Sep 09

Invest in South Lakeland

An area known globally for its astounding natural beauty and unique vibrant culture, South Lakeland is also home for a thriving and innovative business environment where companies can become established, grow and prosper.
The entrepreneurial business spirit is strongly encouraged in South Lakeland, reflected in the healthy number of fledgling enterprises setting up each year in our region, and our work also encompasses projects designed to help make the first steps to start-up as easy as possible.

Jul 11

MTCS & KBA to bring ROV High Voltage courses to Aberdeen

Maritime Training & Competence Solutions (MTCS) say thoroughly assessed aptitude in High Voltage used on ROVs is essential among trainees – and even experienced personnel in the subsea field. In commercial ROVs the voltage can be in the area of 48volts and can go up to 1000, so correct use when carrying out repairs and maintenance is imperative.


With this in mind, MTCS and KB Associates Group of Companies (KBA), who already run courses in Singapore, will be jointly delivering Open Courses in High Voltage Safety at KBA’s facility in Altens, Aberdeen.


The ROV High Voltage course builds skills in troubleshooting, repair and maintenance, which will prepare a Pilot Technician to operate the ROV in a safe and skilful manner.


With training and competence playing a key role in today’s industry, the joint partnership has been a leading initiative that will establish new benchmarks within the ROV industries. Moreover, the synergy and passion for safety, training and competence by both organisations has certainly placed them in the frontier to continuously deliver a more comprehensive training solution to the subsea industry.


KBA provide an integrated professional specialist solution for consultancy and training that fosters safety excellence and quality in the Offshore Oil & Gas industry and onshore terminals construction industries.


Darren Brunton (CFIOSH), the Managing Director of KBA, brings a wide range of safety management expertise, hands-on experience of offshore operations, compliance and training deliverables in all the courses planned by both companies.


Darren commented: “The aim of the partnership is to raise safety awareness alongside with first-class training to the subsea industry, whereby the model has been extremely successful in Singapore and will be replicated in Aberdeen. In addition, KBA’s facility is strategically located in Altens, Aberdeen; offering MTCS a platform to bring its brands and training to the Scottish region.”


The Altens facility, houses dedicated equipment for assessing personnel in the critical Electrical Isolation procedures required, prior to any maintenance that will take place on ROV systems. This course is suitable for those who have completed the two-day course and MTCS & KBA can also assess delegates that have taken the distance learning option.


Gail Bartolf, Global Sales Coordinator for MTCS, said: “MTCS and KBA have a proven track record in delivering high-quality training together and our high voltage courses are the defacto standard for much of the ROV industry, reflecting both industry best practice and current legislation whilst satisfying IMCA R005.”


MTCS is a fully accredited assessment and training centre, whose head office is based in the Lake District and currently manage the largest independent assessment and certification programme for people involved in Subsea Operations such as ROV, Diving and Hydrographic Survey. Providing a full IMCA-aligned Competence Scheme Management service, MTCS ensure personnel are demonstrating competence in the offshore workplace.


Beside regular open schedules, companies also have the option of in-house bespoke programme, where they can focus on their own in-house equipment and procedures.

May 22

Nereus deep sea sub ‘implodes’ 10km-down

By Jonathan Amos
Science correspondent, BBC News

At the time of its loss, Nereus was investigating the Kermadec Trench
The robotic vehicle Nereus went missing while exploring one of the ocean’s deepest spots: the Kermadec Trench, which lies north east of New Zealand.Surface debris was found, suggesting the vessel suffered a catastrophic implosion as a result of the immense pressures where it was operating some 10km (6.2 miles) down.

Nereus was a flagship ocean explorer for the US science community.

“Nereus helped us explore places we’ve never seen before and ask questions we never thought to ask,” said Timothy Shank, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), which managed the sub’s activities.

“It was a one-of-a-kind vehicle that even during its brief life brought us amazing insights into the unexplored deep ocean, addressing some of the most fundamental scientific problems of our time about life on Earth.”

The $8m (£4.7m) robot was built in 2008 and could operate in an autonomous mode or remotely controlled via a tether to a support ship to explore the Earth’s deepest oceanic trenches.

Click here to continue reading…

May 19

MTCS Keswick to Barrow results

Val Rich Jamie finishDoug finish

Congratulations to Michelle, Richard, Jamie, Doug and a special thanks to Valerie for getting the team to take part in Keswick to Barrow 2014.

