Scotland: GBP 2 Million Energy Challenge Fund to Provide Training Boost for Employers

Scotland: GBP 2 Million Energy Challenge Fund to Provide Training Boost for Employers

Employers across Scotland will benefit from a major investment designed to meet the skills and training needs of the burgeoning energy industry.

The £2 million Energy Challenge Fund, managed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), will see the creation of an extra 1,000 flexible training places for Scotland’s energy and low carbon sector.

Bids are being sought from firms and training organisations to develop provision and co-ordinate recruitment onto tailored courses designed to fast-track people into the sector.  These short transition courses will help mature workers and new graduates to fill energy related vacancies.

Damien Yeates, Chief Executive, Skills Development Scotland said:

“If we are to meet future demand and help the energy and low carbon sector to prosper then it is crucial that we offer the support and funding needed to provide the type of training opportunities the industry demands. By developing shorter, more flexible sector-specific training we will help Scotland’s energy industry to grow in strength and productivity.”

Scotland has significant advantages in the energy sector. The Energy Challenge Fund is aligned to SDS’s Energy Skills Investment Plan, published last March. It sets out ambitious proposals which have already supported initiatives such as the Nigg Skills Academy, and the Low Carbon Skills Fund.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing added:

“Scotland leads the world in energy, and our skills and experience mean we have been able to successfully use skills developed in the oil and gas sector in our renewable energy industry.

“The Scottish Government is committed to listening to the needs of industry and this fund has been developed in direct response to increasing demands from the energy sector for shorter, more flexible training opportunities.

“The Challenge Fund will deliver practical solutions to the skill challenges faced by the sector and will focus specifically on transition training, enabling entrants with associated experience and generalist qualifications to enter the energy sector.”

The fund builds on the Scottish Government’s on-going commitment to fund 500 Modern Apprenticeship starts in the energy and low carbon sectors every year until 2014.

The procurement process for the delivery of the Challenge Fund is now underway with bids invited through Procurement Scotland, with the closing date of September 7, 2012.

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Offshore WIND staff, August 24, 2012; Image: Skills Development Scotland

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