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Majority of oil and gas workers consider making a switch to renewables

By Calum MacLeod

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Scottish Renewables chief executive Claire Mack.
Scottish Renewables chief executive Claire Mack.

EIGHT in 10 Scots oil workers have considered that their careers could be impacted by actions being taken to tackle climate change, new research suggests.

A new study by Survation for industry body Scottish Renewables has shown 80 per cent of Scottish oil and gas workers have considered their career’s future – and that more than three-quarters (77 per cent) are positive about retraining to join the renewable energy industry.

The equivalent of 90 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand is now met from renewables like wind and solar power.

The demand for oil and gas is set to decline further with the increasing use of electric vehicles and low-carbon heating, alongside moves to slash plastic use, leading to a prediction 30,000 UK sector workers could lose their jobs by 2022.

Scottish Renewables chief executive Claire Mack said: "Our industry provides enormous opportunity for those working in oil and gas who may be facing redundancy and unemployment.

"These professionals possess a high level of skills and expertise which, with the right support from government to create a clear pipeline of projects to meet our climate change targets, can be utilised to help develop and grow the renewable energy workforce we will need."

The new figures have been released as Scottish Renewables calls for the Scottish Government to set up a Renewables Transition Training Fund to ensure training is provided specifically to target careers in renewable energy as the country works towards its net-zero ambitions.

The research also shows 86 per cent of oil and gas professionals would welcome government support to assist their transition to employment within the renewable energy sector.

With the renewable energy skills which have been developed in Scotland increasingly in demand around the world, as well as needed at home to help grow the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Scottish Renewables says the training fund would support oil and gas professionals, supply chain businesses, tradesmen and public servants to acquire sustainable, exportable skills and join the industry.

The opportunities and challenges facing the sector will be debated at the Scottish Renewables’ annual conference 2020, which is taking place online on September 1 to 3.

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