AIS has appointed Rory Soutar from Aberdeen to head up our new Offshore Survival Centre which opens soon.

Rory, aged 25, joins AIS from OPITO, the oil and gas industry’s training body, where he was responsible for setting and enforcing the industry’s training standards throughout Europe. Prior to that Rory worked for another offshore training provider.

Although born and raised in Aberdeen, Rory has relocated to the North East to take up the role. He said: “Although it was a big decision to move my life from Aberdeen to the North East of England, this was an unmissable opportunity and one that I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into.

“Our new Survival Centre in North Tyneside will be the newest and most advanced available globally and it is very exciting to be part of a project like this from the outset. My previous experience gives me the expertise to design and deliver the highest quality training provision the industry demands and needs and I’m currently getting all the documentation and equipment in place so we can launch a full portfolio of specialist offshore survival courses when the centre opens in the next few weeks.”

Paul Stonebanks, managing director at AIS, said: “Rory is extremely enthusiastic and brings with him a wealth of experience in both setting industry standards and auditing high quality training courses for the offshore and maritime sectors. He is well known and well respected in the industry and will bring strong leadership throughout our new project. We are delighted to welcome him to the team at AIS.”

AIS’s offshore survival centre will train workers from the offshore oil and gas, wind and maritime sectors in survival techniques using facilities which imitate realistic emergency scenarios including helicopter ditching at sea, sea survival, escape from smoke filled environments and evacuation via lifeboat.

The centre will include an environmental pool, fire training centre and lifeboat and davit system, as well as state-of-the-art classrooms, changing facilities, restaurant and meeting rooms with construction work expected to be completed by April 2014.

Simon Allen, Senior Project Manager at the BE Group said: “We are delighted to have been able to provide a £250,000 Let’s Grow grant from the Regional Growth Fund to help make the Survival Centre a reality. Alongside Rory’s new post, AIS is creating 22 extra jobs linked to the new Survival Centre, which is a welcome boost to the North Tyneside economy.”