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20th Nov, 2019  |  General News

International Men's Day Series - Jason Miao's Story

Growing up in China in the 1980’s, I was part of the generation that was born under the one child policy.  The general upshot of this generation was that every family wanted their child to be the best.  Expectations were high, we were pushed to work hard and aim for the sky.  My family was no different and being the only child in the family, I quickly came to realise that my parents depended on me.  I wanted to work extra hard so I could achieve not only for myself but to provide a decent life for them too.  During the 16 years I lived in China, I learned that when the stakes are high, you fall behind quickly if you don’t try your best every day to move forward.  “Aim high, be better than last time, and keep trying” was my internal mantra, and still is. At 16 I set out to forge my own path and moved to Canada with a scholarship offered by an international high school program.  Living away from family, continuing my education as an international student without the ability to speak English was very challenging.  It was 3 years before I could comfortably speak the language and probably 7 years before I could joke and have banter in English that allowed me to form real friendships. I became a student of the university of life and what I discovered during my early years in Canada, was that you didn’t have to be the best at everything.  Everybody is different, people have strengths and weaknesses and we’re all allowed to find what we’re good at and what we’re passionate about and build on that. When people hear the challenges I was facing at such a young age, a lot of people ask me how I did it. “Focus, be positive, and remember your purpose in life” is what I always tell them. I’m not going to lie, I’ve not taken the easy route and it has been a struggle.  There have been times in my life when I have felt lonely, and still do sometimes.  I’ve felt frustrated during struggles to get my voice heard whether that be through language barriers or cultural differences. All those feelings are normal, and it is OK to feel them sometimes. However, through my experiences I’ve also learned that no matter what our race, sexuality, background or culture, we’re all human and ultimately we all want the same thing – to take care of the ones we love. This is my core, unflinching belief and it’s what allows me to relate to and have an ease with whoever I meet.  And I would equally love to spread that message to other people through their interactions with me.  I’ve learned that just being a good human, treating others how you would like to be treated, and even showing your own vulnerabilities, gives you a sense of calm.  The more open you can be with people, the more they mirror that back to you.  “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable” has been a motto of mine to keep me going during the tough times and keeps me challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone. Every human, I don’t care who they are, has vulnerabilities.  And it is OK to say no or ask for help if you feel like you can’t deal with something.  A lot of people, and men in particular, can often feel the burden of being surrounded by people who rely on them.  In my case, as the only child in the family, I feel I need to tough it out.  I’ve got to be strong and together no matter what, whether I feel like that on the inside or not.  But there is more damage that can be done by taking this approach, both to our own psyche and wellbeing and to those around us who we think we are trying to protect.  So I guess, for international men’s day, I would like to remind people that it is OK to be NOT OK. Showing vulnerabilities shows your strength of character, not weakness, no matter what gender, race, sexuality, background or culture we are. The rest of my story is still yet to happen.  I’m back in my home country, growing Kentech’s operations here.  I’m shifting back into a different culture and meeting new people. My life lessons continue as I hope they always will, but I know that staying true to my core beliefs will make this next stage of my life a success.

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TAGS: #InternationalMensDay  #IMD19  #Mentalresilience  

