the course and vice versa.
“ I say to them, right, for the electricians amongst you, certain areas of the course will be familiar to you so be patient as this will be completely new for some Trainees. Then when we do Hydraulics I advise similarly to the more mechanically biased members of the class. This enables me to give a good level of training to a variety of engineering disciplines and experience levels.
“ MTCS Ltd is an excellent training provider, where the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed and therefore conducive to learning. I feel that my role here gives me the opportunity to bring together all the experience I have acquired over the years, both hands-on and as a trainer – and I’m really looking forward to being part of the growth and development of MTCS Ltd.”
Jamie’s role at MTCS Ltd is to deliver the ROV Pilot Open Induction course and the High Voltage and Hydraulics Open courses – not just to ex-service people, but also to company employees, such as Subsea 7 and supervisors of other subsea companies.
Jamie concluded: “Initially, I will be responsible for training at the Windermere site, head office for MTCS Ltd, with training in Venezuela coming up quite soon. Although I must say, it’s nice to be spending some time in the UK after being sent all over the world for such a long time!”
As part of the MTCS Ltd expansion, a new ROV, the Seaeye Falcon, will be arriving at MTCS Ltd, Windermere, at the end of this month.
Written by Cherie Fox
ROV downtime is extremely expensive, both in terms of lost productivity and reputation, so Fault Finding is an important skill to have. It is with this in mind that marine trainers, MTCS Ltd, recently launched their ROV Fault Finding Distance Learning programme.
Doug Greenhalgh, Head of Technology at MTCS Ltd and creator of the new Fault Finding Programme said, “Where the MTCS Ltd Fault Finding programme works so well, is that it’s so economical. ROVs cost around $2.1 million to replace and delays due to ROV faults can cost upwards of $2000 per minute. The median cost of replacing a part is $350 and the cost of training a three man ROV team is around $5000. It therefore makes economic sense to do a Fault Finding course through distance learning. To purchase our Fault Finding programme is a relatively small investment, if you consider the expense when something does go wrong with an ROV.”
The MTCS distance learning ROV Fault Finding Programme will cover:
- The generic fault finding principle
- Common faults with work class ROV systems
- Faults particular to a specific configuration or manufacturer
- Practical exercises
- Simulated exercises
Doug continued: “The added benefits of distance learning is there are no transport or accommodation costs; it can be deployed anywhere in the world. Candidates can learn at their own pace and there’s continuous professional development.”
British based, MTCS Ltd, is a fully accredited assessment and training centre providing a spectrum of operational, technical and supervisory training to the offshore industry. The majority of their courses focus on Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) as used in the oil & gas, nuclear and renewables industry.
Written by Cherie Fox
The practise in oil & gas eLearning is growing rapidly, with many oil companies now using eLearning as part of their competence management programmes.
Several oil giants such as, BP, Shell and Statoil are keen on competence-based management, because it is an effective way for managers to ensure their workers are capable of making the workplace decisions they need to make. Although companies have focused on competences for some time, the practice is growing in eLearning, and more companies are making formal attempts to tie eLearning to competence management.
Because the oil and gas business is so competitive, senior executives realise that knowledge, and the application of knowledge, is key to business success. Oil and Gas executives therefore tend to see learning as a strategic priority. And because the major oil companies have a variety of proprietary processes and technologies that require bespoke learning solutions, it often commissions third-party vendors, such as British company, Maritime Training & Competence Solutions (MTCS Ltd), to develop bespoke content. Both, Shell, Statoil and BP use competence management within learning and training, and this process plays a role in defining the need for eLearning content.
Competence programmes run by Maritime Training & Competence Solutions (MTCS Ltd), Windermere, UK, currently manage the largest independent assessment and certification programme for people involved in Subsea Operations such as ROV, Diving and Hydrographic Survey.
Providing a full IMCA-aligned Competence Scheme Management service, MTCS Ltd ensure personnel are demonstrating competence in the offshore workplace. In addition, MTCS Ltd provide a spectrum of operational, technical and supervisory training, with the majority of their courses focussing on subsea technology, remotely operated vehicles, as used in the oil and gas industry and in Renewables.
Richard Warburton, Managing Director for MTCS Ltd, says:
“The oil and gas industry is a global, highly competitive, and knowledge-intensive business with a high demand for eLearning and the use of competence management in eLearning continues to be popular. The global nature of the oil and gas industry also creates demand for network-based tools, such as eLearning, that can deal with highly distributed workforces. Fortunately, unlike any other training provider, MTCS Ltd is able to offer fully accredited Competence Management frameworks that allow delegates to continue their professional development and gain certification in the work place. No matter where in the world they are, candidates can use distance learning methods (eLearning) most appropriate to their needs, whether it be through the internet or the office intranet.”
Competence programmes for the offshore oil & gas, wind and marine energy sector are well underway in the UK, with further plans for MTCS Ltd to rollout training and competence services internationally. Currently delivering training in Nigeria and in Singapore, with the next ROV Induction Course in Singapore running from 11 to 22 March 2013, MTCS Ltd aim to show the industry how a fully accredited, dedicated Subsea Competence Management Program should work. All the MTCS competence programmes can be delivered at the company’s worksite, making it easier for candidates to attain their accreditation. Programmes will be launched to the subsea industry, focusing on International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) disciplines.