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    ‘Open Your Horizons’ – IMCA's latest career promotion drive

    Organisations and Associations // August 1, 2007

    The vital issue of the skills shortages that current besets the offshore industry has deeply concerned the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA).

    Throughout 2007 the association has been involved on a careers promotion quest, and they have now published their latest piece of ammunition for use in the ongoing campaign, ‘Open Your Horizons: Global Careers in Marine Contracting’, a colourful careers brochure that is international in outlook, has a carefully chosen positive message and is to be distributed widely.

    “We have always taken an active role in promoting marine contracting as an exciting and challenging career, but we have geared up our activity during 2007,” explained the association’s chief executive, Hugh Williams. “Right at the start of the year we issued a New Year statement that defined the number of new vessels about to come into service and the personnel demand in various specialist roles. These figures certainly stopped people in their tracks and the information has been widely used in trade and technical journals and by national newspapers in careers pages."

    “Now we’re moving things on further – and faster.  Our new careers brochure aimed at young men and women is already receiving positive feedback. It invites them to ‘see the world’ and ‘see the bigger picture’; and by means of bold new pictures and a positive message encourages them to ‘think marine’, where ‘the opportunities, the technology, the variety – and yes, the rewards – are all beyond the ordinary’.

    “With sections devoted to the ‘broad horizons’ – the great range of roles available in the marine contracting industry; a career plan; and links to our website where they can find out more about the wide range of opportunities available to them, it urges them to ‘make the move.’"

    “As we say in the brochure: ‘Looking for a career which combines travel, technology, good pay, safe working conditions, responsibility, real opportunities to reach your full potential and gain promotion to decision-making levels? Would you relish the chance to play your part in a close-knit, multi-disciplined team helping to harvest the earth’s store of natural energy? You could find it all in the booming marine contracting industry, where new vessels are being built as never before.’”

    IMCA represents the interests of nearly 400 companies involved in offshore marine and underwater engineering in 47 countries, a truly global network of employers with some of the most varied and exciting jobs on earth. 

    “We are delighted that many of our members are opting to download the new brochure, add their own logo and print and distribute it themselves,” said Mr Williams. “We know that before long it will indeed be a global recruitment tool. We are distributing it widely to schools, colleges and universities and only too glad of requests for bulk stocks and suggestions about suitable recipients.”

    For many years IMCA has spoken for its members in promoting the industry; provided careers information in the shape of its “I want to be a …..” series of leaflets; and helped schools and colleges develop syllabi which deliver people ready to enter the industry. It has also developed an important competence framework for those in the industry to develop and progress; promoted training and certification schemes; and encouraged training establishments and personnel agencies to join IMCA within a special membership category and work together with the vessel operating contractor members for mutual benefit.

    “We have certainly stepped up our career-related activity a gear or two since the start of this year,” said Mr Williams. “Obviously we have continued all our ‘tried and tested’ forms of promotion, and have added new job titles in the “I want to be….” series. This now covers working as a diver, life support technician, DP operator, offshore surveyor, data processor, engineer/technician, geophysicist and working with ROVs; and in many instances we have included case studies to show off a real person’s life in the industry."

    “We have new information on career paths in the industry, and are liaising increasingly with schools, colleges and universities. We’ve added a recruitment webpage on our website linking to members’ own recruitment pages; and most importantly we have shared our concerns and are pooling our efforts with others in the industry to try to effect an improvement. Rising to the challenge of skills shortages is key to the ongoing success of this vital industry and we are determined to do all we can to encourage youngsters – and the not-so-young looking for a career change – to find out what is on offer to them, and to join this exciting industry.”

    IMCA’s career information is at Copies of the brochure can be obtained from IMCA at 5 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1W 0NR, UK.  Tel: +44 (0) 20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0) 20 7824 5521; E-mail:


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