The news that a hundred teachers are to visit OTC on Thursday 3 May has been greeted with enthusiasm by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) one the of the annual-event's newest supporting organisations. IMCA understood that the OTC organisers had over 300 applications to attend the 'OTC Teacher Institute'.
IMCA has been publicising the skills shortages in the industry, but have also proposed methods for dealing with this potentially damaging situation for the industry. We have committed additional funding to publicise the exciting careers available in the offshore construction industry and thus attract new recruits of all ages and backgrounds.
At the start of the year IMCA publicised members' practical estimates of growth to quantify the additional future demand for personnel in key positions that the industry will need to recruit.
In parallel with publicising this need, the international association, with 365 member companies in 45 countries, has been taking steps to address the supply of new personnel, by updating its careers material and promoting it strongly at a school, college and university level. IMCA has this material available at OTC (Booth S14) to use to explain to the visiting teachers all the options that are open to their students, and the tremendous benefits of a career in the industry.
IMCA also has reviewed and updated its popular and long-running "I want to be"
series of careers leaflets. These cover careers as a diver, life support technician, dynamic positioning operator, offshore surveyor, data processor, geophysicist, survey engineer/technician and working with ROVs and include details on educational and training requirements.
The association is developing a new set of case studies combining personal descriptions of what each job entails with details on the individuals' own careers, the work opportunities they are presented with, the range of projects they've worked on and other highlights such as travel and global experience.
Last, but by no means least, IMCA has now commissioned the development of a glossy brochure on the vast array of exciting careers available offshore aimed at those at school, college and university.
The relevant IMCA committees and the IMCA secretariat are working through various organisations and networks to set out the need for relevant courses to be available that will help ensure new recruits are well prepared for the often technically demanding roles that are on offer.