Six trainees from coastal communities in the South West started their new careers this week as Offshore Marine Academy kicked off its first training programme.

The Academy, an independent organisation within the Offshore Marine Management (OMM) group of companies, spent weeks interviewing and short-listing candidates aged between 18 and 25 for the upcoming Academy courses and the final candidates will now join the 12-month intensive Bristol-based course. Rob Grimmond, CEO of OMM stated: “this is a sign of our commitment to the industry to bridge the skills gap by offering this style of course to the renewable energy industry”.

The chosen candidates come from varied backgrounds but they all have a healthy interaction with the coastal and marine environment. They also share an enthusiasm to succeed in an offshore career, and are hungry to grasp the opportunity available to them.

Over the coming 12 months they will be paid as they gain a comprehensive knowledge in commercial diving, ROV (remotely operated vehicle) training, jointing and engineering, cable installation, marine energy, hydrographic survey, navigation, and welding, as well as the basic health and safety accreditations.

The trainees will be placed offshore both in the UK and Europe on working vessels to gain exposure to operational projects in the marine field as well as the hands-on experience required to effectively enter a career offshore. The course will also cover personal development, which will enable them to manage the challenges of an offshore lifestyle.

The course will run in eight-week cycles with two weeks in the classroom, four weeks offshore on placement, and two weeks rest.

On completion there will be a wealth of opportunity waiting in the growing offshore renewable energy sector where they can utilise their newly gained skills to progress in a dynamic and challenging industry.

Academy Director David Martin said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the candidates and we are pleased to help their development and start them on their way to a rewarding career in the offshore renewable industry. Our scheme ensures that we produce offshore personnel of the highest calibre which is representative of our parent company, OMM’s high performance and delivery standards.”

The Academy course will run until September 2011, whereupon it will repeat itself.

If young people would like to find out more about the Academy, visit Applications for 2011 will be accepted from June next year.

Offshore Marine Academy was set up on 2009 in Bristol.  It was an Offshore Marine Management initiative to set the academy up to achieve two goals.  The first goal to address the skills shortage by introducing a 12month entry programme for 20-25 yrs olds into the offshore renewable energy industry and second to address the shortage of offshore knowledge by conducting awareness and introduction courses for entrants into the renewable and offshore sector who have key cross sellable skills but not the offshore knowledge.