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AMEC Offshore Developments has become the first company to become an approved training centre for the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB).The UK company has invested £750,000 in training a team of offshore assessors.They will audit the competence of the company's offshore workforce as part of new Health and Safety Executive regulations introduced in the wake of the Cullen inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster.ECITB chief executive Peter Griffiths said: 'A lot has been said about adopting national standards but not many have come to grips with it. We need companies like Amec to blaze a trail.'As part of the programme, work is expected to start this month on a £1 million training facility next to Amec Offshore's Aberdeen headquarters.General manager Mike Straughen says: 'We are currently evaluating tenders. We expect to be laying the foundations around the end of February or beginning of March and to have the building finished by the autumn.'Since the programme began, Amec has trained some 60 workplace assessors who have audited the competence of around 200 colleagues to the standard required by the ECITB.Mr Straughen says: 'We have 1,000 more to be assessed and we hope to complete this work by July.'We will also be offering the facility to our own subcontractors and may eventually offer it to the wider offshore contracting industry and even to our major competitors.' CONSTRUCTION NEWS