INDUSTRIAL services contractor Bilfinger Salamis is working with temporary hotel provider Snoozebox to provide accommodation for energy industry workers looking to brush up on qualifications.

Bilfinger said its skills and safety training centre in Aberdeen is in need of a dedicated site to put up clients as a large portion come from outside the north-east. Around 8,500 people attend courses there every year with more than 70 per cent of those not part of the Bilfinger group.

An expansion of its service offering is planned in 2015 but the company believes the start of work on the Aberdeen bypass will exacerbate the shortage of accommodation options in the city. As a result it has submitted plans to Aberdeen Council for a modular hotel, using shipping containers, which would have 80 ensuite bedrooms.

The skills centre manager Wendy Stephan said: "We have a large number of delegates travelling from outside Aberdeen to attend courses at the Skills Centre, with many coming from the central belt, or the north of England.

"With plans to widen the scope of our training with additional courses, we are facing a real problem when it comes to finding accommodation for these visitors, so we are looking at alternative options."

Bilfinger said it plans to keep the facility, in the Bridge of Don area, open for five years with the daily housekeeping to be undertaken by AIM-listed Snoozebox. Snoozebox's portable hotels have already been deployed at the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Edinburgh Festivals this year. It also has experience of the oil and gas sector having previously provided a facility for Global Energy Group at its Nigg yard.

Bilfinger Salamis UK managing director Graham Hayward said: "Our proposals would present a sustainable solution to this problem, and one which will allow us to expand our skills centre offering to further address the skills shortage issue in the energy industry."