19th Nov, 2019  |  General News

International Men's Day Series - Mike Scotland's Story

I was a semi professional footballer, on Sky Sports doing football tricks at the age of 13. I was the sports captain, well respected by my peers and the one charged with keeping whole team together, confident and focused, even during the tough matches. I was a fitness freak who had to run faster, longer and lift heavier weights than everyone else. On the outside I had everything together.  I was the larger than life, fitness expert, burly offshore oil worker, and it was absolutely exhausting. What people didn’t see was that it all felt like an act.  My reasons for needing to be the best did not come from a healthy place and it wasn’t sustainable.  It was a year after my son was born.  I was working offshore on a 3 and 3 rotation and felt like I was struggling to fit into my role as dad and fiancé at home.  I was struggling to get my voice heard at work, my internal anxiety was at an all time high and I broke. It was as much as a shock to me as it was to everyone else and I had to face the truth that I wasn’t OK.  I went to my GP, was given the opportunity to open up, talk about my struggles and was helped to understand what was happening.  I was experiencing deep-rooted depression and anxiety that I’d pushed below the surface for years.  The moment I recognized that and understood it, man, a weight was lifted, and I felt free…and happy for the first time in a long time. One month ago, I launched a private Facebook group called ManUP SpeakUP.  It is a community for people in the industry to get support and advice with their struggles.  The aim of this group is to help battle the stigma surrounding mental health in the offshore and oil and gas industry and to support others through sharing our experiences. Within the space of just one short month we have gained over 400 members, all opening up in a safe space with like-minded men and women from across the industry.  I personally receive 40-50 messages a day from people reaching out for support and I make it my personal mission to respond to each of these people with a message or a phone call.  I can start the day speaking to the mum of a worker struggling in Malta and end the day speaking to the CEO of a major company in Houston, and I love it. The response has been overwhelming, all this time we’ve been stigmatizing people about opening up, when all along so many people were internally crying out for it. I guess my message would be that if you feel like you are struggling to cope with the every day stresses of your life, seeking the help and support of others doesn’t make you weak.  You can relax in the comfort of knowing you are not alone and in simply freeing yourself of the burden by sharing your issues could make the difference for you.  It might just give you the mental strength and resilience to not feel so overwhelmed tomorrow morning, and the day after. I want to help as many people as I can simply by listening and if I can’t offer the support they need, I have a team of mental health professionals ready who can.  My vision for the future, is for this group to become a registered charity, for our numbers to continue to grow and to be able to educate a further team of mental health professionals who can go on and continue to help more and more people going forward.  This is just the beginning. For anyone within the industry who would like to join the group, please visit Facebook Group manUP speakUP, join the conversation and spread the support and positivity.

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TAGS: #manupspeakup  #IMD19  #InternationalMensDay  #Mentalresilience  

18th Nov, 2019  |  General News

Spotlight on Men’s Mental Health: Mental Resilience through Adversity

We, as an industry, have been raising awareness about mental health and the importance of removing stigma for years. We have come a long way - and we can do more, for men in particular. Fact: risk factors that workers encounter such as isolation, extreme physical environments, fatigue, unstable economic conditions, and camp culture can exacerbate underlying mental illnesses and strain mental wellness. Fact: openly discussing life’s challenges, perceived weaknesses and failures, feelings and emotional needs is still challenging for many men for a variety of reasons largely stemming from damaging misconceptions of acceptable masculine behaviour. Fact: that’s nonsense. We need to be teaching our workers to recognize warning signs of depression and anxiety; we need to educate our field supervision in how to start a conversation and pursue the issue when they know something is wrong. We need to cancel the social construct that encourages men to deal with difficulties by becoming angry and turning to substance use to self-medicate. We need to go a step further than this by establishing a culture of “checking-in” with our colleagues and encouraging them to share what’s going on at home and what else may be troubling them. When you ask with the intent to listen, rather than the fake check-in we are tempted to do, it can help identify challenges before people get to a point where it’s affecting their professional life. Mental leading indicators, if you will. But most importantly, we need men to give voice to their experiences. We need our male leaders to show a younger generation that life can be really challenging and asking for extra support, resources and time is allowed (encouraged, even!) Finding the inherent value in sharing men’s stories of struggle, addiction, depression and anxiety with a view to help other men prioritize their own mental wellness could create a step-change in this conversation leading to healthier and happier lives. Kentech is working toward making mental health a part of every risk assessment, a regularly discussed topic during HSE meetings, a given area of support covered through our EAP and an area of continuous improvement. We’re actively pursuing ways to ensure each and every person has access to the support they need when they need it. By teaching young men to unpack their emotional triggers and practice meaningful self-care, we can start to create a shift in perspective in our industry.

