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A £12million training fund for those affected by the global downturn in the oil and gas sector has helped 4,272 people over the past three years.

The Scottish Government’s Transition Training Fund offered those facing redundancy from the sector or its supply chain the chance to access training so they could apply their skills and experience in new jobs.

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, visited Dundee to meet people who had found new work after accessing the fund, and to meet with advisers from Skills Development Scotland (SDS) who administered the fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Mr Wheelhouse said: “I’ve heard first hand from many people across Scotland, in communities such as Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire previously and, today, in Dundee how the support available through our £12 million Transition Training Fund and the tailored way in which it has been deployed has helped them take the next steps in their careers after experiencing redundancy from the oil and gas sector during what was a very challenging downturn for the industry.

“Those individual stories alone demonstrate the worth of the fund, but there is a broader significance to our economy as the fund has helped retain a great deal of highly-valued skills and experience within Scotland.

“I am particularly pleased that more than 3,900 people have been helped with tailored support, in comparison with an initial estimate that the fund might support up to 3,000 in this way.

“I therefore want to thank the team at Skills Development Scotland for their dedication, hard work and commitment to helping those affected by the downturn.”

More stable future

Up to 31 March 2019 when the fund closed to new applications, there were 3910 people whose individual applications for support had been approved.

A further 250 people accessed training offered through training providers, 90 people received training aimed at workers aged over 50, or workers with managerial experience, and 22 people received support for teacher training.

Gordon McGuinness, Director of Industry and Enterprise at SDS, said: “As part of the Energy Jobs Taskforce, SDS has worked alongside a range of agencies and with the industry itself to provide support to both employers and individuals affected by the downturn.

“The Transition Training Fund has been a key part of that, and the figures show it has played a role in helping the industry move towards a more stable future.

“Support remains available for people affected by redundancies at SDS’s network of centres, offering one-to-one-advice for anyone looking to find work or access training.”

Nine out of 10 users of the Transition Training Fund say they are either satisfied or extremely satisfied with their experience, and 68 per cent of users are back in employment.

Of those back in work, 53 per cent have remained in the oil and gas sector.

The fund is credited with improving their job prospects by 93 per cent of users, and 87 per cent of users said it made them more confident.

Next steps

An independent evaluation of the Transition Training Fund is now available here and at transitiontrainingfund.co.uk

Among those to meet with the Energy Minister was Transition Training Fund recipient Catherine Philips from Inverurie who launched her own business offering first aid training to dog owners, having previously spent 35 years working in the oil and gas sector.

She said: “It was a huge shock to be made redundant as I was doing a job that I really enjoyed.

“I don’t think I would have been able to pursue my business if it wasn’t for the Transition Training Fund. Getting that support has allowed me to take the next steps.”

Transition Training Fund Dundee Visit - Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Transition Training Fund Dundee Visit - Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP

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