OPITO-approved survival courses launched locally, 10-year anniversary celebrated

19th December 2023 By: Donna Slater - Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

The Offshore Africa Training Centre (OATC) will celebrate its ten year anniversary in 2024, commemorating the occasion with the launch of its energy industry not-for-profit organisation OPITO-approved survival courses on February 22, 2024.

As South Africa aims to enhance its energy security amidst the ongoing loadshedding crisis, the country is intensifying its collective commitment to developing its natural resources to their fullest potential.

Government has emphasised the importance of accelerating the energy transition as an element in economic stability and energy self-sufficiency.

“The need for skills and expertise in the Energy Sector has never been more pressing in South Africa,” says OATC representative Gary Concar.

In a shifting energy paradigm, with hydrocarbons forecast to account half of the global energy mix by 2030, natural gas and renewable energy technologies in particular have emerged as a crucial resource facilitating the energy transition.

“At this unique event, taking place on-site at our state-of-the-art training facility, attendees will get a chance to tour the centre, and experience our world-renowned facilities and training equipment first hand,” he says.

“We’re honoured to announce Joe Meanen, one of the legendary 61 heroic survivors of the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster [known by some as the world's worst offshore oil disaster in terms of lives lost and industry impact], as a speaker at the event.

“Meanen will share his inspiring account – a harrowing reminder of the importance of safety offshore, and a deeply moving story of human resilience in the face of one of history's most catastrophic gas rig disasters.

“As exploration ramps up and new fields are discovered, South Africa’s southern seas will play host to increasing numbers of drill ships and floating production storage and offloading units.

“This growth will see demand for internationally approved Energy Sector workforce increase; especially for professionals who are trained according to the most rigorous safety standards,” says Concar.

With well-equipped training facilities, including a dedicated crane yard, the OATC’s seasoned assessors and qualified instructors provide expert, hands-on tuition that boosts trainees’ international employability and industry standings.

The centre – claimed to be the first in South Africa to offer OPITO-accredited training – continuously runs courses covering key topics like rigging, lifting, slinging, banksman duties, and Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.

OATC’s offerings are backed by a decade-long track record of successful training and assessment in the energy sector space.

OATC’s Cape Town location, only a few minutes away from both the international airport, makes it an ideal hub for both local and international industry participants to launch their careers, or to level-up their skills in between jobs.

The facilities are easily accessible, with secure onsite parking available, and includes a range of well appointed theoretical and practical learning areas providing delegates with a conducive learning environment in which to receive training, assessment or re-assessment.

OATC also provides a range of complimentary lunch and beverage options daily for the delagates.

Their recently approved OPITO-approved survival courses (BOSIET / FOET, HUET CA-EBS and Travel Safely by Boat Initial and Further - TSbB) courses will service a wide range of sectors involved in the offshore and renewable will also be available digitally for those who cannot make it to Cape Town.

OPITO launched digital version of the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) suite in 2017, as an alternative means to deliver the theoretical components of the course, while maintaining the integrity of its technical content.

“Liverpool-based SAFER Training have been a key partner in OATC’s ten-year journey, and have been instrumental in our competitive edge, and the growth we’ve enjoyed in SA. SAFER Training provide a range of internationally recognised courses, to the various energy secotors globally,” says SAFER Training representative Ian McMillin.