Great Yarmouth skills base was an attraction for Proserv
The boss of an international subsea technology company which has recently taken over Weatherford's Great Yarmouth subsea controls operation said the biggest attraction had been the region's people.
Proserv – which employs almost 12,000 people worldwide and has offices in 15 countries – agreed the acquisition deal with energy giant Weatherford in May and plans to significantly increase investment.
Proserv chief executive David Lamont said that under Weatherford the subsea business in Yarmouth in Viking Road, Vanguard Road and Edison Way had been an 'underdeveloped and unloved asset'.
He added: 'For us, what that group does is core to what Proserv does.
'We are looking at significantly more investment and looking at how we can use that technology in other parts of our Proserv business.
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'I think there are many synergies in terms of the capabilities that group has and using it to develop other products and other services.
'The biggest attraction for us in Yarmouth is the people. It has got the heritage of the oil and gas business and there are a lot of good people in the area and obviously the business.
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Mr Lamont said Proserv, which has taken on 200-300 people in Yarmouth as part of the deal, was growing at an annual rate of 35pc.
'The market is very buoyant and there is huge demand across the board.'
But he said: 'People are the constraint and our focus is getting the right people and fast tracking folk through the business in terms of technical skills but also other management skills.'
He also said the company was committed to bringing people into the industry, adding: 'It is a fantastic industry and we need to make more of a noise because we have great careers and opportunities for people. For us in Yarmouth we need to get good people because we have a growing backlog of people and a growing demand.
'We are building systems for Brazil, Vietnam. We are putting systems into the Gulf of Mexico, Norway. Obviously offshore in the UK, offshore Yarmouth, offshore Aberdeen and Egypt.
'From Yarmouth we are shipping hi-tech equipment around the world and we need to build the business.'
He also said that in the next couple of years the company would be looking for new premises.