War veterans retrained for offshore

The experiences and abilities of the Danish war veterans suit the demands in the offshore industry. That is why former elite soldier Ole Brøndum expects to be able to create a programme retraining veterans as soon as possible.

Photo: Foto: Brian Karmark

Ole Brøndum has had a meeting with the Danish Minister for Employment, Mette Frederiksen, on the start-up of a training programme designed to prepare soldiers in taking jobs in the offshore industry. “The offshore industry has a lot of available jobs and they are in need of manpower. The North Sea offshore industry is expected to need 60,000 new employees over the four years to come in positions such as tunnel workers, operations technicians and the like”, says Ole Brøndum, former elite soldier and initiator of the training programme.

He has a vast experience with setting up training programmes as he has earlier started a programme retraining war veterans to take on anti-piracy guard jobs on ships. 28 former veterans are trained to be part of the anti-piracy training programme. If everything goes according to plans, the new programme will kick off within a couple of months.

Minister backing up

The initiator describes his meeting with the Minister for Employment as being very positive and says that she backed the initiative completely.

“Among other things, the meeting had been put into place in order to make the job centres being more positive towards the initiative”, Ole Brøndum says.

He underlines that the combination of the offshore industry’s lack of manpower and the planned programme containing both a theoretical and a practical part is a guarantee for employment.
“She was very positive towards both our anti-piracy project and our offshore project. She said that she would support both as much as possible”.

The primary focus of the meeting was to rubber-stamp the course as a recommended optional 68 week course in the job centres. The next step on the path to create the programme is a meeting with the principal of Business Academy Southwest in Esbjerg on the proposal of the training programme.

Right competences

The thought behind the new training programme is dual; to employ war veterans in meaningful jobs and train methodical persons for the offshore industry. The competences of the soldiers appeal to the companies, Ole Brøndum says. His investigations show that these competences are the ones asked for by the offshore companies.

The soldiers are disciplined, they perform the tasks they are given and they do it in time, they are able to get up in the morning and they are trustworthy. Furthermore, they are used to being under the command of their officers for long periods of time, just as they will be on ships.

“The offshore companies think that the idea is excellent and they see some competences they are able to reward”, he says.

Theoretical and practical

The training programme will be designed as an alternation between theory and practice. According to Ole Brøndum, the explanation why is straightforward.

“It is in order to be able to ensure that the veterans stick to the education which would be difficult if they were to stay seated for two years in a row”, he says.

The training programme will cost USD 7,000 dollars for the first couple of months before the veterans start their first practical part and are paid by the companies. Ole Brøndum expects that the job centres will pay for the education of the veterans and that is why, it is important that the job centres support the idea.

“When veterans are stationed on e.g. drilling rigs, they will be able to find out in which parts of the job they are interested and then choose the relevant subjects in school”, he says.

So far, an estimated 200 veterans have shown interest in the programme. The first class will contain between 16 and 20 students.

Denmark has approximately 26,000 war veterans.

Danish anti-piracy effort lacks funding for praised education 

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