A new transition skills initiative designed to focus on solving “real life climate change energy issues” has been launched in Aberdeen.
Led by consultancy Xodus, X-Academy will provide training opportunities for hundreds of people to work directly on initiatives to reduce emissions and accelerate efforts towards net zero.
An initial 24 recruits will take part in the two-year energy programme, aimed at making “moon-shot ideas” a reality.
It’s open to graduates and people looking to reskill to become part of the energy transition.
X-Academy will reinvest training profits into further skills development, climate projects and innovations.
Not-for-profit ETZ Ltd, the brainchild of former oil and gas tycoon Sir Ian Wood, has invested a grant of £1.6 million to fund two years of running costs and part-fund the first-year cohort, who will start in December.
The application process is due to launch in the near future and potential candidates are being encouraged to register their interest through the Xodus website.
Peter Tipler, X-Academy director and sales & marketing director at Xodus said: “We want to use the time and resource spent on workplace training to make a transformative difference to support the planet. X-Academy will enable selected participants to have a meaningful impact in low carbon energy, focusing their collective mindpower on action that will address emissions and decarbonisation targets.
“With each trainee spending around 2,000 hours a year through on the job learning, we want to harness that power and put talented and motivated people to work addressing the moon-shot ideas that could make the biggest difference. We are thrilled to have the support of ETZ, BP and EnBW and are in talks with other stakeholders to ensure X-Academy can help as many people as possible.”
In addition to the cash from ETZ Ltd, ScotWind consortium partners BP and EnBW have committed more than £1 million to X-Academy as part of a five-year deal.
It includes a commitment to create entry-level energy transition roles and reskill experienced workers if the duo are successful in the offshore wind leasing round.
Crown Estate Scotland, which manages ScotWind, is due to announce the results early next year.
Rebecca Hewlett, director of renewables & environment at Xodus added: “Alongside broader transition skills, X-Academy is our investment in contributing to the sustainability of the Scottish offshore wind industry. We will be working with key clients to help a new generation of workers to access the opportunities that the energy transition is creating. The growth of offshore wind globally has been incredible to witness, but without a concerted effort, we will quickly encounter a bottle-neck in experienced professionals to deliver these projects.”
Maggie McGinlay, Chief Executive at ETZ Ltd said: “ETZ is committed to ensuring a Just Transition by enabling the transition of skills to progress low carbon energy opportunities. We are excited to support this initiative which will deliver a practical and action focused model to deliver a workforce that is ready to support the leading position the North East of Scotland is taking in the journey to Net Zero.”
Emeka Emembolu, senior vice president North Sea at BP (LON: BP), labelled Scotland “uniquely positioned” to be at the forefront of the energy transition, with “decades of skills and experience” developed in the oil and gas industry.
He added: “Initiatives like the X-Academy will open doors for existing and future talent to pursue careers in the low carbon energy sector – and importantly be included in a just transition.
“That’s exactly why skills development was a critical component of our ambitious ScotWind bid with EnBW, which, if successful, will see us commit more than £1million to the X-Academy, so we can continue to nurture and apply those skills as we pave a new lower carbon energy future together.”