Hundreds of furloughed and redundant energy workers undertake free online courses

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MORE than 700 free online training courses have been undertaken as part of a scheme set up to support energy sector workers who were furloughed or made redundant as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Almost 440 hours of eLearning have been accessed through the Skilled Worker Portal (SWP) launched by digital learning and crew management software solutions specialist Mintra, with users in job roles ranging from senior executive to offshore steward.

Mintra set up the portal, which provided free access to 15 of the company’s most popular online courses, to help affected energy workers plug gaps in their training and find a starting point to getting back into work. It opened in June and closed on Saturday – what was originally to be the final day of the UK Government’s furlough scheme.

Users were able to undertake accredited courses covering health, safety, environmental and technical topics and on successful completion were provided with a Mintra certificate. Among the most popular courses were Introduction to Decommissioning, Manual Handling and Working at Height.

Gareth Gilbert, chief operating officer, said: “Low oil and gas prices and COVID-19 have combined to create one of the most challenging and unsettling periods in the history of these industries.

“The financial cost has been significant, but the level of job losses over the past seven months – which industry body OGUK recently put at around 4,000 for offshore installations alone – demonstrates the scale of the human cost.

“As a company we have been able to go from strength to strength because of a loyal and growing customer base that we have built up in these key sectors. Our solutions are designed to respond to the challenges that our customers and their people – everyone from office personnel to offshore workers – encounter on a day-to-day basis. We saw the SWP as an extension of that response.

“The energy and maritime sectors have, like most industries, been through an incredibly tough time. But the green shoots of recovery will come, and we want to play our part in ensuring that, when activity does increase, workers will have many of the competencies required for their roles.”



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