£1 million boost for Energy Skills Challenge Fund to bridge skills gap

More people are to be given the chance to pursue a career in the energy sector thanks to £1 million of additional support.

sds logoThe Energy Skills Challenge Fund, funded by the Scottish Government, aims to help experienced workers to improve their skillls and gain qualifications suited to working in the energy sector.

Now in its third year, the fund is administered by Energy Skills Scotland, part of Skills Development Scotland, with training providers now being invited to bid for funding.

Diane Hill, Project Manager for SDS, said:

“In the past two years, the Energy Skills Challenge Fund has given a diverse range of workers, from pipe-fitters to professional divers, the chance to enhance their skills in order to secure work in the energy sector.

“These short transitional courses are an ideal gateway to the energy industry and have proven popular with people from across Scotland and from many different walks of life.

“We are now hoping to build on this success, and are excited to make the next round of funding available to training providers.”

The fund is part of Energy Skills Scotland’s remit to work with employers and training providers to improve access to learning and skills provision within the sector, helping to ensure a talent pool capable of meeting the sector’s future needs.

In the last two years it has funded courses aimed at people working in other sectors such as construction, manufacturing, project management and customer service who want to transfer their skills to the energy sector.

It has helped people gain entry to the energy sector after a period of unemployment, and to use qualifications in other disciplines in the sector.

The fund is also aligned with SDS’s Energy Skills Investment Plan which over the last three years has seen a wide range of actions undertaken, from promoting opportunities for people considering career changes to increasing the amount of flexible training available.

Diane added: “There remains a great deal of work to be done by the energy industry and its partners to ensure its future skills needs are met, but schemes such as the Energy Skills Challenge Fund show that we are engaged in this task.”

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