Lena Wilson, chairman of the task force said: “There was an overwhelming sense of determination and collaboration from the members of the taskforce at our 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 the 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 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 helping set the foundation for what’s to come.”
The N. Sea benchmark Brent crude oil price has bobbed around a narrow range just below $50-barrel in the past two weeks following a near-60% fall over the past six months, triggering redundancies and causing major oil firms to slash investment in new field.
Later, Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, said: “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 will deliver tangible help to those facing redundancy.”
The energy jobs task force will convene monthly, with the next meeting scheduled for February 26. Round the table at yesterday’s meeting were representatives from:
• Oil and Gas UK
• Wood Group
• ACE Winches
• Global Energy
• Spex Offshore
• Scottish Engineering
• Oil & Gas Authority
• Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce
• Scottish Enterprise
• Scottish Government
• Skills Development Scotland (also representing PACE)
• Scottish Funding Council
• Aberdeen City Council
• Aberdeenshire Council