Pipeline engineering specialist STATS Group has invested $850 000 (£500,000) in establishing a global training centre at its UK headquarters near Aberdeen.
In response to higher demand for its patented technologies, the centre will be used to meet the group’s training and competency assessment needs for its field and workshop technicians and design and project engineers.
The 3,500 sq ft facility includes a custom-built classroom, a full suite of the group’s products, dedicated testing areas and bespoke training materials with specialist software, STATS provides isolation, intervention, repair and testing of energy industry pipeline systems and has developed a range of products which prevent the lengthy shutdown of facilities and avoid costly downtime.
The opening of the new training centre follows another recent £500,000 investment in additional facilities at Inverurie where the company’s Process Plant Solutions business has been relocated. The PPS division, which includes tools testing and equipment rental, expects to increase revenue by 20% due to increased capacity.
The company employs 250 staff at its Kintore headquarters, Inverurie and Kendal in the UK and in Canada, USA, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Malaysia, and expects to recruit a further 45 in the next year.
Leigh Howarth, STATS Group’s chief financial officer, said the rate of growth being experienced by the business demanded an in-house training facility that would maintain and improve quality and competency standards.
He said: “As a fast-growing niche engineering business, our reputation and future development is dependent on being able to deliver complex projects safely, without incident and on budget.
“To maintain this growth we have to equip our staff with specialist training and competency support and this significant investment in our own training centre underlines that commitment.”
Experienced field supervisor Andy Craggs has swapped an offshore role to take up the post of lead trainer for the new training centre. New-start training and refresher courses for experienced staff working across STATS’ global operations will be provided at the facility in Kintore, while administration and support staff will also complete product familiarisation courses.
Leigh Howarth added: “The training centre will offer a comprehensive learning experience, assuring clients of the competence of our staff to execute projects safely and efficiently.”
The approach taken by STATS to managing the training and development of its workforce was further endorsed when the company recently won the national Energy Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) award for “Skills and Training Charter for SME’s”.
ECITB chief executive, David Edwards, said: “The engineering construction industry’s most valuable asset is its people. It is therefore essential they are competent, highly skilled and have the knowledge and understanding required to carry out their roles effectively, efficiently and safely, ensuring a high level of productivity is achieved.
“STATS has made a commitment to these aims for its current and future workforce and winning the Engineering Construction Industry Award for the Skills & Training Charter SME category is a great achievement and a clear demonstration that STATS is delivering to the highest level against these commitments.”