Written by: Lauren Peters from Advanced Industrial Solutions Ltd
Company category
A North East company, which offers specialised training for the oil and gas sector, is celebrating after becoming the first place south of Aberdeen to get industry approval for its specialised offshore course.

The Rigging and Lifting Operations course, developed by Advanced Industrial Solutions (AIS), trains offshore workers to prepare and use lifting equipment safely.

Run over three days, the course is the only rigging qualification outside of Aberdeen to achieve formal approval from the Oil and Gas Academy (OPITO) – the leading authority on training in the oil and gas sector.

This official recognition is a coup for the North East, as well as AIS, as it means people will be able to complete the qualification here in the region, without travelling elsewhere. And with the course also attracting interest from other areas of the country, including the South East, other businesses in the North East are likely to benefit from any associated economic activity.

This is the latest in a series of successes for AIS, who opened its 7,000ft ˛ purpose-built training centre on the Tyne Tunnel Industrial Estate in North Shields, earlier this year to provide tailored training courses for the offshore industry.

The company recently achieved a world-first after developing a unique insulation course which provides training over four days for competent insulation assistants – with an optional programme to progress to become a fully trained offshore insulator.
Currently the only comprehensive training programme which exists is a three year apprenticeship in thermal insulation and acoustics.

Managing Director of AIS, Paul Stonebanks, said: “We’re delighted to once again announce the launch of a new OPITO-approved course, which gives offshore workers a chance to gain quality qualifications on their own doorstep.

“We’re confident that our new rigging and lifting course will help to plug some of the current skills shortages which exist in the offshore sector, as well as providing widespread benefits for local people. Let’s not forget we also have some of the biggest wind farm technology areas in Europe which will benefit from this training.

“Well done to everyone on the team who pulled out all the stops to bring this course to the North East.”

AIS, which was set up in 2006 by North Shields-born Paul Stonebanks, provides industrial training tailored to the offshore sector including working at height, insulation, rigging, health and safety and rope access training.

AIS also manufactures bespoke insulation products primarily for the offshore oil and gas sector globally and then installs them on-site using rope access due to the great heights involved.

Anyone interested in the new OPITO approved course should contact AIS on 0844 800 1810 or visit

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