They’ve raised £700 so far for MacMillan Cancer Support, but there’s still time to donate so please email

Position Name Start Time Finish Time Elapsed Distance Traveled
1912 Michelle Livesey 6:27:01 AM 7:52:37 PM 13:25:36 40 miles
1914 Richard Warburton 6:26:58 AM 7:52:37 PM 13:25:39 40 miles
1916 Jamie Thompson 6:26:55 AM 7:52:43 PM 13:25:48 40 miles
1977 Doug Greenhaugh 6:26:52 AM 8:08:35 PM 13:41:43 40 miles
DNF Valerie Still 6:27:06 AM N/A N/A 27 miles

May 01

MTCS and the Professional Diving Academy work together to alleviate the subsea skills crisis

By Cherie Fox,

New partnership, MTCS and the Professional Diving Academy, Dunoon, aim to alleviate the subsea skills crisis, by giving newly trained ROV pilots the chance to advance their skills – and increase their flying hours.

Despite current high demand for relevant offshore manpower, Maritime Training and Competence Solutions (MTCS), say thoroughly assessed aptitude is essential among successful trainees and even experienced personnel in the subsea field.

While the oil and gas industry is vital to the UK economy and British companies are at the forefront of its global growth, recruitment difficulties are at their worst since 2007, according to a report by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

If it is not to be held back, this expansion’s skills challenge, 98 per cent of contractors are looking to recruit next year, needs to be quickly met.

The Professional Diving Academy's training vessel, M.V Sleat

The Professional Diving Academy’s training vessel, M.V Sleat

MTCS is attacking this challenge with a specifically designed programme at the Professional Diving Academy. The course will be run in a realistic operational environment, where candidates will be expected to work in shifts over 12 hour periods, as required in a real offshore environment.

Global Sales Coordinator for MTCS, Gail Bartolf, is well aware of the challenges facing newly trained ROV pilots: “Many companies will not take on new trainees, as they don’t have sufficient flying hours, so this is why MTCS is now working with the Professional Diving Academy in Dunoon, one of the most modern diver training schools in the world. We will be offering unrivalled industry training, where the candidate can clock up ROV diving hours in the Sea Loch. “

Courses will be run on a 38m training vessel, M.V. Sleat, which has fantastic onboard facilities and can operate in depths of up to 70 meters. The plans are to run 5-day courses covering several skills, some of which will include the Tether Management System (TMS) and also the Launch & Recovery System (LARS).

To attend the course candidates must have completed the MTCS ROV Pilot Technician Induction course, or have completed a minimum of three months offshore and undertaken one satisfactory assessment of competence.

MTCS, which runs monthly ROV induction courses at Windermere, as well as Singapore and Houston, is a fully accredited assessment and training centre providing a spectrum of operational, technical and supervisory training to the offshore industry. The majority of their courses focus on Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) as used in the oil & gas, nuclear and renewables industry.

Apr 29

Sponsor MTCS on a 40 mile walk for charity

05:30 SATURDAY 10 MAY 2014

Please sponsor our team in the 48th Keswick to Barrow.

The Keswick to Barrow (K2B) Walk is a 40 mile sponsored walking and running event in the English Lake
District. Teams of between 6 and 12 members test themselves on a challenging route, to raise money for
charities and good causes.

MTCS are donating to MacMillan Cancer Support.

MTCS Team Members:

Valerie Still
Michelle Livesey
Richard Warburton
Jamie Thompson
Doug Greenhough

Please email to register your interest to sponsor us. (No minimum donation.)

Apr 29

ROV Induction – Houston


12 – 23 May 2014

Click here for more information

Mar 19

Fast Growing eLearning is part of Major U.S Oil Companies

By Cherie Fox,

The practice in oil & gas eLearning in the U.S is growing rapidly, with many oil companies now using eLearning as part of their competence management programmes.

Several oil giants in the U.S. such as, Shell, Exxon and Chevron are keen on competence-based management, because it is an effective way for managers to ensure their workers are capable of making the workplace decisions they need to make. Although companies have focused on competences for some time, the practice is growing in eLearning, and more companies are making formal attempts to tie eLearning to competence management.

Because the oil and gas business is so competitive, senior executives realise that knowledge, and the application of knowledge, is key to business success. Oil and Gas executives therefore tend to see learning as a strategic priority. And because the major oil companies have a variety of proprietary processes and technologies that require bespoke learning solutions, it often commissions third-party vendors, such as British company, Maritime Training & Competence Solutions (MTCS), to develop bespoke content. Both Shell, Exxon and Chevron use competence management within learning and training, and this process plays a role in defining the need for eLearning content.

MTCS is currently working with Team Trident, a private staffing firm based in Houston, Texas, with a niche focus on skilled trades for the offshore energy industry, to ensure Team Trident customers have excellent competence certification opportunities available to them.

