Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Moray MP Angus Robertson has welcomed the announcement by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of a new £12 million fund aimed at people who face losing their jobs in the oil and gas sector to transition into other energy industry and manufacturing employment through.

The Scottish Government’s Transition Training Fund will help maintain the highly skilled energy workforce in the North Sea region by offering grants to individuals to support their redeployment through retraining or further education. It will also help people with the costs of maintaining any licences they need to work in the sector.

Local MP Mr Robertson says Moray, like other regions with significant numbers of oil workers, is feeling the squeeze on the industry from high taxation and low oil prices and workers who face redundancy will be able to access retraining.

The Transition fund will allow bodies like Skills Development Scotland, in conjunction with the Energy Skills Partnership and Energy Technology Partnership, to provide practical training and education that will help people meet the demand for other specialist jobs in the wider sector.

The new fund will augment the work of the Scottish Government’s Energy Jobs Taskforce, which is already providing support through the PACE process and other measures such as the Adopt an Apprentice initiative.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“It is absolutely crucial that we take every possible action to retain the expertise that the industry has built up over decades so that it remains flexible enough to capitalise on exploration investment and future oil price rises.

“That is why I have announced a new £12 million Transition Training Fund to provide financial support to individuals as they retrain or undertake new education to allow them to take on specialist roles elsewhere in the energy industry and related roles in the manufacturing sector.

“This fund will augment the work of the Energy Jobs Taskforce, which is already providing much-needed help to people affected by redundancy by working with bodies such as Skills Development Scotland to support redeployment and training.”

Moray’s MP and SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson added:

“I welcome this funding and the opportunities it creates for those affected. The redundancies in this industry are extremely concerning, and I am optimistic that this will help alleviate some of those losses.

“The issues facing the oil industry are complex and we are pressing the UK Government to help in areas where high taxation is curtailing exploration activity - that is foolhardy and will reduce oil taxation returns in the longer term.

“In Government in Scotland the SNP are working hard with the powers available to Scotland to help mitigate these problems through schemes like that announced by Nicola Sturgeon.

“There will undoubtedly be opportunities for skills transfer in areas such as offshore renewables as major schemes such as windfarms in the Moray Firth progress and we need to do all we can to avoid losing highly skilled workers.”