Increased opportunities for former armed services personnel, says IMES manager

13 Nov 2014

A former Royal Marine has swapped 25 years of military life for a career overseeing 
multi-million pound projects for clients in the oil and gas industry.  


Paul Basford is a project manager at IMES, a leading marine and subsea company, headquartered in Aberdeen, providing load life cycle management solutions to the oil and gas, defence and industrial markets.  

In his current role, Paul is responsible for supervising complex contracts for clients across a wide range of industry sectors, including oil and gas.

Now Paul is encouraging more people from an armed forces background to consider a career in the industry.

He said: “At times, it can be difficult for people coming from diverse backgrounds to get a foot in the door without possessing the necessary oil and gas experience. There seems to be a trend developing in recent years however, whereby companies are increasingly looking at former armed services personnel as an alternative source of talent.

“People from either a military or emergency services background can bring a wealth of skills and experience that simply can’t be taught elsewhere.

“This includes a number of transferable abilities: from technical knowledge to soft skills such as teamwork and even a different way of looking at common problems.”

Having initially joined the Royal Marines as an 18-year old, Paul completed 25 years’ service; during which time he served in the Falkland Islands, Northern Iraq, Northern Ireland, and the former Yugoslavia.

Although he was primarily based in the UK, Paul trained and operated in 36 different countries throughout his career – often spending several months at a time overseas. Paul later played a key role in the design and establishment of a Marine training complex in the Middle East which helped to develop his project management skills.

Paul (52) added: “There are a growing number of initiatives available, such as The Network Aberdeen, which aim to encourage former military personnel to transfer their skills into the energy industry.

“These can help provide individuals with the information and skills needed to kick-start their career in the industry, as well as advice on how best to adapt their existing knowledge to a new working environment.

“It takes a great deal of specialist knowledge to be successful in the oil and gas sector but given the proper training and the relevant industry qualifications, there is no reason former servicemen and women couldn’t play a key role in the industry and the associated supply chain for many years to come.”

IMES has a proven track record in recruiting personnel from an armed forces background. In particular, a number of existing members of staff have previously served in the Royal Navy.

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