The Moscow-born 41-year-old, who now lives in Newcastle, was a professional dancer from the age of 18, performing with the Moseyev Dance Company in world tours and sell-out shows such as ‘Riverdance the Show’. Ilya even opened his own dance school in Newcastle.

But when income dropped during the recession, Ilya decided to make a dramatic career change and try the offshore oil and gas industry.
Within a few weeks of completing his training with AIS, Ilya had secured a job working as a rope access technician offshore. He’s never looked back and has since worked all over the world helping in the maintenance of offshore structures.

Ilya said: “When I go offshore people are extremely surprised when they find out what I used to do - it’s certainly a talking point. But even though I loved being a professional dancer and performing worldwide I knew it wasn’t something I could do forever.

“Working offshore was a lifestyle choice that really appealed. I like the idea of travelling to different places for weeks at a time, working hard, but then coming home to relax for a few weeks. The training and advice I received at AIS Training was first-class and certainly gave me the skills and confidence to secure my first offshore job. It’s a decision that I’ve never regretted, and, to be honest, I sometimes wish I’d made it earlier.”