Written by Jamie Ross -
A north-east training centre aimed at helping redundant oil workers back into jobs has found a new home in Banff.
The Scottish Traditional Skills and Training Centre (STSTC) was established in 2006 and runs programmes aimed at matching secondary school pupils with skills such as building and repairs.
But following a downturn in the oil industry, the centre has experienced an uplift in the amount of former oil workers seeking to learn new skills to increase their employment prospects.
Until now, the courses have been run out of a pre-fab classroom on the grounds of Fyvie Castle.
But following the intervention of Gillian Martin MSP, who called in Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Employability and Training, the centre will soon be able to establish a new base at Duff House in Banff.
It will allow the team there to expand on the range of courses it can deliver.
Last night, Marc Ellington, executive director of STSTC, said the courses would benefit people from all walks of life.
“Trades practitioners, architects and other construction industry professionals benefit from attending our courses as well as private Individuals,” he said.
“We cater for representatives of a number of major national conservation organisations and the staff and officials from local authorities throughout Scotland.”
Ms Martin, who sits on the education and skills committee at Holyrood, added: “It’s vital that we retain the skills to maintain the assets we have, and the ability to manage those assets effectively.
“The work the fine folk at the centre do with schools and providing re-training opportunities could be crucial to addressing a widening skills gap in the economy of not just the north-east, but Scotland as a whole.”