OPITO, the global, not-for-profit skills body for the energy industry, has announced Richard Roberts as vice president of strategic development for the Middle East and Africa region. Roberts will support OPITO as it extends and develops industry training standards and global qualification frameworks around the world.
Having been based in the Middle East since 2005, Roberts has over 25 years’ industry experience in senior roles ranging from operations to regional human resources. A key theme throughout his career has been the development of local national capability. In his most recent role as senior regional business development manager for Drilling Systems and Integrated Advisory Services (IAS), he was actively involved in major projects for the expansion of immersive simulation and competence development with major drilling contractors and National Oil Companies (NOCs) across the region.
Based in OPITO’s Dubai office, Mr Roberts will work alongside the region’s NOCs and International Oil Companies (IOCs) to identify opportunities for the development and adoption of OPITO industry standards and global qualification frameworks.
Roberts says, “Many of the regions NOCs are keen to invest in new structures, systems and processes when it comes to workforce safety and skills. They are looking for high quality industry standards that are aligned to the rest of the global industry. The Middle East and Africa is a critical region for the oil and gas community and is an area where OPITO is keen to strengthen working relationships and contribute to the regional approach. Discussions are already taking place with a major regional NOC who are looking to adopt various OPITO qualifications and standards.”
“Having worked within the sector for a number of years, I was aware of OPITO’s reputation for quality and bringing about positive change. I look forward to supporting operators, contractors and training organisations across the Middle East and Africa with the shared objective of increasing workforce safety and capability,” Roberts continues.
His appointment follows the recent announcement of Hart Victor joining as VP for Asia Pacific.
Mark Cullens, director of strategic development adds, “We have seen a growing international interest from companies looking to adopt OPITO’s safety standards and global qualifications, and Richard’s appointment is part a strategic plan to ensure each region is ready to support these needs.”
Industry-owned, OPITO works with governments, national oil companies, operators and contractors offering a range of services and products to meet international skills needs. More than 250,000 people are trained to OPITO standards every year, across 45 countries, through 200 accredited training centres.