The Scottish Government has invested money to support north-east workers and businesses in their recovery from the pandemic and movement towards being net-zero.
More than £14 million will be used to create around 3,000 training opportunities across the north-east.
These opportunities aim to support workers who have been impacted by both the pandemic and the downturn of the oil and gas industry.
The 29 proposed training projects will focus on a number of sectors including entrepreneurship, tourism and energy transition.
Members of the government have met with universities, local authorities and business organisations in the north-east throughout the development stages of the proposals to ensure the needs of the region are met.
Jamie Hepburn, minister for youth employment and training said: “This targeted £14.3 million investment will aid economic recovery in the region and support businesses to make the transition to net-zero.
“These 29 training projects will also provide opportunities for workers to upskill and re-skill, enabling them to capitalise on careers in growing sectors. Our funding will also support those entering the workforce and aid business growth and innovation.”
A positive outlook
Another role of the funding is to help employers to develop long-term sustainable roles in the area for those looking for jobs, as well as further training for those already in them.
At the same time, it is intended to help businesses move towards a net-zero future.
Chief executive at Opportunity North East (ONE) Jennifer Craw spoke of how these more sustainable roles would positively impact the outlook of employees.
She said: “It will help to ensure that growing businesses across the region provide high-quality employment and training opportunities for people at all stages of their working lives in a low-carbon economy; our economy attracts investment and talent; and that we contribute to an environmentally sustainable net-zero future at home and internationally.
“This is what a just transition to a better and fairer economy looks like and it is what will make a genuine difference to people, their attainment and prospects, quality of life, and outlook.”
Continuing to move forward
Aberdeen as an area is already at the forefront of developing technology in its journey to reducing carbon emissions.
This is demonstrated by Hydrogen Aberdeen, the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre and its commitment to reaching net-zero.
Aberdeen City Council Leader Jenny Laing spoke of how important it is to provide training to both employers and employees to continue moving forward in this journey.
She said: “Actions around energy transition are key to the future economic health and prosperity of the north-east – supporting skills and business growth to ensure our residents are ready and able to access new jobs and opportunities.
“It is crucial that we have funds and plans in place to support our workforce, retain skilled workers and support others to develop skills or re-train to support our people, place and economy.”