Mintra’s Skilled Worker Portal delivers more than 700 free online courses to furloughed and redundant energy workers

More than 700 free online training courses have been undertaken as part of a scheme set up to support energy sector workers who were furloughed or made redundant as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Almost 440 hours of eLearning have been accessed through the Skilled Worker Portal (SWP) launched by Mintra, with users in job roles ranging from senior executive to offshore steward.

Mintra set up the portal, which provided free access to 15 of the company’s most popular online courses, to help affected energy workers plug gaps in their training and find a starting point to getting back into work. It opened in June and closed on October 31, 2020 – what was originally to be the final day of the UK Government’s furlough scheme.

Users were able to undertake accredited courses covering health, safety, environmental and technical topics and on successful completion were provided with a Mintra certificate. Among the most popular courses were Introduction to Decommissioning, Manual Handling and Working at Height.

With Mintra’s main markets in the energy and maritime sectors, the company wanted to show its support for these communities in a practical way. Chief Operating Officer Gareth Gilbert said: “Low oil and gas prices and COVID-19 have combined to create one of the most challenging and unsettling periods in the history of these industries.

“The financial cost has been significant, but the level of job losses over the past seven months – which industry body OGUK recently put at around 4,000 for offshore installations alone – demonstrates the scale of the human cost.

“As a company we have been able to go from strength to strength because of a loyal and growing customer base that we have built up in these key sectors. Our solutions are designed to respond to the challenges that our customers and their people – everyone from office personnel to offshore workers – encounter on a day-to-day basis. We saw the SWP as an extension of that response.

“The energy and maritime sectors have, like most industries, been through an incredibly tough time. But the green shoots of recovery will come, and we want to play our part in ensuring that, when activity does increase, workers will have many of the competencies required for their roles.”

The SWP provided free access to courses on Trainingportal – Mintra’s flagship online learning and competency management system. The full range was:

  • Manual Handling
  • Working at Height
  • Dropped Objects
  • Slips, Trips and Falls
  • Noise Awareness
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Awareness
  • Naturally Occurring Radiative Material (NORM) Awareness
  • Confined Space Entry
  • Hydrogen Sulphide Awareness
  • Asbestos Awareness
  • Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)
  • Task Risk Assessment
  • Hand Arm Vibration Awareness (HAVS)
  • Environmental Awareness
  • Introduction to Decommissioning

Although the portal is now closed to new users, those who had registered and commenced learning before October 31 will have up to a year to complete courses and will continue to have access to their training records and certificates.

Mr Gilbert added: “Typically, companies will store all information about a worker’s training, health and safety records, competencies and technical abilities, whether that worker is self-employed or a PAYE employee.

“When a worker moves onto a new role with a different company, that information stays with their previous employer. The added benefit of the SWP is that individual workers continue to have access to all their own data: they can create their own competency profile by inputting technical abilities, managing career training records and accessing eLearning modules.”

SWP is just one of Mintra’s initiatives to help industry get back on track during the pandemic. Earlier this year the company was commended by the Scottish Parliament for putting together free courses aimed at educating people in preventing the spread of the coronavirus and preparing employees for working from home

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