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OPITO marks strategic shift with launch of new training standards for renewable energy workforce

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Global skills body OPITO has marked a “strategic shift” in the business after it made its first move into the renewable energy industry.

The Aberdeen not-for-profit has launched a new range of safety and technical training standards and qualifications, designed to address the skills requirements of a net zero economy.

The initial offering is tailored specifically to the offshore wind sector, which, together with solar power, is forecast to be at the forefront of the growth in renewables over the next 30 years.

A recent report by trade body RenewableUK revealed offshore wind is expected to generate 27,000 new highly skilled jobs in the UK alone by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile a study by the International Renewable Energy Agency found the number of jobs in the sector globally could rise to one million by 2050.

According to OPITO, its new programme gives learners the opportunity to choose from a range of products, designed to equip them with the “critical skills needed” to work across the various aspects of the clean energy sector, including scoping and development, construction, operations and maintenance activities.

The Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) for Renewable Energy standard has been established to make it easier for those looking to enter or make a move into the offshore wind sector – it also offer refresher courses for personnel already working in the industry.

OPITO claims the standard offers a more flexible approach to individual training needs, with the option to choose from limited or full-access courses.

It also offers two SCQF-accredited training qualifications for those starting out in the industry, covering an introduction to engineering and renewable energy foundation training.

The aim is for the courses, which are equivalent to learners at apprentice level looking to achieve SQA Level 3 certification, to be used by employers looking to develop their workforce.

The BOSIET for Renewable Energy has been designed with input from a number of leading organisations including Maersk Training UK and Petrofac.

Actemium Oil and Gas Training has received the first approval for delivery of the qualifications, initially at its center in Nigeria, with a view to expanding delivery to all of its international training centres.

It’s hoped the standard will support commitments made by the UK and Scottish Government to expand the clean energy sector, while addressing the triple challenge of climate change, energy security and affordability and job security.

Westminster and Holyrood currently have legally binding targets to reduce greenhouses gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and 2045 respectively.

OPITO CEO John McDonald
OPITO chief executive John McDonald

John McDonald, chief executive of OPITO, said: “The integration of offshore energy systems is key to meeting the 2050 net zero target and this applies not only to infrastructure, but also to skills and training.

“We recognise the increasing need for a highly skilled, multi-disciplined workforce with the right training and competencies to safely and successfully deliver projects, and, in response, have launched OPITO’s first suite of products for the renewable energy industry.

“This marks a strategic shift in our own business as we reflect on the growth of the sector and transformation of the global energy landscape.”

He added: “For more than 40 years, OPITO has been at the forefront of the development of a safe and highly skilled global energy workforce, operating in remote, hazardous and highly-regulated environments.

“Recognising the clear synergies that exist across the different parts of the industry, these new products will help to ensure the provision of a multi-disciplined and flexible workforce, now and in the future.”

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