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Lauren accelerates North East’s green skills

Project Manager on a mission for a sustainable future

Employers STEM Employability skills

Lauren Braidwood is on a mission to secure the North East’s sustainable future.

Project Manager for the National Energy Skills Accelerator (NESA), Lauren is the woman driving forward projects preparing the workforce for the energy transition by providing access to new skills and capabilities needed for the move to net zero.

She said: “I was drawn to the work of the transition zone because it was taking an area I knew well and maximising its potential. The positivity that’s around the energy transition is infectious.”

NESA was established as part of Aberdeen’s Energy Transition Zone (ETZ Ltd).

ETZ Ltd is repositioning the North East of Scotland as a globally recognised integrated energy cluster focussed on the delivery of net zero which brings sustainable jobs and growth for the region.

NESA is a partnership between Robert Gordon University, the University of Aberdeen and North East Scotland College and is supported by key partners, including Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

She added: “Yes, there are challenges and unknowns. But we’re an engaged, motivated group of people working together to overcome those challenges and build a bright, sustainable future for the North East and the people who live and work here.”

Lauren Braidwood 1

Lauren herself has had to reskill and upskill for her current job, so understands how it can feel to move out of your comfort zone.

She said: “A huge part of our move to net zero is harnessing the incredible skills of our existing workforce and shifting them towards greener outcomes and process, and the energy industry is really blazing a trail on that work in Scotland.

“I’m from a Geophysics background, and in my last job I worked as a services director for an oil and gas acquisition service company. I’ve learned huge amounts on the job, particularly coming out of a corporate environment into an educational and skills setting. But my core skills around managing people and data have stayed the same, I’m just applying them in different ways.”

Lauren works across all the partner organisations.

She said: “In essence my job is about enabling collaboration. I ensure that the partnerships within NESA and with industry are working, that we communicate effectively, plan and prepare for the future, and deliver for the people, communities, and businesses across the North East and beyond.”

Jenny MacDonald, SDS Skills Planning Manager in the North East said: “The move to net zero has the potential to create thousands of high quality, well paid jobs and in energy that means creating a more flexible, agile and diverse workforce.

“NESA plays a critical role in ensuring the industry has access to the key skills and capabilities required for the energy transition and is already helping the existing workforce prepare for emerging opportunities in the energy sector.

“Lauren and the teams at NESA and ETZ enable better collaboration which supports skills developments that are responsive to industry and the aims of Scotland’s Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan.”

And Lauren believes that it’s a great time to be a young person in Aberdeen City and Shire.

She said: “There is just a different feeling to travelling around Aberdeen now compared to when I started visiting here ten years ago.

“It feels like the work we are doing is really starting to take effect and young people are more energised about the region and their futures here.

“Generations of people in the North East have helped the region build strong foundations and prosper through oil and gas, but now we are starting to see a shift and more people engaging with renewables.

“I want to help current and future generations make the most of the opportunities to come, and help create a green, bright future for them and the region.

“It’s an exciting time.”