Pay and holidays are main attraction for offshore workers at Ceona

Ceona, which started life as the Offshore Installation Group in 2010 before being rebranded in 2011, is a new player in the oil and gas market.

The London-based organisation, which now has 76 employees, has offshore sites in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the Norwegian continental shelf and West Africa.

Dave Mackay, offshore construction manager at Ceona, says remuneration and holidays, with employees receiving up to six months’ leave per year, are major attractions for recruits. “Generally, there are two main drivers for those who choose to work offshore as a career: money and holidays,” he says.

The chance to see the world and experience different cultures is seen as another big draw.

Working conditions have also improved in recent years and the health, wellbeing and safety of staff is now paramount. “Gone are the days when up to 16 men were crammed into one large cabin,” says Mackay. “As an employer, you must aim to maintain the standards your staff are used to in normal life.”

Ceona offers gym facilities, cinemas and internet cafés to all staff and runs regular site-specific safety training courses and risk assessments.

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However, the benefits offered to offshore staff are still quite limited. “Most offshore workers are contract staff who don’t benefit as much from additional perks,” says Mackay. “Permanent staff are generally paid less pro rata, but get traditional benefits such as pensions and private medical insurance.”

In the longer term, training and career development are encouraged to aid staff retention. “We try to give people a clear career path and show them that our organisation is one in which they can progress and make the most of their ability,” says Mackay.