Kris McDonald Q&A

1. What are your responsibilities at Clyde Training Solutions?

As the Training Centre Manager I have a responsibility to ensure Clyde Training Solutions becomes a market leader that not only supports the needs of Industry, but is setting a benchmark for new practices, research and development. I have a team of highly skilled, experienced and competent individuals assisting with this challenge and it’s exciting to work towards providing a service that will change the way emergency response training is delivered. I also hold the responsibility of ensuring our instructional teams have the right support to adapt to industry changes. Mostly, however, I’m responsible to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality of training available, in a safe and enjoyable environment. 

2. What excites you most about Clyde Training Solutions?

This will be the first training centre of its type to open in the Central Belt of Scotland which is very exciting. The new facilities and equipment will be of as high in quality as the training services on offer. Measured with a great deal of focus and determination, it is impossible not to feel a great sense of optimism for the future of marine and oil and gas training in the most populated region of Scotland. 

3. What experience do you bring? 

My experience in the training industry spans over 15 years starting as a training co-coordinator for a national warehouse safety company. I’ve been lucky enough to work in multiple different countries over the years, from leading dive courses, teaching emergency response courses, up to recently spending 4 years in Houston working at the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. It was here where I experienced the challenge of opening an approved training centre with a government agency. Not easy, but proof that if you have the right people supporting, anything is possible. 

4. Are you aware of the maritime history in Clydebank?

I grew up in the North East of England, with my parents both coming from the Wallsend area. Ship building supported the region during that generation and beyond, which is a similar story around the Clydebank area. It’s a great feeling to know that we are investing in an area steeped with Maritime history and hopefully the centre will support the region’s local economy.

5. Have you settled into your new life in Scotland?

Project planning for this centre has been substantial so I have been in my role and living in the country for some time now. Although Scotland perhaps doesn’t enjoy the same summer climate I experienced in Texas, I do feel a close connection to my own Northumberland routes in the Glasgow region which has made it very easy to settle in. It’s just a shame it’s a 3 hour drive to see Newcastle United football matches on the weekends.