Redundant North Sea oil workers have been encouraged to seek employment in the wider engineering sector – including building new nuclear power stations south of the border.
A new website will direct oil workers to jobs in large-scale energy and infrastructure projects such as nuclear new-builds, renewable energy projects and oil platform decommissioning.
The existing Talent Retention Solution scheme, used by more than 1,000 companies, will be supplemented by an additional website specifically for oil and gas workers.
EngineeringUK estimates that the UK economy will need more than 180,000 people with engineering skills per year to 2022.
UK Business Minister Anna Soubry said: “The future success of our economy depends on having the people with the right skills in the right jobs, and that’s why it’s vital we retain the talents
of our highly-skilled workers currently in the oil and gas industry.
“There is already considerable demand for these skills, whether it’s for nuclear new-build, the fast-growing renewable energy sector or the nascent decommissioning industry.”
The nuclear industry plans to deliver around 16 gigawatts of nuclear power with new plants at Hinkley Point in Suffolk, Wylfa on Anglesey and Moorside in Cumbria.
The Scottish Government has banned the creation of new nuclear power stations in Scotland “due to their excessive cost”.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “Engineers and skilled workers in Scotland’s oil and gas sector are world class, and many industries could benefit from their expertise and experience, from major infrastructure projects to new and innovative energy solutions.
“While the sector has been tested over recent years, time and time again it has shown a capacity to rise to the challenges confronting it, and that is due to the resilience and skill of the people working within it.
“This tool will allow other industries to reap the rewards of the talent pool of the UK’s oil and gas workers.”
UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said: “The UK Government stands 100% behind our oil and gas industry, the workers and families it supports, and the people who have worked tirelessly to steer it
through these challenging times.
“Our workforce in the UK is one of the mostly highly skilled in the world, and their valuable skills are transferable right across the engineering sector. The action we are taking today will ensure that we hold on to that talent and provide more opportunities for those most directly affected by the low oil price.”