Catch us at RenewableUK's Global Offshore Wind event in Manchester on June 18-19! Swing by Stand C32, hosted by our parent company, Offshore Marine Management Holdings.

Our Academy, what is it all about?

Getting to know our Academy Manager…

Soral Bernard-Hayklan is the Academy Manager for Offshore Marine People and Academy and has been for the past 3 years after relocating to Bristol from London with the aim of putting her passion for training and development to use.

We sat down with her on a sunny afternoon, on the banks of the Cumberland Basin where the Offshore Marine People & Academy (OMPA) office is based, to discuss the past, present and future of the Academy and the Offshore training industry.

Soral explains that the Academy arm of Offshore Marine People and Academy (OMPA) started with the birth of the offshore recruitment business, Offshore Marine People 15 years ago and has been growing alongside ever since. The Offshore Marine People and Academy ethos is to offer a 360-degree service from training to job placement. The first course OMPA offered was the Offshore Client Representative course which has since been redeveloped and is now the most popular training course in the OMPA arsenal. Soral goes onto say that there is a lot of experienced personnel who need support transitioning into a Client Representative role. The course has also proven popular with clients who want to standardise their level of expertise within their own crewing. From the academy’s inception they have been adding courses which OMPA see as beneficial to the industry. Soral notes that as they have several arms to the business, they are in a unique position to see the training and skills gaps in the industry.

Soral goes on to shed some light on the goals of the Academy “ The main goal of the Academy is to bridge the ever growing skills gap in the Renewables Industry, it is crucial to the industry we pass on the knowledge to the new generation of contractors entering the industry – OMPA strongly believes in knowledge sharing to strengthen the industry” Soral goes on to say that making training accessible is also very important to OMPA which has been further highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. OMPA responded quickly to the difficulties imposed by travel restrictions by reformatting their popular Offshore Client Representative course to be hosted virtually. This enabled delegates from across the globe to access training quickly. This goes alongside the Introduction to Offshore Wind Renewables course which was launched online in early 2020.

“We are here to support people who are coming from parallel industries who have transferable skills, new graduates and anyone who needs support in taking the step into renewables. We support the industry.”

When asked how the academy and the personnel sides of OMPA interact Soral said “The academy acts as a support function, if we find we have any personnel or clients with any offshore training needs we step in. We support with the procurement of all GWO certification and industry standard training alongside our own courses to enhance professional development, including bespoke courses for any specific training needs.”

OMPA believe in the power of knowledge-based training supporting skills-based training, this is never more evident than their choice of trainers. Their trainers have 15 plus years of experience within the industry and the passion for knowledge sharing and welcoming in the new generation to the renewables industry.

Soral concludes our interview by saying “OMPA are passionate about the Offshore Renewables industry and its people. We keep in pace with the industry and delegate feedback is crucial to our course development, we love hearing from the people doing the work!”

Keep an eye out – OMPA are launching two new online courses later this year!