The Scottish government is to provide support and training to those people who face losing their jobs in the oil and gas sector through the Transition Training Fund.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the £12M delivered through the newly created Transition Training Fund will help those affected to make the transition into other energy and manufacturing industries.
It is hoped the fund will help to maintain the skilled energy workforce in the North Sea region by providing grants to people to undertaking retraining or pursuing further education. Help will also be given to individuals with the costs of continuing any licences they are required to hold to work in the sector.
The Transition fund will enable bodies like Skills Development Scotland, in conjunction with the Energy Skills Partnership and Energy Technology Partnership, to give practical training and education that will help people qualify for other specialist jobs in the wider sector.
The First Minister said: “There is no doubt that the conditions facing the North Sea oil and gas sector are extremely challenging and the downturn in the oil prices is having a very real impact on the workforce, with significant and hugely concerning job losses.
“This is not just distressing for those individuals affected; it has a wider impact on the industry, with the risk that the highly skilled workforce is lost to the sector as they look for opportunities elsewhere.
“It is therefore absolutely crucial that we take every possible action to retain the expertise that the industry has built up over decades so that it remains flexible enough to capitalise on exploration investment and future oil price rises.
“That is why I have announced a new £12M Transition Training Fund to provide financial support to individuals as they retrain or undertake new education to allow them to take on specialist roles elsewhere in the energy industry and related roles in the manufacturing sector.
“This fund will augment the work of the Energy Jobs Taskforce, which is already providing much-needed help to people affected by redundancy by working with bodies such as Skills Development Scotland to support redeployment and training.”
The new fund will support the work of the Scottish Government’s Energy Jobs Taskforce, which is already providing support through the PACE process and other measures such as the Adopt an Apprentice initiative.