The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) has strengthened its senior level connections in the Asia Pacific region and Bahrain following a two-week tour by its Finance and Business Services Director, Rory Blyth.

Accompanied by the ECITB’s Head of Commercial, Tristan Kemp, and International Business Development Manager, Jason Riley, Rory met with government skills agencies in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as the national oil and gas company in Bahrain.

One of the objectives of the tour was to meet with officials from Malaysia’s National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), including Executive Director Haji Ayop Bin Salleh, ahead of the rollout of ECITB accreditation in June.

In February, Malaysia’s Minister for Human Resources, The Honourable Steven Sim Chee Keong, announced that NIOSH is integrating ECITB Global’s International Health and Safety Passport (IHSP) Foundation Course within its longstanding Contractor Safety Passport System – All Risks (CSPS) programme.

The ECITB team met with senior officials at NIOSH in Malaysia

Attending the ECITB-NIOSH meeting in Malaysia were (from left to right) Jason Riley (ECITB International Business Development Manager), Mohd Redzuan Shah Masri (NIOSH’s PDD Manager), Haji Ayop Bin Salleh (NIOSH Executive Director), Rory Blyth (ECITB Finance and Business Services Director), Mohd Hussin Bin Abd Salam (NIOSH Business and Marketing Manager) and Tristan Kemp (ECITB Head of Commercial).

The agreement to align the IHSP with NIOSH’s existing induction programme, which is delivered across its network of training centres throughout Malaysia, means the ECITB course will be a mandatory requirement for all government construction contractors in the country.

During Rory’s visit to NIOSH in Kuala Lumpur, discussions were held on practical elements of implementing the plan ahead of the first learners completing the integrated syllabus. This includes a commitment to have a presence at the NIOSH facility for a month to help embed the IHSP after the launch.

Rory said: “It was great to meet with the Chair of NIOSH and hear the commitment from all sides to make the rollout of this plan a success.

“Thousands of CSPS cards are issued every year in Malaysia so this will have such a big impact on the country’s workforce in the industry.

“Senior stakeholder engagement like this is an important part of strengthening connections to help the ECITB and its international Global division better understand the skills and competency needs of the countries in which we operate.

“One of the things that struck me during the whole trip was our reach and how the ECITB is held in such high regard across the globe.

“Government agencies in every country we visited wanted to meet us, ask our advice and work with us. We received a similar reception in Uganda, Tanzania and Qatar which I visited last year.

“It was particularly nice to hear how the ECITB is held in high esteem across industry in these countries, such as when receiving a formal stamp of approval for competency from us. We should be proud of this as an organisation.”

Delivering quality training

Rory’s trip also included high-level meetings with the onshore and offshore national skills agencies in Thailand – the Technical Petroleum Training Institute (TPTI) and Industrial Estates Authority of Thailand (IEAT) – alongside training provider Petroleum Training Services (PTS), which delivers training to these organisations.

He met with officials from the government skills agency in Indonesia, SKK Migas, and with the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO).

Between these meetings, Rory visited the facilities of ECITB Global Licensed Training Providers, including CR3, Camly and Petracarbon in Rayong, Thailand, and Petrotekno in Solo, Surakarta in Indonesia, which won Training Provider of the Year at the ECI Training and Development Awards 2022.

BJ Services, which is part of the Baker Hughes Group and won the Asia Pacific regional accolade in 2023 at the ECI Awards, hosted Rory in Malaysia. He took the opportunity here to also visit Falcon Safety Services, Hi-Force, and Jasable.

The fortnight tour was capped off in Bahrain to visit Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY) and Al Mashreq.

Rory added: “It was great to visit so many people from our network of exceptional training providers. Everywhere I went I saw impressive facilities with rooms full of people training.

“I was impressed by the professionalism and entrepreneurial spirit I witnessed amongst our network of training providers.

“It’s great to see entrepreneurial trainers and professional people who are keen to deliver training with dedication, energy and intelligence. That’s what we rely on to grow our reach in delivering quality training.

“The training providers I met also had a great sense of national pride. It’s not just about building a business, it’s also about helping individuals and helping their nation.”

The ECITB delegation on a visit to the training facility at Camly in Thailand

The ECITB delegation up close with ECITB mechanical joint integrity (MJI) training rigs during tours of training providers Camly in Thailand (above) and Jasable in Malaysia. Director Rory commented: “This was a great example of our reach, that you can travel halfway across the world and see exactly the same MJI rig with an ECITB logo that you can see in somewhere like Grimsby in the UK.”

ECITB Director Rory Blyth (second left) by an MJI rig with the team at training provider Jasable in Malaysia
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