Future energy skills
New blueprint to attract new entrants into key industry.
Training more young people and women will help ensure the future prosperity of Scotland’s multi-billion pound energy sector.
That is the message at the heart of the refreshed Energy Skills Investment Plan published by Skills Development Scotland (SDS). The report outlines priorities for the sector, developed collaboratively with both industry and public sector partners, and includes the following actions:
- Exploring more flexible working practices to encourage more female trainees
- Improved promotion of science, technology and engineering careers in school
- Increased work experience and placement opportunities
- Better scope for professional development and promotion
- Increased promotion of Modern Apprenticeships (MA) within the sector.
Publication of the Plan follows a cautious welcome for last week’s UK budget where significant changes to the North Sea tax regime were announced. Whilst acknowledging the long overdue ‘U-turn’ on the tax regime the Scottish Government called for more work focused on boosting investment and growth in the oil and gas sector.
The publication yesterday coincided with the third meeting of the Energy Jobs Taskforce, chaired by Scottish Enterprise Chief, Lena Wilson. The taskforce which brings together senior industry figures, trade unions and public sector organisation is working to retain the talent and skills in the sector as well as provide support to people facing redundancy.
Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham on a visit to sector suppliers Hydrasun in Aviemore said yesterday:
“Scotland’s energy sector supports thousands of jobs around the country and is vital to our future economic growth and developing our infrastructure. It is therefore crucial that we ensure that our oil, gas and renewable companies are getting the right people into the right jobs.
“Recent months have shown that even the most significant industry requires support to protect jobs and investment. While we welcome the overdue changes to the North Sea tax regime announced by the UK government last week, for some it is too late and jobs have already been lost. Improved skills are paramount to the next steps on oil and gas exploration with a number of new projects under consideration.
“We know that the sector will continue to provide high quality career opportunities for the next generation of young Scots. With the creation of Energy Skills Scotland, increased MAs and graduates in the sector and a variety of skills funds aimed at bringing more people into the sector we have come far.
“Today’s report has been backed by industry, education and enterprise and pulls together a range of actions to ensure we can plan for a prosperous future. We need greater awareness of career opportunities at a younger age, more energy MAs as part of our move towards 30,000 each year from 2020 and an end to the outdated idea that engineering and science is just for boys.
“Skills Development Scotland will continue to work closely with employers and relevant bodies to ensure that the actions identified are taken forward collaboratively with industry and that Scotland’s energy sector has the right skills for its future growth and prosperity.”
Neville Prentice, Senior Director of Service Development and Delivery at SDS, added:
“This plan offers firms of all sizes across the energy sector an opportunity to put skills and workforce development at the centre of their growth strategies.
“For a long time the sector has had to cope with skills shortages, with companies reporting recruitment difficulties in a number of key disciplines.
“Taking the right action now will put the sector in a good position to face up to future challenges, and to capitalise as fully as possible on future opportunities.”
Notes To Editors
The Skills Investment Plan for Scotland’s energy sector can be found at here.
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