PICTURES: Turbine blade is a sign of the times as joint campaign – by charities Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Platform – aimed at securing a fair transition for offshore workers moving from oil and gas work to the renewable energy sector reaches Inverness city centre with members of the public encouraged to sign a 13m wind turbine blade
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Scores of people have signed a wind turbine blade in Inverness city centre as part of a campaign to secure a fair transition for offshore workers moving from oil and gas work to the renewable energy sector.
The Just Transition tour – a joint petition by charities Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Platform – brought the13-metre-long blade to the High Street on Friday.
A campaign spokeswoman said: “We had loads of people come down and nearly 200 signatures on the first day on the blade itself.”
The petition has been signed by 12,000 people so far, including more than 1300 from the Highlands and Islands.
Greenpeace campaigner Morten Thaysen urged the government to prevent the future collapse of the industry.
He said: “Due to climate change, we will have to move away from oil and gas to other industries, for instance offshore wind and onshore wind, but the situation at the moment is for a lot of workers it is hard to move from one industry to another.
“People are having to do new training sessions and have to pay out of their own pocket for that.
“We think it’s important that the government makes a proper plan for the transition and supports workers to move from one industry to another and invest in renewables to make sure there are enough jobs for people.”
Organisers want to encourage more offshore workers and other supportive individuals to sign the blade’s surface and their petition, to persuade First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to secure workers’ futures in the renewables industry while tackling climate change.
A survey of 300 Scottish offshore workers showed that repetitive and expensive training costs were a real barrier to them accessing jobs in renewables.
Workers report having to spend up to £1600 each year on average on training costs.