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Getting support for training was essential for Douglas McInally after being made redundant from the oil and gas sector.

The 32-year-old had been working offshore for Sabre Safety Ltd. when he fell victim to the industry downturn.

Having previously worked as a gas engineer, the father-of-three from Arbroath was keen on refreshing his skills and used the Transition Training Fund to update his qualifications.

That has led to him securing a job with SSE as a dual fuel installer – something he believes may not have been possible without support from the fund.

“Because of the downturn, it was a case of last in first out and I had only been with the firm for two and a half years,” said Douglas,

“So I could see it coming, but with three daughters aged between one and eight, and a house and everything else, it still came as a shock.

“All my gas licences had run out so I was left either with looking at unskilled jobs or redoing my gas qualifications which is an expensive process.

“I phoned a training provider, First Class Gas and spoke to them about how I could pay for it, and it was them who told me about the Transition Training Fund.”

The fund is administered on behalf of the Scottish Government by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

Douglas contacted SDS and was put in touch with adviser Andrew Ross who supported him during the application process.

“Andrew was an exceptionally professional individual,” said Douglas.

“I got a lot of support from him. He explained I had to identify if there were jobs available in the area I was interested in, and I was already aware there were firms looking for gas engineers.

“He supported me the whole way through, got the funds released and communicated with the training provider as well.

“I did two weeks’ training and passed my exams the first time round which was great as I’d been out of the industry for five years.”

The fund is open to anyone who has worked in the oil and gas sector or in the oil and gas supply chain as an employee or contractor and has either been made redundant or is at risk of redundancy.

Applicants must be actively looking for work and be able to show that the training they wish to undertake will help them find a new job.

Applicants must also live in Scotland, and have either worked in Scotland in their current or previous job or be returning to Scotland to look for work from an overseas post.

Army veteran Douglas went on to apply for a post with SSE, with his mix of experience, training and up-to-date qualifications putting him in a good position.

“I did two weeks’ training and passed my exams the first time round which was great as I’d been out of the industry for five years.”

Douglas McInally

After going through competency exams and interviews as part of the application process, he was offered a job, with an initial period at the firm’s training academy which will allow him to work as a dual fuel installer.

He said: I’m not only pleased to have a job but also one that’s got long term prospects.

“Because I’ve now got all my gas licences it means I’ve got more opportunities.

“I’ve spent my whole life since leaving the army doing civilian qualifications to improve myself and it’s the first time I’ve ever been out of work.

“When the oil crisis hit I saw it coming but you never think you’ll get laid off so it was a very stressful time but to get this support is fantastic.”

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