An offshore energy skills summit will be held in Aberdeen next month to help break down barriers faced by oil and gas workers in the shift away from fossil fuels.
The event – which will be attended by Energy Secretary Michael Matheson – will go ahead on November 2.
It comes as a result of a direct call to action by Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin who surveyed more than 500 oil and gas employees on the just transition.
Her work showed one in 10 workers in the North Sea oil and gas industry say they have enough opportunities to switch to renewables.
Since then, the industry has progressed plans for an offshore energy skills passport, which had previously been seen as a major barrier to transition.
The Scottish Government plans to publish its draft energy strategy for Scotland by the “end of the year”, along with a just transition plan for offshore workers.
Speaking to EV’s sister site, the Press and Journal at the SNP Conference in Aberdeen, Mr Matheson said the summit will help ensure the “right transition arrangements” are in place.
He added: “It will look at things like passports for skills and how can can align some of the skills we have so we can see a much easier transition for those who want to go between the two of them.”
Oil and gas sector businesses, skills agencies, trade unions, the Chamber of Commerce and Energy Skills Alliance will be in attendance at the summit.
Spotlight on energy
The SNP conference – taking place in the oil and gas capital of Europe – has had a strong energy focus, from panel events to motions from member branches.
It is clear there are splits between some in the party grassroots and the government over the transition to renewables but also around carbon capture technology.
One proposal – which was defeated at conference – called for a rethink on carbon capture and storage technology.
But north-east politicians took to the stage to convince members the move would be an “absolute insult” to the region.
The Acorn Project at St Fergus gas terminal, near Peterhead, is currently vying for UK Government funding to deliver this technology and deliver “thousands” of jobs.
However, Mr Matheson said the Scottish Government is “absolutely committed to the Acorn Project”, adding it is “mission critical” to delivering on net zero targets.
The SNP politician criticised the UK Government for rejecting the project’s bid for funding earlier this year.
Mr Matheson said this puts “thousands of jobs” in the north-east at risk.
One event – hosted by Friends of the Earth Scotland – saw Edinburgh East MP Tommy Sheppard say there is “no case whatsoever for opening up new wells”.
He added: “That needs to be challenged and it needs to be stopped.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was also challenged on the future of North Sea oil and gas on the second day of the three-day conference.
She told BBC One’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme that she is “very sceptical” as to whether new exploration can pass a climate compatibility test.