Job lifeline is offered to offshore workers

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Wearside seafarers are being offered a vital 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”.

The offshore industry is in crisis

Larry Gaynor

An annual economic impact report by trade body Oil and Gas UK released in September, revealed 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 to get on board, with a new course aiming to help them get back to work.

The RMT, working in partnership with Newcastle College Trade Union Education, is rolling out 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 – in the New Year.

The free course is open to all offshore workers, active and ex-seafarers throughout 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 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, said 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.”

Mr Gaynor believes the course can offer hope on the horizon at a bleak time for many.

He added: “Most offshore workers and seafarers 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.”

Those interesting in the course should contact the RMT Office in South Shields on 456 1308 or email c.iley@rmt.org.uk before the closing date on December 18.