Careers in the energy industry are to be made more accessible thanks to a £1 million fund aimed at bridging the sector’s skills gap.
The Energy Skills Challenge Fund, funded by the Scottish Government, aims to help experienced workers improve their skills and gain qualifications suited to working in the energy sector. Now five colleges and training providers are to benefit from the funding, allowing for a series of transition training courses to be offered at locations around Scotland.
Dumfries and Galloway College, Dundee and Angus College, Forth Valley College, West College Scotland and Nigg Skills Academy will each offer courses suitable for people wanting to work in different parts of the energy sector.
The fund, which is administered by Energy Skills Scotland, part of Skills Development Scotland (SDS), is now its third year, having developed a track record of offering practical routes into the energy industry.
Mike Duncan, Director of Energy Skills Scotland, said:
“The Energy Skills Challenge Fund has played an important role in boosting the talent pool open to all parts of the energy industry, from oil and gas to renewables to distribution networks.
“The strength of these short, accessible training courses is that they offer an ideal gateway for skilled workers from many walks of life who are keen on making the most of their skills in the energy sector.
“This latest round of funding will help more people make that switch, and will be welcomed by employers across the sector who have a continuing need for fresh talent.”
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 previous 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.
“The Scottish Government has responded directly to the needs of the sector through continued support for the Energy Skills Challenge Fund which is designed to deliver practical solutions to the skill challenges faced and to focus specifically on transition training, aligned to job creation.
“The fund will make it possible for 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 fully unleash Scotland’s potential, we must continue to develop our talent and skills supply and ensure we have the capacity to deliver the qualified workforce the industry needs.”
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.
The procurement process for the second phase of this year’s fund is also now underway, with bids being invited from training providers. Details can be accessed at Public Contracts Scotland.
Pictured is Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP