OPITO appoints director to support global skills development

OPITO, the global, not-for-profit skills body for the energy industry, has appointed Mark Cullens to the new role of director of strategic development.

Mr Cullens, who joins from Petrofac Training Services where he was director of business development Eastern Hemisphere, will support OPITO as it extends its skills and workforce development remit internationally.

With a 20 year career in training and education, Mr Cullens will be based in Aberdeen and spend time supporting the other regional operations centres across the Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

John McDonald, CEO of OPITO said: “OPITO is recognised globally for the standards we set, however there is growing interest in the workforce development programmes that we offer in the UK from other regions and we plan to extend engagement and support to our international stakeholders. Mark has outstanding experience in the development of skills initiatives and we are extremely pleased to welcome him to our leadership team.”

Mr Cullens spent five years with Petrofac, based in Sharjah, Middle East where he developed strategic training projects for national and international oil companies and sovereign wealth funds.

He had previously worked with Petrofac as head of business development in the Middle East and spent four years as principal and general manager with the Proclad Group where he established a commercial training centre in Dubai. He started his career in education and was previously assistant principal of business development at Fife College in Scotland.

Mark Cullens said: “I’m looking forward to extending the reach of OPITO to maximise opportunities for the industry around developing their workforces and raising competency. Globally, this is more important than ever given the experience that has been lost from the industry over the last few years, so improving the quality of the learning experience at the entry level is fundamental to competency during the rest of a person’s career. OPITO has a fantastic legacy of successful initiatives along with useful tools and we will actively be engaging with governments and oil and gas companies to offer support.”

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.

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