Scottish Government targets £14m investment in north east workers



Jamie Hepburn

The Scottish Government is to invest more than £14 million to support north east-based workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil and gas downturn.

The funding will provide opportunities for more than 3,000 individuals in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire through training and enterprise projects across a number of sectors, including entrepreneurship, tourism and energy transition.

This includes a climate emergency training programme to help businesses transition towards net zero, and a scheme to support employers develop business plans to ensure long-term sustainable jobs.

Jamie Hepburn, minister for youth employment and training, said: “We know that the North East is facing particular challenges as result of the double impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the downturn in oil and gas.

“This targeted £14.3m 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.

“We have worked closely with local partners including universities, local authorities and business organisations to develop these proposals and to ensure this funding meets the economic needs of the region.”

Jennifer Craw, Opportunity North East (ONE) chief executive, added: “Our region has a clear vision for economic recovery and transformation - to focus on high-value activity and transition to a low-carbon economy as quickly as possible. This new funding addresses specific challenges in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and builds on the action, investment and partnerships that are driving recovery and diversification.

“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.”

Aberdeen City Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “This announcement supports the commitment and investment that Aberdeen City Council has already made in becoming a low-carbon economy. 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.

“Aberdeen’s credentials are second to none in the deployment of ground-breaking technology, as demonstrated by Hydrogen Aberdeen, the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, and our commitment to reaching net zero.

“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. This programme complements a number of areas of work already being delivered in partnership with others and will ensure that our city and this council continues to lead from the front.”



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