OPITO, the global safety and skills body for the energy industry has launched an innovative suite of strategic energy transition qualifications.
The announcement marks an important step towards creating the pioneering All Energy Apprenticeship, one of the goals of the ambitious North Sea Transition Deal’s Integrated People and Skills Strategy, which aims to support 40,000 jobs in the sector.
The new qualifications focus on developing the core skills that are urgently needed to move at pace towards a more integrated offshore energy system and workforce, turning the ambition of decarbonisation and the green economy into reality.
The four qualifications are introductory modules covering the four key areas of the energy sector and the major transition pathways: Introduction to Wind Power; Introduction to Hydrogen; Introduction to CCUS; Introduction to Wind Power: and Introduction to Oil & Gas.
The qualifications provide an introduction to the energy transition and key knowledge of emerging energy transition specialisms for technicians and others looking to up-skill or move between relevant energy industries.
Together they are designed to provide a knowledge-based introduction to the emerging energy transition specialisms for trainee technicians, existing technicians and others looking to up-skill and gain an understanding of other energy sectors.
They can be delivered through OPITO’s extensive global network of training centres which already train 375,000 people every year to the exacting standards set by OPITO.
The development of the qualifications took place with the collaboration of the Energy Skills Alliance (ESA). This powerful cross-industry working group is developing a compelling all-energy career proposition that will deliver an agile and fit-for-purpose workforce for the Net Zero era.
Stephen Marcos Jones, CEO of Association of Consultancy and Engineering and ESA lead of the All-Energy Apprenticeship Workgroup, said: “These new qualifications have been developed in response to the challenge of providing an adaptable, safe and skilled energy workforce. Modules complement existing technician apprenticeship frameworks and will provide the opportunity for individuals to transfer their skills, knowledge and competence into new and emerging energy sectors such as hydrogen and CCUS.
“The collaboration and committed support provided from our industry stakeholders, including operators, developers, trade associations and colleges, is critical if we are to succeed in meeting future skills demand.”
The new units are being launched in two stages. They will initially be made available in the UK and Europe before being delivered across the rest of the world from early 2023.
The introductory qualifications will take between 10 and 14 days to complete. They are credit rated at Level 6 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) and at Level 3 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England and Wales.
Seven accredited OPITO training centres were involved in piloting the qualifications and two colleges have been approved for the initial launch: East Coast College in East Anglia and Edinburgh College.
Alex Spencer, Director of Operations at OPITO, said: “OPITO is proud to offer a unique set of recognised credit-rated qualifications for the integrated energy workforce of the future.
“The suite of qualifications will help prepare existing apprentices and energy professionals for a career in a range of emerging energy sectors and to help develop the skills we need to deliver an all-energy workforce across the UK and beyond.”
The launch of this new set of qualifications makes a genuine contribution to achieving the goals of the North Sea Transition Deal, specifically the Meeting Future Skills Demand Action Plan. It also underlines OPITO’s commitment to providing the optimum skills, training and standards that will accelerate the transition to a secure, sustainable and safe integrated energy system. That ultimately underpins the ambition to achieve a climate-resilient economy and planet.