Transition Training Fund to support individuals and help sector retain talent.
People who face losing their jobs in the oil and gas sector will be helped to transition into other energy industry and manufacturing employment through a new £12 million fund announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The Scottish Government's Transition Training Fund will help maintain the highly skilled energy workforce in the North Sea region by offering grants to individuals to support their redeployment through retraining or further education. It will also help people with the costs of maintaining any licences they need to work in the sector.
The Transition fund will allow bodies like Skills Development Scotland, in conjunction with the Energy Skills Partnership and Energy Technology Partnership, to provide practical training and education that will help people meet the demand for other specialist jobs in the wider sector.
The new fund will augment 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.
The First Minister made the announcement on a visit to Aberdeen, where she met senior executives of BP and other sector figures before attending the latest meeting of the task force.
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 £12 million 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."
This package of support for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire comes days after the Scottish Government committed £125 million to a City Deal for the region.
At the same time, the Scottish Government announced an additional £254 million to improve rail links to the central belt; upgrade trunk roads; improve digital infrastructure and invest in housing. Further details on this investment can be read here - http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/-254-million-boost-to-Aberdeen-21f0.aspx
Further measures to help the sector will be announced by the First Minister during her visit to Aberdeen.