Malaysian Fedrick Ukab Labong was attracted to the career of commercial diving as, with two-thirds of the world being covered by water, it is an endless sector to explore. Fedrick lives in Selangor, Malaysia, and before becoming a commercial diver he worked in land construction and as a SCUBA diving instructor, so had a good practical background to bring to the job. Here he tells us about training to be a mixed gas (saturation) diver.
Mixed gas diving: earn more, work less
“One of the best things about working as a commercial diver is earning a good income with a challenging career, and you get to travel around.
“I am married and have a son; I spend most of my time working offshore but with the HSE Closed Bell qualification I can now work as a mixed gas diver, which means I earn more for doing less days on the work site, so can spend more time at home.”
HSE Closed Bell Course
“I chose to do the HSE Closed Bell mixed gas course at The Underwater Centre as I had heard that they provide superb world-class subsea training with international recognition. The HSE standard makes it a great training centre to obtain any certification. The Underwater Centre is also a well known training centre around the world, so perhaps to obtain a certificate here can impress an oil and gas client.”
Help with English Language
Fedrick was also one of the students to benefit from the help and support we provide to those who don’t have English as a first-language: “On behalf of my group from Malaysia, I would like to express our gratitude to The Underwater Centre for giving us a miracle chance to obtain the HSE Closed Bell badge.
“We realised our English was weak but the Centre staff and management were very helpful to assist us to learn the correct pronunciation of words, and even put a huge effort to ensure we received and met HSE standard for our Closed Bell and IMCA Assistant Life Support Technician (ALST) certification in English.
“I would highly recommend The Underwater Centre to other colleagues or friends, in Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, or Indonesia, to pursue their dream of working in the oil and gas industry in the very near future. In fact we had heard of the Centre a very long time ago but were afraid our English was not strong enough to sign up to their courses. However, after getting our badge, we realised having great English was not really a major problem because the Centre staff had methods to deal with weak English language spoken and improve our English so we could pass the assessments.”
“Big credit to Diver Training Manager Alf Leadbitter, Supervisor Kenny Kinnaird, LST supervisor Charlie & Allen, ALST Willie and the other crew for their outstanding duties. The courses were run professionally and safely, and yet have met HSE standard.”
Commercial diving career: next steps
Fedrick’s next career goal is to work towards his diving supervisor certification, and he would also like to work as a client rep and a diving manager.
For those thinking of training for the commercial diving industry he says, “I would absolutely encourage others to work in this sector. Everybody can do it, so can you. Where there’s a demand for oil and gas there’s supply for a job.”
English language support for commercial diver training
All courses at The Underwater Centre are completed in English, although other languages can be catered for; however candidates whose first language isn’t English regularly train with us, just like Fedrick and his colleagues from South East Asia. For anyone in doubt about their level of English, we are happy to assess whether their English is of a sufficient level before they come on course.
Read more about the English Language assistance we can provide in an earlier blog post here.