Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney welcomed the new project
A new national network aimed at boosting the number of experienced workers entering the renewable energy workforce in Scotland was launched in Edinburgh today (Tuesday 19 March).
The Transition Training Network (TTN) is a new project delivered through collaboration between the National Skills Academy for Power and Scottish Renewables which will help the transition of skilled employees to the renewables sector from other industries.
The TTN, which will be funded by the Skills Academy through funding received via the Employer Investment Fund (EIF), is based on the initiative of a consortium comprising Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Scottish Renewables, the college Energy Skills Partnership (ESP) and the National Skills Academy for Power.
Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney welcomed the new project: "Transition training is extremely important and this new skills network will help people from other industries make the move into renewables bringing all of their knowledge and experience with them.
"The Scottish Government is firmly committed to developing a skilled workforce to support our growing renewables industry. We have developed the first UK Wind Turbine Modern Apprenticeship and have ring-fenced 500 of our Modern Apprenticeship starts each year for energy."
Sarah Johnson, Head of Renewables at the National Skills Academy for Power said: "This new network means that the renewable energy industry in Scotland will have the tools to avoid a skills shortage in the future.
"Although skills have not limited the growth of renewables thus far, the transition of experienced workers from other sectors such as oil and gas, construction, aerospace and the armed services will ensure that the Scottish renewable energy industry will remain just as dynamic in the years to come."
The new project will draw upon a wide network of employers to assess skills needs in the industry, and equally assess the skills which providers such as colleges can offer. The TTN is to identify the skills gaps in the marketplace and in particular support small and medium-sized enterprises, a central pillar of the renewable energy industry.
Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables said: "Renewable energy has the potential to attract a wide range of skill sets from important transition sectors, as we wait to move into construction and operation of offshore wind; this new project comes at an important time.
"The Transition Training Network will be a vital element in building a truly robust renewable energy industry in Scotland with the right skills and experience to drive the sector forward."
A study commissioned by the consortium which established the initiative shows that transition workers are an important part of delivering anticipated growth for the renewables sector. The research estimates that around 75 per cent of new jobs will be filled by experienced personnel joining the sector from other industries (such as offshore oil and gas, energy generation/ transmission, construction and the military).
The TTN is just one of the projects funded by the £1.6 million investment in skills infrastructure by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills announced in 2012. The TTN will work closely with the Renewable Training Network (RTN) to avoid duplication of efforts (RTN is part of RenewableUK).