More than £14 million will be invested to support workers and businesses in north east Scotland impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil and gas downturn.
The Scottish Government funding will provide opportunities for more than 3,000 individuals in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire through training and economic projects across a number of sectors, including energy transition, food and drink production, life sciences and tourism.
Regional public and private partners including Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Opportunity North East, University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and Skills Development Scotland have worked with the Scottish Government to design an impactful programme of activity. The portfolio of projects include a climate emergency training programme to help businesses transition towards net zero, and a scheme to support employers to develop long-term sustainable jobs in the low-carbon economy.
Minister for Youth Employment and Training Jamie Hepburn 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 £14.3 million 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.”
Welcoming the funding, Opportunity North East (ONE) Chief Executive Jennifer Craw said:
“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 driving recovery and diversification.
“The projects, including those led by ONE, will help growing businesses across the region provide high-quality employment and training opportunities for people in a low-carbon economy and ensure 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.”
The North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund provides support for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Aberdeen City Council is acting as the accountable body. The £14.3 million will support training and economic projects in a range of sectors including:
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