Looking at reactions in the U.S, Rod Long, Team Trident, Houston, explains:
“After Macondo, the U.S authorities have been emphasising the skills and experience expected from personnel in the Gulf of Mexico. This is being handed down by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) through its Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) requirements and is a very good thing for our industry. Team Trident is working with MTCS to clarify what skills and experience should be expected and how it should be demonstrated in our sector by using the MTCS, IMCA aligned, competence material. With competence certification, it will ensure Team Trident can connect great technical personnel with great employment opportunities on land and offshore. Finally, because many of the personnel Team Trident selects are prior military, they are very used to proving they are competent at their trade prior to advancement to the next level so they accept the MTCS competence scheme readily.”

Competence programmes run by Maritime Training & Competence Solutions (MTCS), Windermere, UK, currently manage the largest independent assessment and certification programme for people involved in Subsea Operations such as ROV, Diving and Hydrographic Survey.

Providing a full IMCA-aligned Competence Scheme Management service, MTCS ensure personnel are demonstrating competence in the offshore workplace. In addition, provide a spectrum of operational, technical and supervisory training, with the majority of their courses focussing on subsea technology, remotely operated vehicles, as used in the oil and gas industry and in Renewables

Richard Warburton, Managing Director for MTCS, says:
“The oil and gas industry is a global, highly competitive, and knowledge-intensive business with a high demand for eLearning and the use of competence management in eLearning continues to be popular. The global nature of the oil and gas industry also creates demand for network-based tools, such as eLearning, that can deal with highly distributed workforces. MTCS is delighted to be working with Team Trident, where we can offer their customers who are looking for work, the added benefit of fully accredited Competence Management frameworks that allow their customers to continue their professional development and gain certification. No matter where in the U.S, or indeed the rest of the world they are, candidates can use distance learning methods (eLearning) most appropriate to their needs, whether it is through the internet or the office intranet.”

Competence programmes for the offshore oil & gas, wind and marine energy sector are well underway both in the U.S and in the UK, with further plans for MTCS to rollout training and competence services worldwide. Currently delivering ROV induction training in Nigeria and in Singapore, with new ROV Induction Courses shortly to commence in the U.S, MTCS aim to show the industry how a fully accredited, dedicated Subsea Competence Management Program should work.

Feb 20

Royal Signal, Steve Gray, Encourages Military Personnel to Re-train

By Cherie Fox,

Royal Signals, Steve Gray, is living proof that great things do happen, even when the future for military personnel may appear bleak, with yet another round of redundancies announced for 2014.

During Steve’s resettlement process he underwent valuable training in October 2013 to pilot a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at MTCS, Windermere. Only one month after his training, Steve landed a job at Roge Systems Ltd, a small ROV company based in Barnsley, where he started his new career piloting an ROV working on the Humber Gateway Wind farm project. Due to his military background he was asked to join the ROGE management team, where he’s now co-ordinating ROV projects.

MTCS, Windermere is a fully accredited assessment and training centre providing a spectrum of operational, technical and supervisory training to the offshore industry. The majority of their courses focus on ROV’s as used in the oil & gas, nuclear and renewables industry.

steve gray

Michelle Livesey, Training Coordinator for MTCS said: “With so many military  redundancies it is heartening to see, not only someone who finds himself a job in a remarkably short space of time after his training, but has also become somewhat of an ambassador to ex-forces trainees. Whenever he can find the time, he pops into MTCS when there’s a course on to talk to the ex-forces trainees, who are undergoing ROV training. He really seems to empathise with all the fretting they’re going through and encourages them every step of the way to believe there is success to be had outside the forces. Steve is one of the most driven, positive people you can hope to meet and just gets things moving. “

Warrant Officer Yeoman of Signals (YofS), Steve Gray, is coming up for 22 years in the Royal Signals and only has 4 months to go before he leaves his military life for good. During his career as a YofS, he has gained an expertise and understanding of network engineering, including camera and surveillance equipment.

Steve has worked as part of a shift system in a small team in Northern Ireland, where his duties included the operation and maintenance of remote cameras and surveillance equipment, including thermal imaging and night vision.

He also developed a networked, ground situational awareness, software program (TiGR) for Afghanistan deployed troops.  He then took a group of engineers to theatre to develop, test and deploy the software/hardware to every British location. This included copper and fibre optics, as well as a radio frequency bearer system.

