This week saw the Energy Voice’s second Net Zero Workforce event, taking place at the Aberdeen Science Centre, delegates and panellists discussed attracting new talent and reskilling existing workers.
Across multiple sessions and a skills workshop, the event looked to find solutions to key problems around recruitment and skills with a view to generating actionable outcomes for our audience.
To kick off the proceedings, the head of Energy Voice, Ryan Stevenson, took to the stage to deliver opening remarks and welcome those in attendance.
Session 1 – Skills in Transition
Session one started with pannel one’s moderator, Matt Jacobs vice president of Operations and Partnerships at X-Academy.
Mr Jacobs chaired a discussion between founder of Energy Insider Murray Edward Duguid, headmaster of Albyn School Steffan Horsman and director of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) North East Margo Milne.
Focusing on the new mix of skills needed as the energy industry gears up for the massive transformation, the first discussion explored how upskilling, reskilling, training and educational support can help achieve decarbonisation and net zero goals.
Session 2 – North Sea Transition Powerhouse
The second panel session of the day posed the some key questions: What does the industry (and government) need to do to retain that resource and deliver a just transition? What is the jobs market like now? What are the challenges we need to solve to make the North Sea an attractive place to work in the future? How can we create new jobs and safeguard existing ones?
Moderated by co-founder and director of Fennex, Nassima Brown, this discussion welcomed TMM Recruitment’s chief executive Amanda McCulloch, Onboard Tracker’s managing director Kevin Coll, Hydrasun Group’s operations director Stuart Gardiner and senior lecturer in chemical engineering at University of Aberdeen, Alf Martinez-Felipe.
Following positive feedback on the CCUS workshop held at the Future North Sea conference in February, Energy Voice invited X Academy to host a skills innovation workshop to round off the Net Zero Workforce event.
Hosted by Matt Jacobs, the session also featured input from the X Academy team who led a vibrant discussion on the innovative thinking required to reskill and upskill the workforce so its ready for net zero.
Speaking at the event, Energy Voice’s Ryan Stevenson said: “Our industry has come in for a lot of stick in the past year with high prices hitting consumers in the pocket and questions about sustainable growth. But as more people look for purpose in their job, you could argue there is no better place than energy to provide such meaningful work.”
That need for a sense of purpose in their work was echoed by TMM Recruitment’s McCulloch in her presentation which gave a very good overview of the energy jobs market at present.
“Many entering the workforce these days are asking themselves how they can help save the planet,” Stevenson continued. “The energy sector offers a real opportunity for those people to have some agency in this most noble ambition. Being part of the industry is a way to help drive decarbonisation and expedite the path to net zero. This doesn’t necessarily mean switching roles from working on an offshore rig to working on offshore wind turbines.
The parameters are much broader – with the lawyers, accountants, marketing, HR teams and multiple other disciplines equally as important on this journey.”