Ireland’s first purpose built high-tech training facility providing accredited training courses for the off-shore oil and gas industry was officially opened today (9th July) by the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan T.D.
Effective Offshore Ltd (Feidhm Mara Teo), based on the Údarás na Gaeltachta Industrial Estate in Falcarrach, Co. Donegal, was established in 2009 by two Letterkenny brothers with the support of Údarás na Gaeltachta. The company currently employs 13 people and announced today that it has plans to invest another €500,000 to introduce a range of new courses in health and safety aimed at the oil and gas industry. This will lead to the creation of a further 12 specialised, knowledge based and highly skilled jobs over the next 12 months. The Donegal facility is only one of 35 in the world that offers specialised courses to meet the mandatory requirement for all new entrants in the oil and gas industry (BOSIET – Basic Offshore Safety Induction & Emergency Training). Effective Offshore has also recently developed a recruitment section to aid trainees to obtain work in the industry.
The centre houses a number of high-tech training suites and contains specially adapted pools and a range of specialised training equipment and ancillary services such as a helicopter simulator, boats and fire fighting area that allow it to mimic off-shore conditions on oil and gas rigs. A medical suite, which is presently being developed, will soon be in a position to provide specialist offshore medical certificates, which are also a mandatory requirement for employment offshore.
Speaking at the opening, the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan T.D. spoke of the progress made by the company since its establishment “Effective Offshore is an excellent example of how a small Irish company, with a rural base, can be a key player in a global market. They are attracting people from the UK, Holland, Lithuania, Angola and Qatar to their courses here in Falcarrach.”
Khris Veldman, Director of Effective Offshore Ltd said, “The development of additional classrooms, offices and training infrastructure will also aid the trainers, administration staff and management to further grow the business. The completion of the in-house medical suite will allow current and future students avail of the necessary medical certification while attending their mandatory training in Donegal. The company is currently tendering for several contracts with a number of oil and gas companies operating in Africa and the Middle East and we hope to make a further announcement regarding this in due course.”
Pádraig Ó hAoláin, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta, said, “The company’s requirements from the beginning were clear – highly trained staff and suitable business accommodation for what is a specialised enterprise. Údarás are delighted that we can deliver for all types of clients. It’s encouraging to see that already over 400 people have received accredited training in the short time the company has been in existence. Bringing these people to Falcarrach from all over the world has the secondary benefit of having a knock on added-value effect on the local economy, creating revenue not only for the hospitality industry but for local suppliers and retailers also.”