Offshore group invested £1.4m in training as focus shifts from oil & gas to renewables

3Sun Group has invested £1.4m in training in the past year, its accounts show. Picture: Alan O'Neill

3Sun Group has invested £1.4m in training in the past year, its accounts show. Picture: Alan O'Neill. - Credit: Archant

Offshore services company 3Sun has invested more than £1.4m in staff training to meet existing and future contracts.

The investment came in a year when 3sun Group delivered a profit (EBITDA) of £455,000 on a turnover of £26.29m in the year to the end of March 2017.

The figures represent an improvement on the previous year, when the company posted an EBITDA loss of £696,000 on a £24.15m turnover, as the oil and gas downturn hit.

The Great Yarmouth-based company's chief financial officer, Sam Copeman, said the previous year had been a tough year with the oil price falling, coupled with the renewables industry looking to cut supply chain costs to bring its overall costs down.

He described the spend on training as 'a very important investment in the future of the business', as the company goes from a 50/50% split between oil and gas contracts and renewables contracts, to a 15/85% split in favour of renewables.

'This evolution is a great achievement and while this has been a challenging period, it has been successfully navigated thanks to the hard work and commitment of the entire workforce,' he said.

3Sun Group estimates that it provides 5% of offshore wind jobs in the UK, and 40% of its workforce across the UK and northern Europe is based in Norfolk.

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The company has trained 24 apprentices and has 10 currently in training, including four from its pre-apprenticeship programme and six business administration apprentices.

Mr Copeman acknowledged the oil and gas work had been impacted by low oil prices but added its 'work pipeline is improving week by week' and would supplement a 'record renewables pipeline that is also expected to grow further'.