Subsea UK's flagship event, which was held in Moray in conjunction with Kinloss Skills Partnership, provided the region's high concentration of ex-military personnel with the opportunity to learn of the long-term and diverse career opportunities in the fast-growing subsea sector.
More than 90 people attended the event when five subsea companies showcased the full spectrum of the sector's strength, both locally and internationally, as well as outlining the valuable, transferable skills that military personnel possess.
Neil Gordon chief executive of Subsea UK, said: 'Former military personnel have strong skill sets which match very well with, and can be transferred into, the subsea industry. This event only served to underpin the great wealth of experience within the military which allows a natural transition into the subsea industry.
'Attracting, retaining and developing the right skills to support the rapid growth of the industry has always been a challenge, the subsea industry must ensure it has a sustainable workforce supply and Subsea UK is focussing its efforts on capturing the imagination of these skilled professionals and encouraging them into a sector which has a plentiful supply of opportunities.'
He added: 'Skills and training must continue to be a priority. There is no room for complacency as we will need even more skilled resources in years to come as we strive to meet growing global demand and even more complex technological challenges. We are seeing encouraging numbers of graduates and apprentices coming in to the industry through focused initiatives, but you cannot fast-track experience and transferring skilled professionals from the military into our workforce is one way of addressing the short-term problem.'
Roo Hornby, of Kinloss Skills Partnership said: 'Kinloss Skills Partnership was absolutely delighted with the success of the Subsea UK employment event in Elgin. With the assistance of several Scottish economic development partners, we have endeavoured to translate the military skills that our many local Military and Civil Service leavers have in to a language that civilian employers understand, with a particular emphasis on keeping the personnel and their families in Moray and NE Scotland.
'With many of the personnel, particularly from RAF Kinloss, coming from a background of understanding the maritime environment, it is only natural that North Sea and other offshore industries are an attractive market for such technically skilled and disciplined individuals. It is clear that Subsea UK and their clients have fully recognised this potential.'
Among the subsea companies that participated in the event were Technip Offshore Wind Ltd, Gyrodata, Expro, Seatronics and Optima Solutions UK Ltd.
Craig Coulson, head of project engineering, group engineering at Expro North Sea Ltd who presented to attendees, said: 'Expro North Sea has a long relationship and successful recruitment with ex-forces personnel as we recognize the many attributes and skill sets that they offer that are simply not readily available in their civilian counterparts.
'We found the job fair to be an ideal opportunity to provide us with numerous potential future Engineers and Technicians for the varying discipline requirements that Expro currently has on offer.'
Christopher Rodgers a future service leaver currently employed by the Royal Air Force attended the event, he said: 'This event was more intimate and informative than previous jobs fairs I have attended. The format allowed us to hear what a company was looking for and it was reassuring to know that subsea companies recognise the high standards of training and expertise military personnel can bring to the industry.
'This event has been of great benefit and I feel extremely positive about a potential future within the energy industry both in respect of what we in the service can offer the industry and vice versa.'
The subsea industry now generates about £6 billion in annual revenues and employs 50,000 people, as one of the fastest growing and exciting industry sectors in the UK with the potential for further growth there are significant employment opportunities available with the capability to generate more wealth and sustainable jobs across the UK.
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