Welcome to Meet Our Geoquip, our regular blog series featuring employee insights from across Geoquip Marine. This regular feature is an opportunity for the many diverse voices working in both on offshore and onshore teams to share their story, provide insights into their role in the company and offer advice to those looking to begin or continue their career in geotechnical engineering.

Today’s post features Steve Bartlett, a Training and Competence Coordinator who helps train and develop staff both onshore and offshore on our vessels. We would like to thank Steve for taking the time to share his story with us.

Can you tell us about your role at Geoquip Marine?

Initially, my role was to be responsible for the development and execution of the training and competency system of Geoquip Marine on a worldwide basis, to ensure that the training required by colleagues within the business was completed in an appropriate timeframe and that we are compliant in all areas regarding skills, qualifications and training throughout the company and according to role. My responsibilities also include managing the tracking, monitoring and reporting of this information and where required, deal with any queries relating to this area.

Recently, I have seen my role develop into not just training and compliance (which are still the core fundamentals of our business) but into learning and development, often working closely with senior leaders and potential training providers in identifying training needs and gaps and ways to improve what we offer our people in both courses and personal and professional development. I have designed and delivered new bespoke training courses, worked with TPs to bring new, fresh and dynamic learning and development packages to our colleagues both onshore and offshore.

What inspired you to follow a career path into training and competence, and then into the geotechnical engineering industry?

I have been delivering training, learning and development for many years both as a job and on a voluntary basis, sometimes as the main role and often as a secondary role within my place of work. There is a certain sense of personal gratification from knowing that you were able to impart some knowledge to an individual that has assisted in allowing them to improve, enhance and often progress within their chosen fields. I have learnt a great deal over the years from groups and individuals that I have taught, and this two-way transfer of knowledge has assisted me in my own development.

It is hard to describe to someone not in training or L&D how much work goes into delivering a good training or educational program, nor the satisfaction when you get to observe first-hand the moment your audience gain that knowledge you are trying to impart, so that is why I followed my career path. While I had a very limited knowledge of the offshore geotechnical industry, the Training and Competence Coordinator role at Geoquip Marine offered me the opportunity to apply my skills and learn new ones, so I jumped at the opportunity to engage in a new and exciting field – and I have not stopped learning since.

What do you enjoy most about working in a learning and development role in with offshore and onshore employees?

Every day is a learning day! Whether I am in the office talking to my colleagues in varying fields and having them take the time to let me understand what they do or engaging directly with our project colleagues on our vessels, the flow of information is always two-way. For every piece of data, information, practice I can offer them, they are always willing to listen to and answer my questions in return.

To listen to the feedback from two very different work environments and be able to engage with senior leaders to find the right learning and development package for them is often a thought-provoking task. It is a role that touches many areas of the business at once and I am very fortunate to be able to do so in a positive way.

What are the key skills or attributes you need to be successful in a role such as yours?

Communication is the number one skill required in this role, whether listening to the views, concepts and opinions of others or explaining, clarifying and sharing those views and your own. In my opinion, you must be open not just to new ideas and concepts but also to feedback both the positive and constructive. When I deliver a new course, I often ask for open and constructive feedback. While you could take that personally, it is important to remember that constructive feedback enables you to improve and enhance what you are offering. To have an open mind is essential as we operate a diverse, multi-cultural workforce with different ways of thinking and communicating and you must be able to openly engage with everyone to attain the best for all.

What advice would you give someone who is considering a career with Geoquip Marine?

Go for it! Geoquip Marine is a growing, multi-cultural, diverse and dynamic international organisation with fresh ideas, concepts and with very strong core values built around its people. Much of the change I have been involved in delivering is not just in delivering our exceptional safety message, but in delivering the message that our people are the core of what we do, and we are very much invested in them. There is a lot to learn but also the opportunity to grow and to give in return.

Finally, do you have any hobbies or passions outside of your work? Please tell us about them.

I am an accredited Duke of Edinburgh Leader, Supervisor and Assessor – which I have done for the last eight years, often fitting it into my outdoors lifestyle. Give me a fishing rod, a hill to walk up or a dojo to train in and I am quite happy. I have taught martial arts for over 15 years, specifically Shotokan Karate; at one point, I even owned my own club for nine years. Chill time is always family time, either out and about, digging in the dirt with the kids at our allotment or enjoying a movie.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Steve!

If you would like to learn more about our offshore geotechnical site investigations, click here. You can also visit our Careers area and browse our latest vacancies and career opportunities.