APPRENTICES and graduates working in the oil and gas industry are set to benefit from a new £4.5million scheme to support the retention of essential skills both during and after the Covid-19 crisis.
Launched by Government skills body the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), the Train to Retain scheme supports the ongoing development of apprentices and graduates whose opportunity to continue in their recognised industry programmes has been suspended or impacted by Covid-19.
The ECITB works with a wide range of oil and gas companies in the North-east, including around 20 registered companies in the supply chain.
The launch of the scheme comes as the sector struggles with the loss of some 4,500 jobs in the North Sea in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak and collapse in the oil price.
By funding development activities for those in the early stages of their career, the ECITB aims to help the sector retain and develop the talent required to meet its medium and long term skills needs.
Chris Claydon, ECITB chief executive, said: “The ECITB has developed a package of crisis response measures with an eye on the future, helping industry with both the short term problems as it recovers from the immediate economic impact and the longer term challenges, particularly energy transition.
“Through Train to Retain, we will help employers to provide training and development activities for apprentices and graduates whose first steps on the career ladder have been impacted by the pandemic. As relatively inexperienced workers, apprentices and graduates are among the most vulnerable during times of economic instability.
“However, we cannot forget that they are the future of our industry, and it is crucial their skills are retained and developed to ensure we can achieve the transition to a net zero carbon economy. ”