The Scottish Government said yesterday it was doubling its support for a new Aberdeen-based energy training scheme to £6.5million.
First Minister Alex Salmond made the announcement at the Granite City’s Aset oil and gas training academy.
He said Scotland’s energy industry needed 95,000 more people between now and 2020.
Energy Skills Scotland (ESS), which will be based at Robert Gordon University, will work to improve oil and gas training facilities and develop energy-sector skills courses.
The support package has been doubled from an initial £3.25million promised last September.
Mr Salmond said: “Energy Skills Scotland has a clear remit to work with employers and training providers across the country, to simplify and improve access to learning and skills provision and broaden the energy workforce, including the huge untapped potential among women.”
ESS will make capital investments to improve training infrastructure, including £1.75million to support the development of the Oil and Gas Academy of Scotland set up last year by six Scottish universities and colleges. Another £1million has been allocated to speed up the growth of energy skills programmes at Heriot-Watt University and £1.2million will be spent on developing engineering facilities at Forth Valley College.
Larraine Boorman, managing director of training body Opito, said: “Energy Skills Scotland has the potential to be a very strong platform for collaboration and clarity.”