Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond launched an industry-led skills academy for the energy industry on Monday backed up with £900,000 of public funding.
The Nigg Skills Academy (NSA), which has been built at the Nigg Energy Park, has attracted £1.8 million from Highlands & Island Enterprise (HIE) for development of the site.
It will be operated for a 12-month pilot period, supported by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and HIE, providing 290 modern apprenticeships (MAs) and general training for some 3000 engineers, operators, technicians and project managers.
The Centre will support both the oil and gas industry, which received a boost in the recent budget, and the emerging renewable energy sector.
A report out this week from Scottish Renewables says that the renewables sector alone in Scotland already supports 11,000 jobs and is set to grow.
“With some one trillion pounds of oil and gas reserves remaining and huge export opportunities for supply chain companies, Scotland’s offshore energy sector remains vibrant, while our burgeoning renewables sector is set to reindustrialise communities across Scotland,” commented Salmond.
“Nigg has one of the world’s largest dry docks and its workforce has been responsible for some of the biggest energy-related structures ever built, so it is well positioned to host the Skills Academy pilot,” he added. “The energy industry needs continued access to world-class talent to meet Scotland’s global energy ambitions.”
The Scottish Government has already committed to fund 2000 MAs specifically in the energy and climate change industries up to 2014 and to put £2 million into supporting over 1000 energy/low carbon training places over next year.
Meanwhile, energy company E.ON has announced a £100,000 funding package to support 100 energy efficiency apprenticeships.
The company says it is looking to recruit 16-24 year-olds from across England and Wales to be trained as external wall insulation installers, which has been identified by the government as one of the key technologies needed by the flagship Green Deal scheme.
For further information:
Renewables sector supports 11,000 Scottish jobs, finds report (30-Mar)
Gamesa to invest €150 million in Scottish offshore wind turbine facility (26-Mar)
Scotland welcomes £1 billion renewables investment (9-Mar)
Samsung chooses Scotland for £100 million turbine venture (1-Feb)
30 March 2012