BBL Manpower are constantly looking for new opportunities to improve our services and understand both our clients and candidates better. Which is why we invite you to read a brand new interview with one of our candidates, Mr. Arkadiusz who participates in regular rotations on offshore pipes.

In this candid interview, Mr. Arkadiusz tells us how obtain to the required certificates that allow you to work on offshore platforms and provides some invaluable tips on how to make the most out of your time offshore. 

Was it always your ambition to work on drilling platforms?
At the beginning of my career I never even thought about taking up a job on an oil rig, because this vision seemed to be almost impossible, but over the years the knowledge and experience I gained to work in the Oil and Gas sector began to slowly convince such a possibility.

After speaking with BBL Manpower and learning that my experience and positive feedback from my previous employers would make me eligible to work on an oil rig, I sought to find out more. BBL mentioned that I would have the opportunity to further my professional development, and of course increase my salary. Both factors played a huge part in why I chose to become an offshore worker.

What certificates are required by employers to work on an oil rig?

Before I began work, BBL made it clear what trade specific manufacturing certificates I needed and exactly what the requirements are for those wishing to begin a career on an oil rig.

The offshore licences and certificates needed for this job, BOSIET (Basic Offshore Safety Induction Emergency Training) & HUET (Helicopter Underwater Emergency Training) were funded by myself. In order to see the long term benefits of this career choice and develop professionally, I had to personally invest in myself and I would strongly urge others to do the same.

BBL organised the course and testing for me in a training centre in Rotterdam, Holland and as sign of fantastic organisation they also arranged my accommodation and transport while I was in Holland.

What is life like working on an oil rig?

Work on the platform differs very little from work in the yard or in a refinery as we are dealing with very similar technical issues. The main difference to working on a normal job site compared to working offshore is the heavy emphasis on safety. There is no question about the so called combinations and partisans. Here everything has its place and time, suitable tools ect.

Work on the platform usually runs on a specific rhythm. I.e. Usually you work around 12 hours a day with regular breaks for coffee and lunch. During the workers time off, they are free to use the gym & TV facilities, and the free wireless internet to stay in touch with families and loved ones.

You are almost made to feel like you are on a luxury cruise liner instead of working on a platform. In general you feel really well looked after and above all, safe.

How do you want to expand your skills further? What are your plans for the future?

I would like to continue to expand my skills by gaining new technical knowledge and experience from the different offshore courses available. In the near future I have planned to complete the T&T (Torque & Tensioning) course, which BBL have assisted me in arranging this.

What is your typical work rotation?

I am currently working in rotation of two weeks on and two weeks off. Personally, I think that that’s a well-balanced rotation. I’m not away from home and my family for too long and when I am working the time seems to pass fairly quickly.

When I first received the job on the platform and the start date, my Wife was slightly worried because the platform was in the middle of the sea. However after a moment of concern, she was quite glad as this meant a better job with much more opportunity for us.

This type of work will always arouse mixed feelings because of the security, but in this day and age what job is 100% safe? It is my belief that we as people are the ones that create safety in the work place, not the other way around.

What are your top tips for people who would like to work on an oil rig?

For all those who would like to work on these platforms, the only advice I can give from my own experience is to seriously question whether being on the open sea, isolated with a lack of physical contact with your loved ones is something you can deal with. This is crucially important as you can be a highly skilled and professional worker but the specifics of this profession may indeed put you off. In short this is not a job for everyone. Also being out in the North Sea you will need to be prepared for frequent sea storms and weather fluctuations. I mention these things as it is a crucial element of the job and can present its own challenges from person to person. Here psychology plays an important role, each of us all perceive things differently, so what may seem normal to me may not to you. Good physical and mental health is also a massive advantage.