CompEx course leads Dale to new career

Dale Gordon

CompEx course leads Dale to new career

Signing up for a CompEx course helped former Dalzell steelworks apprentice Dale Gordon turn the pain of redundancy into hope for a new career.

Dale (19) from Newarthill, but who now lives in Lanark, had been working at the Tata owned plant in Motherwell as a third year Electrical Maintenance Apprentice when its closure was announced at the end of last year.

However, Dale was determined to be proactive in his new employment search and was quick to see the potential of signing up for a CompEx 01-04 Hazardous Areas electrical safety training course at Forth Valley College in Falkirk. On the back of that he has now secured a job with petro-chemical giants INEOS – based at Grangemouth – as a second year Electrical and Instrumentation Modern Apprentice.

Dale, said:

“To be honest it wasn’t a big surprise when the announcement that the Dalzell was closing was made. Everyone had known that the steel industry in the UK had been under pressure for a while.

“It was with that in mind that I had been looking around to see what I would be best suited to. I didn’t want to leave the Dalzell as I liked working there, but I had to start thinking about the future.

“I had heard good things from family members and friends about the five day CompEx course at Forth Valley College and in looking at job descriptions in my line of work, it would be essential that I have this qualification on my CV.

“The course was booked and paid for through Tata and I thank them for that. It was a great course if you are keen and want to put the work in and it opens a lot of doors and opportunities. But it is quite hard, so if you do pass it, it is a feather in your cap.

“The facilities were good, tidy and clean and the lecturers are very helpful. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has been in a similar position to me being made redundant and looking to move into a slightly different line of work. It depends on what you want to do, but I think it is a really good fit for electrical engineers from the steel industry to come and give CompEx courses a go, as there are so many industries and sectors that need you to have this qualification.

“I am now really looking forward to this new experience with INEOS and hopefully a long career in the oil and gas industry. I can’t wait to get started.”

FVC CompEx Instructor James Tempany, said: "Dale is a fine example of a young person willing to learn and achieve the necessary skills which he will need to complete his apprenticeship and finally be considered a competent person. He has a very good positive attitude which will help him in his career and also benefit his new employer INEOS.”

Forth Valley College has an outstanding reputation for ‘Making Learning Work’ and prides itself on being an approved centre for CompEx delivering the best possible range of accredited electrical courses.

Based upon the IEC Standards, primarily IEC 60079: Parts 10; 14 & 17, CompEx is the global solution for Competency Validation and Certification for Electrotechnical & Mechanical craftspersons who need to develop and demonstrate their competency in the selection, installation, inspection and maintenance of electrical and mechanical equipment in potentially explosive atmospheres, through an internationally industry recognised and certificated core competency validation scheme.

CompEx underpinning knowledge and assessment units on offer at Forth Valley College are CompEx Foundation, CompEx 01-04 and CompEx Refresher for operatives working in Hazardous Areas (Gases & Vapours) and CompEx 05-06 for operatives working in Hazardous Areas (Combustible Dusts).

For more information on CompEx courses call 01324 403173 or e-mail


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