Jobs lifeline offered to offshore workers

Thousands of jobs have been lost on  North Sea oil rigs.
Thousands of jobs have been lost on North Sea oil rigs.

Offshore workers are being offered a job lifeline – to help ensure they don’t get cut adrift in tough economic waters.

A slump in oil prices has led to a wave of redundancies for offshore workers facing up to an industry ‘in crisis’.

By September, a survey found a staggering 65,000 people had already lost their jobs in the oil and gas industry since the start of last year.

Now the South Shields branch of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union is appealing for people looking for a fresh start on dry land with a new course aiming to help them get back to work.

The RMT, working with Newcastle College Trade Union Education, is staging a four-day Getting On At Work course – offering vital tips on CV writing, interview preparation, dealing with change in lifestyle and how to complete job applications.

The free course is open to all offshore workers, active and ex-seafarers in the North East and will be held at the Mission for Seafarers Centre, Mill Dam, South Shields, from January 5 to January 8.

The deadline for applications is on December 18, with start times for each day to be confirmed once course numbers are known.

Larry Gaynor, chairman of the North East shipping branch of the RMT, says the course will provide vital support for many attempting to step back into the job market after decades spent working at sea.

Mr Gaynor, 38, who lives in South Shields and has 20 years of seafaring experience, said: “The offshore industry is in crisis at the present. A lot of people have been made redundant and are now looking to get back into work.

“Many have worked offshore for many years and don’t know how to search for jobs online or need help to prepare for an interview. Hopefully if the course is a success, we can run other courses in the future.”

He added: “Most offshore workers and Seafarers working in the North Sea oil and gas industry from the North East are aware that the low price of oil has resulted in a downturn in the industry and a loss of thousands of jobs both offshore and onshore.

“Industry analysts forecast that the downturn in the industry will continue into 2016.

“This course is to support marine and offshore personnel who are facing redundancy or who have been made redundant in recent weeks with skills such as CV writing and interview techniques just to mention a few on the course units. “

l Those interesting in taking part in the course should contact the RMT Office in South Shields on 456 1308 or email before the closing date on December 18.