Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Nigg Skills Academy Launched

25th March 2012

Photograph of Nigg Skills Academy Launched

First Minister unveiled a training boost for Scotland's energy industry Nigg Skills Academy to train thousands for renewables and oil and gas.

First Minister Alex Salmond launched an industry-led energy skills academy, established with over 900,000 public funding, to deliver training for thousands of workers across key sectors including oil & gas and renewables.

Nigg Skills Academy (NSA) has been built at Nigg Energy Park, which was purchased by Global Energy Group (GEG) in October. Highlands & Island Enterprise (HIE) has already committed 1.8 million to the development of the 238-acre site on the Cromarty Firth, which the company estimates could see up to 2,000 people employed at Nigg within four years.

GEG has provided and substantially upgraded premises for the NSA, which will operate initially as a 12-month pilot, with funding from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and HIE totalling 915,000.

The Academy aims to start 290 Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) in its first year and to provide both MAs and general training for some 3,000 people by 2015 for a range of jobs including engineers, operators, riggers, technicians and for general and project management.

The First Minister said: "Nigg has one of the world's largest dry docks and its workforce has been responsible for some of the biggest energy-related structures ever built, so it is well positioned to host the Skills Academy pilot. I'm delighted to meet some of the first recruits and to be able to congratulate Global Energy and the various agencies involved for establishing this innovative facility just five months after the purchase of the Nigg site.

"With some one trillion pounds of oil & gas reserves remaining and huge export opportunities for supply chain companies, Scotland's offshore energy sector remains vibrant, while our burgeoning renewables sector is set to reindustrialise communities across Scotland. Clearly the energy industry needs continued access to world-class talent to meet Scotland's global energy ambitions; Nigg Skills Academy is a perfect example of how the public and private sector can work together quickly and decisively to deliver just that.

"We identified Nigg as a strategic location in our National Renewable Infrastructure Plan and I'm pleased that the UK Treasury has agreed to our proposal that Nigg becomes eligible for enhanced capital allowances. The Scottish Government will continue to support the transformation and renaissance of Nigg as a vital hub for our world-leading energy industry."

The NSA has had more than 800 applications since advertisements were placed last month - with all those applying guaranteed pre-training tests. The industry-led model has the potential to be delivered in various locations, with different industry partners across Scotland.

GEG Chairman Roy MacGregor said: "There is recognition within the wider energy industry of the need for additional skilled labour if we are to meet the demands of both oil & gas and the emerging renewables industry over this next three to five years. A lot of discussion has taken place around the skills agenda, and I am delighted, following our purchase of Nigg Energy Park, to have entered into early dialogue with the various public sector bodies. They were able to move quickly in their understanding of the critical skills issues facing the industry if it is to grow and look to attract inward investment into the area. I would like to thank HIE, SDS and SFC for their financial support for this innovative pilot project. We have our own needs over this next three years to service both oil & gas and renewable energy opportunities."

John McClelland, Chair of both the SFC and SDS, added: "This is an excellent example of partnership working between the college sector and industry to respond to the energy sector's current and future skills needs. It builds upon the work of SFC and SDS in this area including the Energy Skills Investment Plan and College Energy Partnerships. The benefits for industry and for individuals are clearly demonstrated and we look forward to our continuing involvement in skills development at Nigg."

Lorne Crerar, Chairman of HIE commented: "The Highlands & Islands has a long and effective tradition of mobilising large workforces quickly for big energy projects through specific industry-led training initiatives. We need only look to the hydro schemes of the 1960s, and how the oil industry was able to very quickly turn farmers into fabricators and crofters into welders back in the 1970s. Provision of an industry-led Academy will provide a facility which can meet the skills challenges facing local employers. This is a facility for the entire sector, and its services will be open to all employers. It'll be a key asset in attracting new investors into the area and will maximise opportunities for the future workforce."

The Highland Council Convener Sandy Park said: "The Highland Council is pleased to support the launch of the Nigg Skills Academy. The Council recognises the need to develop a skilled workforce to support Global Energy's plans for Nigg and for the wider supply chain in the Highlands. There are significant employment opportunities for young people and those seeking to up-skill and as a key partner we are determined to help make this new venture a success."

