Ais Survivex Energy Training for the Armed Forces

Filed Under: Interviews

AIS Survivex Speak to Former Navy Submarine Engineer James dives into offshore career!

 James Gammon swapped submarines for offshore installations following oil and gas training with AIS Survivex part of the 3t Training Group. 


After an exciting 6 years in the Navy maintaining state-of-the-art submarines, Marine Engineering Technician James felt ready to move on from the Armed Forces and set his sights on getting a job offshore in oil and gas.

For the next year, James took on several mechanical engineering roles in the petrochemical, commercial diving, and energy industries, building up his expertise. James had been in the Navy for a significant portion of his working life and ultimately wanted to find a similar career and lifestyle.

Having realised the parallels between working in the offshore oil and gas industry and serving in the Navy, he researched how to get offshore in oil and gas and came across offshore oil and gas training at AIS Survivex.

James joined us at our Newcastle training centre in November last year, taking on offshore courses including the OPITO Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) course, ECITB Mechanical Joint Integrity course and OPITO Banksman Slinger Initial course.

Reflecting on his time training, James said:

“I really enjoyed my training! It was fantastic and well laid-out. One of the best things was the knowledge that the instructors have. They’re not just reading off a sheet of paper - they have relevant offshore experience. They also went above and beyond to help delegates, for example, helping anyone who couldn’t swim feel comfortable doing their BOSIET.” 

Being based in Pembrokeshire in West Wales, the AIS Survivex onsite hotel was a huge bonus for James.

He commented:

"The facilities were excellent, especially the hotel. I had to drive over 9 hours to Newcastle and accommodation could have made the trip very expensive. I was able to walk straight to my course in the morning which saved me time and money travelling through the city centre and even breakfast was included!” 

With excellent transferable skills gained from his Navy and mechanical engineering background, combined with his portfolio of newly acquired offshore certificates, it was no surprise to hear that James landed his first offshore job quickly – just 1 week after finishing his training! He undertook 3 trips offshore with Atlas Professionals as a Greenhand before being offered a permanent position as a Motorman with Well-Safe Solutions in May this year.

We asked James how he felt about his transition from the Armed Forces to oil and gas…

“While I do miss the adventurous lifestyle of the Navy, I am embracing everything the oil and gas industry has to offer. The rotations and work suit my experience and an offshore job has the huge benefit of 27 weeks off every year. I enjoy the freedom and time I have to do more courses and continue to improve my skills – I’m always kept busy!”

Looking ahead, James is keen to build up his offshore expertise and is considering a future in the commercial diving industry as a saturation diver. Already familiar with extreme subsea conditions as a submariner, he thinks this could be an interesting career suited to his talents.

James commented:

“My previous experience as a submariner and working in the petrochemical industry, combined with offshore work, all lends well to saturation diving.” 

While working offshore suits many former Armed Forces personnel, James recommended

"Spending some time researching the industry first before taking the leap. He said: “I recommend you read up on the industry – this way of working isn’t for everyone. Book with a reputable training provider like AIS Survivex and check your tickets are approved from recognised bodies.

When you’re training, make the most of it and speak to experienced people who have been offshore before, as well as the instructors who have loads of great advice on how to get your first trip offshore.

Once you’ve got your tickets, put out feelers and get in touch with agencies so you know what jobs are available. 

Having transferable skills also really helps and once you have a foot in the door, you can fly away!” 

Use your ELCAS with AIS Survivex AIS Survivex is the training delivery partner of choice for the Armed Forces going into wind or oil & gas.

We are an ELCAS-approved training provider committed to helping ex-forces personnel transfer their skills to the global energy sector, as well as Gold-level sponsors of the British Forces Resettlement Service (BFRS).


From the British Army to Wind Turbine Technician with AIS Survivex - Military to Wind Training Programme

After serving in the British Army for 8 years, Jordan Coulson EngTech MIMechE decided to use ELCAS to help fund the bespoke AIS Survivex Military to Wind training programme in #Newcastle.

Hear from Jordan as he shares his advice on training for a job in the renewables sector, and how to use ELCAS to get there. Jordan leaves the Army this month – and we wish him the best of luck with his new career!



Why Military to Wind?

The UK offshore wind sector needs to attract and retain 70,000* people by the end of the decade – that's 10,000 people per year on average! With the number of people working in direct and indirect jobs in the UK’s offshore wind industry expected to rise significantly from 26,000 today to over 69,800 by 2026, now is the ideal time to break into this growth industry.

AIS Survivex part of  the 3t Training Group have a dedicated team for their Military to Wind training programme, coupled with their expertise, superb training facilities and success working with military personnel, you are in great hands!

How to: Use ELCAS credits to transition from Military to Wind

AIS Survivex part of the 3t Training Group is the training delivery partner of choice for the Armed Forces going into the wind industry, with innovative ELCAS-approved Military to Wind training programmes.

Jordan used the MOD's Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) Scheme to help fund the bespoke Military to Wind training programme at AIS Survivex Newcastle site.

On completion of the 4-week course, delegates receive an ITC Level 3 Diploma in Safe Working Practice in the Wind Turbine Industry, which includes all the mandatory Global Wind Organisation (GWO) training standards required to work in the sector.

Apply for Military to Wind here! 

If you want to know more about the wind and energy sector follow the steps below and we will see you in Newcastle on October 12th! 

Step 1:  Research the wind industry. Research potential career pathways and what roles appeal to you.

Step 2:  Find an ELCAS provider. Browse available courses on the ELCAS website.

Step 3:  Book your Military to Wind training programme.

Step 4:  Arrange course funding ,apply for funding via the ELCAS website.

Step 6:  Attend the BFRS Military2Energy Insight Day in Newcastle on October 12th  2023! 

Step 5:  Do your training! Course booked, funding secured – it’s time to get training.

If an offshore or energy career interests you and you want to find out how your military skills transfer then you need to register for our M2E Insight Day. This event is being held at the AIS training centre in Newcastle.

PS... did we mention you get a guided tour of the superb facilities and face to face networking opportunities with Energy and Offshore companies? Find out if a career in energy is right for you and register below

Register for M2E Here Now!






As part of our event preparation we took the time to visit the AIS Survivex training centre in Newcastle and get everything prepped for the event in October. We got to meet the team behind the training and also got to speak to some of the course trainees.

Our visit also included a tour of the facilities at Orion Park Business Park in North Shields and a look into the many different types of training courses available. What really strikes you is the superb range of facilities available and the professionalism with which they are carried out. The training centre has a really great atmosphere with a warm and welcoming approach. 

With a hotel on site and a superb restaurant offering a great selection of food, it really doesn't get any better than this!

BFRS would like to take this opportunity to thank AIS Survivex part of the 3T Training Group for sponsoring and hosting the M2E Military2Energy Insight Day.