Aberdeen’s Energy Transition Zone (ETZ) has awarded safety firm RelyOn Nutec £400,000 to help up to 400 workers secure offshore training certifications for oil and gas and renewables.
ETZ said funding would be available to personnel currently working in the oil and gas sector and looking to recertify for the offshore wind industry, those who want to achieve their first certification in the energy sector, and workers who want to renew their oil and gas safety training following 90 days lapse of certification.
Those eligible will be able to have the cost fully funded at RelyOn Nutec’s Aberdeen training centre.
The support will allow workers who live in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to update their certification or achieve certification for the wind sector free of charge from January-March 2022.
Funded oil and gas courses include BOSIET, MIST, OGUK medical, Fit-to-Train, Bi-deltoid measurement and knowledge test. For offshore renewables, funded courses cover GWO basic safety training (BST) and GWO basic technical training (BTT).
A spokesperson said that preference would be given to people distanced from the workforce, such as those currently unemployed.
Other priority candidates would include people returning to work after an absence, such as working mothers, under-represented groups within the sector, graduates who have failed to secure work in their chosen area and former members of the Armed Forces.
Those who take part in funded training with RelyOn Nutec will also have two years’ access to the firm’s e-learning library, open days with key organisations offering real employment opportunities, and a personal profile on RelyOn’s digital system, which is accessed by the firm’s industry client base to source fully certified personnel.
It costs in the region of £1,000 for workers to renew their basic oil and gas safety training and up to £2,000 to complete GWO (Offshore Wind) basic safety and basic technical training. These costs can be a major barrier to entry for those looking to retrain or re-enter the workforce.
Trade unions and climate campaigners have previously called for the creation of an “offshore training passport” which would help workers move between the oil and gas and renewables sectors more easily.
They have argued that such costs may be prohibitive if oil workers have to pay to repeat similar training courses to apply for jobs in offshore wind.
The funding has been awarded by ETZ Ltd, and forms part of the Scottish Government’s £14.3 million North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund (NEERSF).
Not-for-profit company ETZ was launched earlier this year to deliver the transition zone – earmarked for an area of about 173 acres on the south side of Aberdeen – aims to reposition the north-east by reducing its longstanding reliance on oil and gas.
The company also announced that it would establish the National Energy Skills Accelerator (NESA) as part of the zone, with the aim of providing a “one stop shop” for industry to access courses, skills development programmes and R&D capabilities to train workers for the energy transition.
The NESA is a collaboration between Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen University and the North East Scotland College, supported by government agency Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Energy Transition Zone Ltd.
ETZ offshore renewables director Andy Rodden said: “For almost 50 years this region made a massive contribution to the UK’s energy requirements and, in doing so, has sustained thousands of jobs in and across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
“ETZ Ltd has a clear focus on harnessing the highly skilled workforce across the region to ensure we maximise the massive opportunities that energy transition provides. RelyOn Nutec are a first-class organisation, and this funding will ensure workers across the north east are offered the very best in training and support as they further their careers.”
RelyOn Nutec UK managing director, Bob Donnelly, said: “We are already supporting the highly skilled and experienced Scottish oil and gas workforce to transition their skills into the renewables sector by delivering GWO training at our UK centres in Aberdeen and Teesside.”
He said it was “essential” that the region does everything it can to hold onto the “unrivalled skills base” which has over 50 years knowledge to draw on.
“Receiving this funding will allow us to offer additional training to those that need it the most, those people who have decades of skills who are struggling to find work in the difficult market conditions and need to renew their safety certification, and those who don’t have the means to commit to retrain for the renewables sector,” Mr Donnelly added.
“As a business, we ensure the safety of people working in these industries, and help to save lives, and this funding will also allow us to help people to get back into work and help the region to retain its skilled workforce.”
People who are eligible to secure the funded training can contact RelyOn Nutec direct on 08444 142 142 to book a place, or find out more via their website.