Rigging continues to be one of our most popular courses. There’s good reason for this as rigging is an essential offshore skill and competent riggers are often in high demand.
The job entails moving heavy equipment and machinery around the site using portable lifting equipment and accessories. Rigging is a great career option and for anyone considering it, and Steve from AIS Survivex’s Rigging Training Centre shares some invaluable insight.
1. 50 tasks – the road to becoming a competent rigger is very much about gaining real on-the-job experience. You don’t need any experience to come on the basic OPTIO Rigger Training (Stage 1) course, which lasts for three days. But after completing the course, you move onto Stage 2 which is essentially all of your workplace experience. This is a critical part of becoming a fully qualified rigger. In total you have 50 tasks to complete, and these must be supervised and signed-off in your logbook before you can return to a training centre for the OPITO Rigger Competence Assessment (Stage 3). This is a 2-day assessment to check that you’ve met all of the criteria in your workplace logbook. You are then deemed competent. OPITO Rigger Competence Assessment (Stage 4) is simply a refresher course for competent riggers.
2. Badger, badger, badger – getting your first start offshore is always the hardest part and I advise people to keep pestering recruiters for potential opportunities. As a minimum, stay in touch with the same person or company at least twice a week. That way your name is high on the list if any relevant opportunity does come along. Traditionally during a downturn, older, more experienced workers walk away to find work elsewhere, opening up opportunities for new starters. You just need to remain focussed.
3. Transition ready – did you know OPITO Rigger qualifications are also valid for the wind industry? Because the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) does not currently have a recognised standard in rigging they accept OPITO Rigger certs. If you are interested in transferring into the wind industry, this might help give you a head start.
4. A core component – in the continued drive to increase efficiency offshore, companies are increasingly looking for people who can multitask. Dual skills can make you more employable and rigging provides a solid competency option as a base. Examples of dual certs which go together well could be Rigger-Banksman and Slinger, Rigger-Welder or Rigger-Diver, although there are dozens of options.
5. It’s not about the money, money, money – progressing your career in rigging is less about salary and much more about job security. Once you are deemed competent as a Stage 3 or 4 Rigger you are more attractive to employers and they will look towards you, rather than what they consider a trainee at a lower level. It’s worth considering this before deciding if you want to progress.