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North Sea job matching action planned

Energy jobs Taskforce to convene monthly with next meeting on 26 February

Action to alleviate the impact of the current oil price on jobs was discussed at the first meeting of the Energy Jobs Taskforce which took place in Aberdeen yesterday (Wednesday, January 28).

A range of ideas were considered at yesterday’s meeting and immediate action will be taken to translate this into tangible outcomes. Anyone facing immediate redundancy should call the PACE helpline (0800 917 8000), and work is underway to put in place an effective way to match those facing redundancy with opportunities elsewhere.

The inaugural meeting of Scotland's Energy Jobs Taskforce, formed by the First Minister, met to set out its stall to safeguard jobs in Scotland's internationally renowned oil and gas sector. It has been agreed that the Taskforce will convene monthly, with the next meeting scheduled for February 26.

The meeting which saw a strong group from across the public and private sectors formed quickly reinforcing the determination of the industry to ensure Scotland retains skills and talent which supports the sector in Scotland and overseas.

In addition, a large scale PACE event is being planned and will take place in the near future. The event will take place in Aberdeen and will bring together key organisations who provide advice and support for those facing redundancy. This includes advice ranging from further training and learning, to starting up their own businesses.

Lena Wilson, chair of the Taskforce said yesterday: 

"There was an overwhelming sense of determination and collaboration from the members of the taskforce at today's first meeting.

"Whilst there's recognition that the industry both at home and internationally has major challenges ahead, the group has absolute confidence in the strength and resilience of the sector and is acutely aware of the future opportunities this industry will provide.

"The aim of this taskforce is to safeguard the decades of skills and experience built up whilst helping to put in place the most effective and efficient operating environment for the industry to ensure it is even stronger and internationally competitive as the oil price begins to recover.

“There were some great ideas shared at today’s meeting and there will be swift progress in turning these into tangible actions. We have a helpline available for those facing redundancy, will be launching an online presence and will be delivering a large employability event in Aberdeen in the near future. There's plenty that can be done to reduce impact and further develop Scotland's strength in the sector by working shoulder to shoulder through this tough period and today's first meeting was very helpful in setting the foundation for what's to come."

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the first meeting of the Energy Jobs Taskforce, saying:

“The calibre and breadth of expertise of the Energy Jobs Taskforce members shows that we have the right people for the job round the table, working together to help those who will feel the pinch in falling oil prices the most.

"There is a real risk that the current fall in the oil price will lead to the premature decommissioning of assets and the loss of highly skilled workers. The Scottish Government, along with public sector partners, industry representative and commercial companies are doing what we can and within this context, I think it is vital that the UK Government acts now.

“I welcome the constructive discussions and actions that have come out of the first meeting and I am confident that the Taskforce, chaired by Lena Wilson, will deliver tangible help to those facing redundancy.”

Notes To Editors

Confirmed members of the Taskforce include senior representatives from:

  • Scottish Enterprise (also representing Scottish Development International and Highlands and Islands Enterprise)
  • Scottish Government
  • Skills Development Scotland (also representing PACE)
  • Scottish Funding Council
  • Aberdeen City Council
  • Aberdeenshire Council
  • Schlumberger
  • STUC
  • Oil and Gas UK
  • BP
  • Taqa
  • Aker
  • Wood Group
  • AMEC
  • Petrofac
  • ACE Winches
  • Global Energy
  • Spex Offshore
  • Scottish Engineering
  • Oil & Gas Authority
  • DECC
  • Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce
  • OPITO

The Taskforce will be chaired by Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Lena Wilson and will report to the Scottish Energy Advisory Board, which will continue to be co-chaired by the First Minister and Professor Jim McDonald. Job Centre Plus and the Department of Work and Pensions are represented on the taskforce via PACE and SDS.

The Scottish Government continues to support the oil and gas industry. In 2013/14, funding from Scottish Enterprise to the oil and gas sector was £15.1million. The Scottish Government has continued to ring-fence 500 Modern Apprenticeships for the energy sector in each year of the current parliament.

Further details of the Aberdeen Cabinet will be announced in due course.

Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) is the Scottish Government’s initiative dedicated to helping individuals and employers with the advice and support they need when faced with redundancy.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) delivers PACE on behalf of the Scottish Government in conjunction with other key partners. In addition to the National PACE Team, there are 18 local PACE Teams across Scotland to ensure speedy and effective responses to redundancy situations.

PACE offers free and impartial advice and is available to all individuals affected by redundancy, no matter the size of the business or how many employees are involved. PACE also works with insolvency practitioners to provide support where a business has gone into administration or liquidation.

PACE support is tailored to meet individual needs and local circumstances and includes: one to one counselling; information on rights and entitlements, benefits entitlement and tax calculation; help with job search; CV writing, application forms and covering letters; preparation for interviews; identifying learning and training opportunities; starting up a business; making the most of your money; and coping with redundancy related stress.

 

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