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More than 600 new training places for the energy sector

11 October 2013

  • SDS Press Release Archive

New Energy Skills Scotland Director announces first phase of funding to help plug energy skills gaps

More than 600 people will be trained to join the energy sector across Scotland this year thanks to an additional £1.5m Government fund investment designed to help plug skills gap in the sector.

The Energy Skills Challenge Fund meets essential energy skills and training needs and is being delivered through Energy Skills Scotland (ESS), which was announced by the First Minister in May and managed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

Following on from the success of the pilot programme last year, the first phase of funding this year will see the creation of an extra 611 transition training places for new sector entrants.

Providers from across the country have received funding to develop tailored training and co-ordinate recruitment onto courses designed to provide qualifications and jobs for technicians and professionals looking to transfer to work within the energy sector. They include: Dundee College, Dumfries & Galloway College, Fife College, Orkney College, Opito and ECITB.

As part of the package, these short transition courses will help experienced workers to upskill and secure energy related vacancies with companies including Rigmar Fabrication Ltd, CIET (UK) Ltd, Bi-Fab, Petrofac, Doosan Power System and AMEC.

Announcing the list of successful bids, ESS Director Mike Duncan said: "My new role within ESS has a clear remit to work with employers and training providers, to simplify and improve access to learning and skills provision within Scotland's energy sector.

"The delivery of the Energy Skills Challenge Fund is just one element in this process, as it responds to sector demand for new skilled workers in the sector over the coming months and years.

 "The successful bidders will focus on delivering training solutions to help the sector to grow in strength and productivity, providing significant support to match employer's training demands and skills requirements."

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP said: "The Scottish Government has responded directly to the needs of the sector by expanding the development of this fund, which has been designed to deliver practical solutions to the skill challenges faced and to focus specifically on transition training, aligned to job creation.

"The fund will enable entrants with associated experience and generalist qualifications to enter the energy sector and deliver practical solutions to the skill challenges faced by the sector.

"To keep pace with our potential, we must continue developing our talent and skills supply and we must ensure Scotland has the capacity to deliver the qualified workforce the industry needs."

The fund is aligned to SDS's Energy Skills Investment Plan, published in March 2011. It sets out ambitious proposals which have already supported initiatives such as the Nigg Skills Academy, the Low Carbon Skills Fund and on the Scottish Government's ongoing commitment to fund 500 Modern Apprenticeship starts in the energy and low carbon sectors every year until 2014.

The procurement process for the delivery of phase 2 of the Energy Skills Challenge Fund is now under way with bids invited through Procurement Scotland and the closing date is 25 October 2013 at noon.



Fiona Riddell, External Communications

SDS Communications

T: 0141 285 6127

M: 07866 167999




About Energy Skills Scotland:

Led by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and reporting to the Energy Skills Action Group, ESS is the umbrella brand for all public sector bodies working in the skills and education arena.

ESS will provide a focal point for industry to access skills support for oil and gas, renewables, thermal generation, grid transmission and carbon capture & storage (CCS).

It will build on the activities already developed from the Energy Skills Investment Plan and work with employers and partners across the energy sector to identify and address emerging skills priorities.

ESS will work with industry to boost collaboration and talent flow into and across the energy sector - driving specific work to encourage and support more women, young people and mid-career professionals into the industry.

ESS's initial projects include:

  • A new Oil & Gas Academy for Scotland (OGAS) - a collaboration between six universities and colleges
  • Creating an online Energy Skills Scotland Gateway - a 'one-stop-shop' for information on skills and training support available and updated information on skills demands and emerging opportunities across energy sectors.
  • Delivery of new transitional training places to 'up-skill' mid-career professionals looking to transfer to work in the energy sector
  • Improvements to facilities and delivering addition energy skills courses at Heriot-Watt University and Forth Valley College
  • A wind turbine technician training college courses across a number of hubs in Scotland.