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TAGS: #InternationalMensDay  #Mentalresilience  #RemoveTheStigma  #StartTheConversation  

11th Nov, 2019  |  General News

Kentech Launches Joint Venture Partnership with 3T Energy Group

Kentech is delighted to announce that it has entered into a new joint venture partnership with a leading training and technology organisation, 3T Energy Group, to launch a complete mobile training solution for the African energy sector.  3-TECH will offer ‘on-location’ workforce development solutions offering an agile and sustainable way of training workers in remote or challenging environments. Together, 3T and Kentech will unveil mobile, modular training centres, designed to help African countries train local people quickly in industrial skills such as construction, working at height, rigging and more, the centres come fully-fitted with internal training spaces tailored to the needs of local employers. As well as instructor-led training programmes, the centres will offer technology-driven training via simulators, virtual reality and e-learning in internationally accredited standards. The modular construction means each centre can be scaled up or down as required and there are a wide range of optional hubs available to add onto the core offer including dedicated skills centres, accommodation pods and extra classrooms. 3-TECH will also have access to 3T Energy Group’s cutting-edge, connected software solutions which manage workforce development and monitor and report on areas such as safety, compliance, competence and ‘on the job’ performance in real-time on a global scale. The new joint venture will be headed up by newly appointed Vice President, Colin Crowley, who is well known in the global energy sector having worked for the past 25 years in senior executive roles in the oil, gas, construction and mining industries across Africa and the Middle East. Colin Crowley, Vice President of 3-TECH, said: “Africa’s energy sector offers huge potential employment opportunities within local communities but new projects are often in challenging and remote geographic areas making skills development difficult. “3-TECH has been set up to provide agile, supportive, high-quality, safe learning environments which can be quickly and easily dropped into geographical areas where it would be impossible to build traditional training facilities. Within our mobile centres local people will be able to gain invaluable, tailored skills for industry and employers will be able to source the skilled and competent workers they need. “A complete mobile training solution can be designed and delivered quickly on site. This will help African people, regardless of how remote their location, develop vital skills now and in the future, at the same time as enabling companies to access skilled labour locally rather than looking further afield. We are hoping our new complete training solution will have far-reaching social and economic consequences for good and help to boost African growth.” For more information, please visit 3-TECH's website at www.3-tech.com

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TAGS: #3-Tech  #Joint Venture  #Africa  #Training Solutions  

8th Aug, 2019  |  General News

Kentech Appoints New Global Service Line Director for TMM

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Phil Johnson as Global Service Line Director for Turnaround, Maintenance & Modifications (TMM).  Phil and the TMM global team have worked tirelessly to complete Kentech’s TMM Value Proposition and are now excited to bring a better, digital approach to asset performance management, something we believe delivers an offering like no others in the marketplace. With a background in electrical engineering and a long career history, the last 7 years of which have involved heading up Kentech’s operations in Asia Pacific, Phil is excited to take on the challenge in this next step of his successful career.  He commented “Kentech is a company made up of long serving employees who genuinely believe in the ability of our core values to generate value for all our stakeholders, with our clients sitting front and centre. The TMM team is extremely strong, and growing every day.  With a highly skilled, digitally enabled workforce, a network of industry experts and an extensive body of knowledge, we can confidently say that we can achieve more for our clients at a lower cost”. Commenting on the developments within the TMM service line, John Gilley, Kentech COO, said “When the TMM Global Director position became available, we ran a process to find a replacement but there was always going to be only one winner.  Having worked with Phil for over 7 years and witnessed the effects he has on projects and regions under his charge, I had little doubt that he would inject the same energy into a Global Service Line.  Phil brings with him a hard but fair attitude and instils a culture of empowerment and respect in every team he has nurtured”. We would like to wish Phil and his team every success for the future in Kentech.

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TAGS: #TMM  #Staff Appointment