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Geologist Lena Broadley had been working for Maersk Oil for nearly eight years when she was made redundant in May.

Having begun work in exploration just a few months before losing her job, she was keen to continue working in that area, but knew she needed to broaden her experience to boost her chances of finding work.

The mum-of-three from Stonehaven identified a training course that could help her, and applied to the Transition Training Fund for support.

Now she’s working as a research fellow at the School of Geosciences at the University of Aberdeen, and credits the fund in helping her take the next step in her career.

She said: “I had been a development geologist for most of my time at Maersk Oil, but in the last six months I had moved into a new position as a new ventures geologist.

“I had been wanting to move into exploration for a while when that opportunity came up, but then there was another global restructuring which involved the exploration offices being downsized.

“That’s how I ended up leaving. Because there was so much uncertainty in the industry I had already been thinking about what else I might do, and had thought about doing something similar involving exploration in academia.

“The problem was that most of my time had been spent in development and I didn’t have enough experience in exploration.

“I found a course offered by Nautilus, who run courses for the industry which a lot of firms subscribe to.

“They now offer courses that anyone can sign up for, and there was a course in play fairway analysis, and it sounded like it would be pretty good when applying for jobs.

“Play fairway analysis is about looking at the regional geology of an area and the prospects of finding hydrocarbons there.

“It’s not about maturing individual prospects for drilling, it’s about determining the likelihood of finding a working petroleum system in an area, based on its geological evolution.”

Having first heard about the Transition Training Fund on the radio during her commute home, Lena, 40, looked up details when she was made redundant in May.

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

 “After finding the training I thought would be useful, I applied online and got a phone call back,” Lena said.

“I went to London for the training in September, and it lasted five days.

“By that time, I had already applied for the post with the University, and got an interview which took place immediately before I did the course.

“I mentioned that I was about to do the training during the interview, and they were quite pleased to hear I was doing it as it was going to be useful.”

Lena started her new post in October.

“I’m a research fellow doing a post-doctoral research project which is sponsored by the Oil and Gas Authority,” she said.

“Eventually, what I’m doing will be used by oil companies in UK waters to support and encourage exploration efforts.

“Because it’s in academia it’s quite a different focus to what I was doing before, but it’s definitely related, and having not had a lot of experience in exploration before this, the training was certainly useful.”

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.

Lena added: “I would definitely recommend the Transition Training Fund to people who can identify training that would be useful for them.

What's next?

To find out more visit or call SDS on 0808 100 1855 for more information.

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