Warrant Officer Yeoman of Signals (YofS), Steve Gray, said: “MTCS is perfect for guys like me who already have an engineering background, gained through my signals career. They operate an informal class with small numbers and very helpful instructors. There’s a state-of-the-art ROV Simulator with a range of deepwater construction activities to gain hands-on experience. MTCS passed my details onto a number of prospective employers and I was fortunate enough to get a job with Roge Systems soon after completing my training.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my training as an ROV Pilot Technician with MTCS and cannot thank them enough for the amount of support they gave to me, both during and especially after the course.  I get a real buzz out of going back to MTCS to support the guys on the courses, because I know hearing it from the horses mouth will mean a lot to them. The advice I would give to anyone considering re-training, whether it’s as an ROV Pilot, or anything else, is to be tenacious, network all you can, be at the right place at the right time and be pro-active.”

Jan 30

C-STATE the First Facility of its Kind Helps Subsea Companies Plug the Skills Gap

By Cherie Fox.

Maritime Training and Competence Solutions (MTCS) has signed an agreement to market courses and deliver training at a new facility for the subsea sector – the Centre for Subsea Technology Awareness, Training and Education or C-STATE as it is known. This facility is the first of its kind and is a unique collaboration between industry and education.  C-STATE has been created to address the growing skills gap in the subsea engineering and service sectors, by providing an unrivalled platform for specialist training and education – and is offered to the entire industry.


Subsea UK, the industry body, which represents the £8.9 billion subsea sector, revealed that British subsea companies need around 16,000 new recruits to help them grow to £11 billion and increase the country’s 45% share of a £20 billion global market.


Launched at Darlington College, C-STATE has been developed by Modus Seabed Intervention Ltd in partnership with MTCS, Darlington College, Teesside University, Tees Valley Unlimited and Darlington Borough Council.  C-STATE has been created to ensure a supply of excellent personnel, and will offer through its training and education partners; MTCS, Darlington College and Teesside University, the only holistic approach to subsea education. The purpose built facility will offer a range of subsea courses from apprenticeships to further and higher education, and industry-recognised and accredited training.

Trainees will have direct, hands on access to a dedicated 200hp hydraulic remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in a safe and controlled environment, combined with classroom based training for all courses. Industry recognised and accredited training is being delivered by leading specialist, MTCS, with the first courses already underway.


MTCS, which runs monthly ROV induction courses at Windermere as well as in Singapore and Houston, has the responsibility for marketing and running C-STATE short courses, which include: work class ROV technical, high-voltage skills, high-pressure hydraulics, umbilical reterm, and subsea client awareness.  Bespoke courses can also be developed.


Jake Tompkins of C-STATE explained “C-STATE has been launched as a facility to offer unique access to subsea remotely operated technology.  The intent is to provide a platform for specialist training and learning delivered by our industry and education partners, all recognised leaders in their respective fields.  We hope to be able to create significant opportunities for individuals and companies alike and ultimately bridge the skills gap in an important industrial sector.  In terms of location, the Tees Valley is a significant and growing centre for the offshore supply chain.  Darlington’s local airports serve Aberdeen, London and the continent as well as many other international locations on a daily basis; it’s on the national mainline rail network and has first rate local facilities.  Discussions on extending the C-STATE facility are already underway.”


Richard Warburton, Managing Director of MTCS, said: “Not a day goes by when we don’t hear about the acute shortage of skills in oil and gas. The subsea sector is already showing signs of being constrained by this. If we carry on trying to solve the skills issues using the current solutions, the industry will not achieve growth. That’s why our collaborative approach is different.


“With many companies it is not simply about finding people, but more about how they recruit, how they keep people and how they equip them with the skills they need to do the job,” explained Mr Warburton.


Mr Warburton added: “We have fully investigated what the industry needs in terms of skills and explored the existing programmes which work well for individual companies.  We have shared best practice from industry and designed pan-industry programmes which deliver solutions in the short to medium-term.

“C-STATE aims to make a material and sustainable difference by helping companies source and develop the people they need to prosper. Here at MTCS, we help people from the military such as airframe technicians and weapons engineers, who make good technicians and subsequently ROV pilots. And there are those with trades like electrical engineers and car mechanics who also have a good aptitude for our courses.”

In addition to attracting military people and those with engineering skills, the College and University will take a medium-term approach to train apprentices and graduates for the industry.  C-STATE will also develop programs to educate school children about the careers in subsea.

Based on the Darlington College campus, C-STATE benefits from access to excellent on-site facilities including cafeterias, restaurants and a host of other services.

Tim Grant, Principal and Chief Executive of Darlington College commented, “We are delighted to be a partner in C-STATE and to host the facility at the Darlington College Construction and Engineering Centre.  Together we are developing a subsea curriculum for full and part time students and apprentices that will run alongside the MTCS program of courses.  We are planning to launch an educational program in Autumn 2014.”


Professor Cliff Hardcastle of Teesside University also commented, “”We are delighted to be part of this exciting initiative which will be delivering the skills for an industry of increasing importance to the North East and the United Kingdom”.

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