12th October 2022
OPITO, the global safety and skills organisation for the energy industry, has been awarded £5 million from The Scottish Government’s Just Transition Fund to support the delivery of an Energy Skills Passport.
This Scottish Government funding will help deliver the innovative digital solution to create pathways for workers to pursue flexible careers across the offshore energy industry. Putting people front and centre to achieve this goal, the proof-of-concept for the Energy Skills Passport is due to be delivered by the end of this year.
With 50 years of experience in the development of a safe and skilled energy workforce, OPITO is uniquely placed to support those seeking to transition industries and create an agile and dynamic energy workforce.
The passport will streamline the transfer of skills and address the lack of recognition of cross-sector skills. It will support oil and gas workers that, through their choice or through the natural reduction of jobs, will need to make a move to another energy sector.
Specifically, the Energy Skills Passport will display an individual worker’s current qualifications and the required credentials to transition into another energy sector. It will allow users to prove that they have the recognised qualifications and training needed to access worksites.
John McDonald, CEO of OPITO, said: “With UK offshore energy jobs forecast to grow to more than 211,000 by 2030, it's vital we prepare and empower a diverse, agile and adaptable workforce, nurturing the skills we need in oil and gas, offshore wind, carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen.
“With a third of the UK offshore energy workforce based in Scotland, this is both a challenge, and an opportunity for Scotland to be a leader in the energy transition. Supporting workers to get the training they need to transition from one sector of the offshore energy industry to another is essential.
“This critical funding will help deliver the Energy Skills Passport, a digital solution that will transform how offshore energy workers transition between sectors, while also meeting the commitments of the North Sea Transition Deal and several of the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Outcomes.”
The awards are the first from the Scottish Government’s flagship Just Transition Fund, which is investing £500 million over 10 years in the North East and Moray to support the region’s transition away from fossil fuels and towards a low-carbon economy.
Announcing the awards, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Aberdeen is the oil and gas capital of Europe. Let us resolve today to make it the net zero capital of the world. That ambition led us to establish the £500 million Just Transition Fund for this region.
“I can announce the first 22 projects have just been awarded funding of more than £50 million. These projects will support the production of green hydrogen, the development of wave and tidal technology, and even pioneer the use of waste from whisky to recycle EV batteries. And, they will focus on the skills our existing workforce need to take advantage of the renewables revolution.
“Incredible Scottish ingenuity here in the North-East, supported by the Scottish Government, developing technologies to tackle the global climate emergency. It is exciting, inspiring stuff."
Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Secretary speaking on behalf of the STUC, said: “We warmly welcome the funding by the Scottish Government to support the operation of the energy skills passport.
“It’s vital to deliver a system where workers can easily make the transition between onshore and offshore energy industries. The passport will also streamline onshore and offshore training programmes to further enable workers to move between companies and industries.
“An important aspect of the passport will be that it will help identify to all stakeholders where there are skills gaps and shortages which can shape appropriate policy responses so that we can deliver a Just Transition and net zero economy.”
The Energy Skills Passport is one of the outcomes of the Aligning Offshore Energy Standards Action Plan, part of the overarching Integrated People and Skills Strategy, which was published in May 2022 under the North Sea Transition Deal.