In addition to GEG and Scottish public sector funders, other partners in the project include North Highland College, JobCentrePlus, the Highland Council, the University of the Highlands and Islands, SQA, and industry training accreditation bodies Semta and EAL. North Highland College will provide equipment and other services to the NSA. JobCentre Plus has seconded a staff member to work at the NSA to help ensure employers' labour needs are met and to maximise opportunities for jobseekers in the region. The Highland Council and the University will provide nominations to join GEG on NSA management board.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

Business urged to apply to EDGE fund
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to apply to the next round of Scottish EDGE funding and the chance to win up to £100,000 each in grants and loans.   The Scottish Government funded competition supports and encourages business growth in Scotland.  
Next fibre broadband areas for Highlands and IslandsThumbnail for article : Next fibre broadband areas for Highlands and Islands
The next areas where fibre broadband is rolling out across Scotland have been announced by Digital Scotland partners today.  See the release here http://bit.ly/fibrenext Local area and progress detail for Highlands and Islands areas are as below: Latest independent figures from Think Broadband confirm 75% coverage across the Highlands and Islands region.  
Wave of optimism for Wick seaweed firmThumbnail for article : Wave of optimism for Wick seaweed firm
The first batches of seaweed have been harvested and processed by a new food and drink business in Wick.   New Wave Foods has invested £240,000 at its newly fitted out premises on the Wick Industrial Estate with support of £60,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).  
Seal of approval for Caithness engineering skillsThumbnail for article : Seal of approval for Caithness engineering skills
An Aberdeen oil and gas company that located its manufacturing operation to Lybster in Caithness says it is delighted with the results.   Torque machine manufacturer Enerquip secured £60,000 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the £240,000 initial capital equipment and employment costs at Lybster.  
World class leading creative figures at XpoNorthThumbnail for article : World class leading creative figures at XpoNorth
Influential decision makers and buyers from creative industries around the world will meet Scottish businesses and individuals when they take part in XpoNorth in Inverness this week.   Supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the European Regional Development Fund and Creative Scotland, XpoNorth is now firmly established as Scotland's leading creative industries festival.  
New Board Members Appointed To Highlands And Islands Enterprise
Non-Executive Members of the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise announced.   The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MP, today announced the appointment of Amanda Bryan, Ailsa Gray, Dr Robert McIntosh and Belinda Oldfield, as Non-Executive Members of the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  
Businesses invited to Doing Business in France event
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands new to exporting or looking to move into new markets are invited to a ‘Doing Business in France' event in Inverness next week.   Organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the free information and advice event will be held at the Kingsmills Hotel from 9:30am to 1:30pm on Tuesday 7 June.  
Development agencies welcome SSEs Beatrice offshore wind announcement
Confirmation that SSE is to go ahead with its investment in the Beatrice Offshore Wind project has been welcomed by both of Scotland's economic development agencies.   The project is expected to deliver billions of pounds of investment during construction, installation and longer-term operation and maintenance of the windfarm.  
HIE reports successful year in Caithness and SutherlandThumbnail for article : HIE reports successful year in Caithness and Sutherland
Economic development agency, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), has reported a successful year of investment and job creation in the region for 2015/16 - its 50th anniversary year.   Year-end figures compiled by HIE show an estimated 855 jobs are expected to be created or retained in the region, as a result of HIE's investments last year, 87 of these in Caithness and Sutherland, 17 of which are in fragile areas.  
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Energy & Business Services: As previously covered in this update Atlantis Resources Ltd has now completed the acquisition of tidal energy assets from Scottish Power Renewables.  http://renews.biz/102590/atlantis-seals-tidal-expansion/ I was delighted to meet Cameron Smith of ARL this week, and to take him to meet Scrabster Harbour Trust in a week that the port was very busy with large oil & gas industry vessels (see our online blog page for pictures).  

[Printer Friendly Version]