New Executive Leaders Energize International Skills & Training Alliance

A unique skills and training alliance is embarking on an ambitious plan to significantly increase international business for Scottish universities, colleges and training providers.

The internationalization drive will be spear-headed by newly-appointed chief executive, Helen Tulloch and new chairman, Neil Harkin.

IESTA (International Energy Skills & Training Alliance) is supported by Scottish Enterprise and brings together the very best of Scottish education and training providers to offer a one-stop shop for skills solutions to the global energy industry.

Helen Tulloch, formerly of En-ergise and ITF, has almost twenty years business development experience and over thirty years experience in the oil and gas industry in the UK and overseas. She will be responsible for promoting the alliance to global companies looking to access oil and gas industry training in areas such as health & safety, IT, engineering and project management.

Neil Harkin, director of Learn IT, has taken up the role of chairman of IESTA which now represents a network of 14 training and education providers after new members -- 2020 Business Insight, Enterprise Ways and Macdonald Energy -- joined in recent months.

Tulloch said, "With membership now representing some of the best energy sector training on offer anywhere in the world, the time is right to aggressively pursue new opportunities for these organizations and actively promote Scotland as a leader in skills development for the energy industry.

"As the Scottish oil and gas industry has developed, a world-class training and education offering has grown up alongside it. This training portfolio, like the North Sea industry it serves, has earned a reputation for technological excellence, best practice and the highest operational and HSE standards.

"This expertise presents a compelling proposition for global companies, particularly in emerging markets and IESTA's aim is for our education and training providers to win significant international marketshare. Under the umbrella of the alliance they will be able to access opportunities that they would be unable to on their own. Through collaboration in this way, they can bid for bigger contracts."

Equally, the alliance offers international customers the ability to source all their training requirements through one organisation, rather than going to individual providers in specific areas of expertise.

IESTA is also seeking new members to join the alliance to broaden the range of training on offer. To become a member, organizations must be Scottish, capable of delivering overseas and demonstrate proven high standards of training and education excellence.