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Investing in the future of our workforce and expanding our aviation services: Clinton Ledet's training journey

Posted 14 Jun 2023

Clinton Ledet

Swire Energy Services (SES) strives to be at the forefront of aviation support services for the international energy and marine industries, and as the popularity of its offering continues to grow in both North and South America, SES aims to develop the experience of its US division in order to meet the rising demand.

A key member of the aforementioned division is newly promoted Clinton Ledet, who now works as a Helifuel Systems Engineer delivering essential aviation services across the region. Based at their US offices in Houma, Louisiana, SES developed an extensive six-week training plan complete with both practical and theory-based learning that would enhance Clinton’s knowledge and ability to deliver an array of best-in-class aviation services to clients across the region.

In this blog, we met with both Clinton and Aviation Training Coordinator, Liam Shand to learn more about the training and how this has helped Clinton and his team expand SES’s aviation services in the US and beyond.

What was the primary motivation for delivering this training programme?

Liam: “One of the main drivers for investing in this training programme was to make our aviation support services more attainable to customers across North and South America. Of course, SES had experts based in other regions across the globe such as the United Kingdom, where the demand for services, such as refuelling systems, was much higher. Yet, to have these same employees deliver SES’s aviation solutions to customers in North and South America resulted in high travel costs, an increased carbon footprint and ultimately made the projects more time-consuming.

“As Clinton had previous expertise in the aviation industry, he was an ideal candidate to undertake the training. The programme ensures he is well-equipped to deliver Swire’s suite of aviation services to customers across the region. Delivering the training programme in the United Kingdom was the most logical destination - as it’s the busiest region for our aviation services, this meant Clinton would enjoy more time spent offshore while completing on-the-job learning.”

What did the training programme involve?

Liam: “This was actually Clinton’s first time ever leaving the United States, and his first experience of flying. We knew how intense and in-depth the training would be so it was always going to be a bit daunting for Clinton to leave his home for six weeks, so we made sure to give him an abundance of advice and tips just so he felt comfortable and knew exactly what to expect when arriving in Scotland. Needless to say, Clinton experienced all four seasons during his training!

“As for the training itself, the six-week programme incorporated every subject necessary for Clinton to be able to tackle his Helifuel Systems Engineer role and deliver SES’s extensive suite of aviation services. This included a mix of classroom and theory learning where he gained a vast understanding of CAP 437, the design of helifuel systems, and beyond.

“While also completing courses with external partners such as Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET), ECITB Mechanical Joint Integrity MJI10, Swagelok Small Bore Tubing Fitting Installation and Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST), the majority of the programme involved experiential learning where Clinton gained first-hand experience. This included the completion of inspections focussing on helidecks, refuelling systems, and more, while he also gained experience in hose testing, pressure safety valve tests, flow metre calibrations, and all the relevant areas in between.

“The programme provided Clinton with the opportunity to travel across the United Kingdom to a number of bases such as STENA DON, and to Las Palmas where he expertly carried out a complete inspection by himself.”

How did you find the training experience, and what were your biggest takeaways?

Clinton: “My career at SES has spanned over a decade, where I’ve progressed through many departments and positions. Prior to my current job, I was in a logistical role but quickly realised an office-based position wasn’t for me - when this opportunity arose, I just had to grasp it.

“Honestly, it was enlightening. The training experience gave me the perfect opportunity to understand how Swire Energy Services operates around the world - I got to meet an array of fantastic individuals who really helped me gauge how things work in different countries, and how the day-to-day of varying divisions operate.

“The training was nothing short of intense, but for all the right reasons. From the day I landed in Scotland on March 12th, it was clear that this experience was going to take a lot of commitment and determination to get through. The first few days involved both online and classroom training, then it was time to pack my bags and head offshore!

“This of course can sound quite daunting, but to me, it was all very exciting and I wouldn’t have preferred the training to be carried out any other way. The experience has been better than anything I had completed in the past, as this gave me the opportunity to meet and work with individuals who had been working in the industry for decades. The entire process allowed me to witness how SES’s engineers and technicians tackled the inspections that I’ll carry out in the US - this in-person experience was just invaluable and will help me carry out my duties to the same standard.”

Did completing the training in Scotland as opposed to the US positively impact your learning experience?

Clinton: “Definitely! I’m a hands-on type of learner - you can put a manual in front of me that I’ll read front to back, but it just doesn’t compare to working with real people in real scenarios where you can physically see how things work, rather than reading about it on a piece of paper. My preferred way of learning isn’t to watch tutorial videos and read manuals - I really need to just get stuck in which this training opportunity in Scotland granted me.”

Will this experience have a big impact on your role?

Clinton: “Absolutely, as everything I was able to learn during this programme is 100% relevant to the duties and responsibilities I’ll complete within my role. The training has provided me with a fresh perspective on how things should be run on a daily basis which I will undoubtedly refer to back in the US. The eye-opening experience will also help those around me that are in different positions to myself, as I’ll be able to share my learnings and share new perspectives that can enhance the way we do things.”

We invest in our people, which means our customers get the best results

We’re committed to investing in our employees across all regions, which ensures our customers get the same best-in-class experience every time they collaborate with Swire Energy Services.

To discover more about our suite of services, please get in touch with our team.