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First candidates picked for skills academy backed by BP and Sir Ian Wood

The Aberdeen Bay Windfarm

The first candidates have been selected for X-Academy, a new training initiative backed by Sir Ian Wood and BP.

Nine “Xcellerators” have been picked from an applicant pool of 40 for the inaugural two-year programme, with two more cohorts planned to start later this year.

Led by consultancy Xodus, X-Academy is aimed at providing training opportunities for hundreds of people on work relating to the energy transition and net zero.

After applications opened in November, the group said it had interest from “recent graduates to ex-armed forces personnel, to those with decades of experience in oil and gas and other sectors”.

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.

ScotWind consortium partners BP and EnBW have committed more than £1 million to X-Academy in a five-year deal which includes creating entry-level energy transition roles and reskilling experienced workers if the consortium is successful in their ScotWind application.

Managing director Peter Tipler said: “As well as graduates from traditional energy disciplines including mechanical engineering, physics, and energy management, we have also seen applications from a former primary school teacher, ex-armed forces and product designer.

“It shows there is a real interest in tackling the climate crisis across the board.”

Almost 30 Xcellerators will be enrolled by the end of 2022, Mr Tipler added.

The group is also seeking to secure “further industrial partners that can support this predicted growth”.

Applications are open until midnight on Sunday, February 6, which can be submitted here.

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