US training program offers opportunity to get work on offshore rigs


by Phaedra Friend, Rigzone

Despite dismal employment news, employment opportunities remain strong in the oil and gas industry.

Fridfay, the US government released workforce numbers, with unemployment reaching a 25-year high of 8.1% for February 2009. Additionally, the National Association of Colleges and Employers released the results of its Job Outlook 2009 Update this week, revealing that companies surveyed expected to hire almost 22% fewer graduates from the 2009 class than last year.Fortunately, the API Oilfield Training Program offers hope for young people looking to join the petroleum industry. Providing extensive education in the petroleum industry for students between the ages of 16 to 24, the API Oilfield Training Program is a joint effort between the API and the Job Corps Program. Established in 1964 by the US Department of Labor for disadvantaged youth, the Job Corps Program offers 122 Job Corps centers in the US and Puerto Rico. Located at the Carville Job Corps Academy in Carville, Louisiana, the API Oilfield Training Program is the first petroleum-focused program of its kind.

Started in 2004, the program offers students more than 150 hours of classroom training in rig types, blowout prevention, drilling fluids, pipe handling well logging and offshore safety and transportation, among other topics. With more than 20 years of oil and gas industry experience, John Taylor III serves as the instructor for the courses. Additionally, graduates earn certification in OSHA Basic Safety Training, First Aid, CPR, Marine Water Survival and the IADC Rig Pass.

Truly offering hands-on job training, the API Oilfield Training Program also offers paid and unpaid internship programs to students. With one of the highest job placement rates of the nation’s job training programs, 90 percent of Job Corps graduates land a job in the private sector, join the military or move onto further education.

The successes achieved over the last five years through the API Oilfield Training Program have sparked interest in other area. There are plans to start another petroleum-focused program in Riverton, Wyoming; and other states have expressed interest in adding the API Oilfield Training Program to their list of services.

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