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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-00664: Gillian Martin (Aberdeenshire East)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 10 June 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to increase the number of modern apprenticeship places in the oil and gas sector.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 24 June 2016

The Scottish Government is committed to supporting the growth of the modern apprenticeship (MA) programme across the Scottish economy and has maintained had a strong focus in supporting increased numbers of MAs across the energy sector, including oil and gas.

In delivering our target for 26,000 MA opportunities this year, we have directed Skills Development Scotland to prioritise starts in key and enabling sectors, including the oil and gas sectors, within the annual MA target, which in 2016 has increased to 26,000 starts as a step towards of our commitment to deliver 30,000 starts by 2020.

The Scottish Government is using all of the levers under our control to support the oil and gas industry. There is an extensive network of support for the oil and gas industry delivered through Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Development International, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council.

Our focus with our industrial and training partners has been to protect and sustain as many of the current apprenticeships as possible and to incentivise the re-employment of those that have unfortunately been displaced though redundancies. This has been supported through the provision of additional resources to create the enhanced Adopt an Apprentice initiative, which provides a £5,000 recruitment incentive for companies to hire a displaced apprentice and enable them to complete their work based qualifications.

More widely we have also established the Energy Jobs Taskforce which has published its action plan setting out some of the key measures they are taking forward with the backing and support of key industry leaders. The task force will look to safeguard the decades of skill and experience built up in Scotland’s oil and gas industry, and is focusing on encouraging and influencing flexible approaches to employment that limit job losses and help avoid losing skills and talent vital in the medium and long-term.