A father and son have launched a new training programme that aims to unlock the potential of national workforces in difficult environments whilst also creating jobs in the North East.

Using their military training and years of experience working in health and safety and compliance, James and Jamie Murphy, of Peterhead-based Navitas Compliance Solutions, officially launched ‘Bridging the Gaps’ on May 3rd.

The training programme aims to help global companies working on major projects in areas such as Africa, the Middle East, and former Soviet Union countries to effectively identify and advance the skill set of the national workforce, enabling them to successfully fill operational roles once the company has completed the work.

With help from Business Gateway Aberdeen City & Shire, the duo secured a £5k Make it to Market Grant from Scottish Enterprise to produce a promotional video that will be presented to companies in the UK, USA, France and Italy over the coming months.

James Murphy said: “Large corporations often find it difficult to fulfil their promise of training the local workforce to run pipelines, refineries, liquefied natural gas plants to name a few, once they are operational. This can leave local governments unhappy, and the plant lacking vital skills. What our programme helps businesses do is identify potential leaders and productive workers within the local workforce quickly and effectively. It then provides these individuals with the knowledge, mentoring and training needed to help them successfully take on the operational work of the site.”

He added: “In the face of the oil & gas recession we’ve had to work hard to demonstrate our innovative approach, dynamism and flexibility, and have used the past 12 months to perfect our programme. During that time, we turned to Business Gateway for support. Our adviser has not only signposted agencies to us, such as Scottish Innovation, Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise, they’ve also arranged for a specialist to help us develop a global marketing strategy which will prove invaluable to us.

“Over the next 12 months, our aim is to secure a ‘Bridging the Gaps’ project in Mozambique and in Tanzania. Our projections show that this will help us create 12 fulltime local jobs and numerous positions for North East-based contractors as well as increase our turnover from £100k to £400k.”

Alison West, Business Gateway, said: “By perfecting their training programme, James and his son now have a product that will help alleviate pressures put on global companies working in difficult environments and provide a brighter future for the local workforce. As well as providing one-to-one advice, we have introduced them to a range of support agencies whilst our specialist marketing support will go a long way to helping them achieve their goal of exporting 80% of their services from their North East base by the end of financial year 2016/2017.”

Having gained the rank of Major in the Army before working in the energy industry for 30 years, James Murphy set up TCC, a health, safety, environmental and discipline training company, in Aberdeen in 2003. The company was sold to the Global Energy Group in 2011, and upon Leaving TCC James went on to hold the position of Vice President Health, Safety, Environment, & Quality for Dolphin Drilling for two years.

When his son left the Army in 2011, Jamie spent the next four years as a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) advisor and an HSE trainer, conducting and managing training worldwide. Both James and Jamie then spent time working in Liberia, providing compliance, emergency response and security training to a major drilling contractor during the Ebola crisis of 2013/14. In February 2015 they launched Navitas Compliance Solutions.

James said: “My son had a desire to own and run a successful business, and my desire was to help him do that. With my expertise in Health and Safety and Jamie’s knowledge of security and training, we have set up a business that we believe will help make the world a safer place.”

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