Sustainability Award

The offshore energy industry is going through a significant transformation to achieve net zero by 2050. As the focus shifts from oil and gas towards renewables, such as offshore wind, the transfer of skills for the offshore energy workforce is crucial to supporting the energy transition. As part of the North Sea Transition Deal (NSTD), a plan which sets out how the offshore oil and gas sector will work together to deliver the skills, innovation and new infrastructure needed to meet greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets, we’ve been working with OPITO, a not-for-profit skills and training company in the energy industry, to remove the barriers for the workforce to transition between sectors.

We’ve helped OPITO to deliver two key elements, which will bring significant benefits to the offshore energy industry and its workforce of around 150,000:

People & Skills Strategy

We project managed, shaped, co-authored and achieved stakeholder alignment to publish and launch the People & Skills Strategy – providing direction and clarity on the priorities to enable the creation of a cross-industry energy workforce fit for the UK’s net-zero future.

Skills Passport

We’re acting as industry integrator and Business Change Lead to scope, develop and are currently implementing the Skills Passport – providing a solution for a more ‘agile energy worker’ who can work seamlessly between sectors, and helping identify career pathways and a transition to high-growth roles.

Aside from the high-profile nature of the work, there were nuanced challenges. The complex stakeholder landscape includes many organisations with different competing priorities, a lack of alignment on the energy transition and siloed ways of working. We also had to create a People & Skills Strategy that would receive government and industry support, where government support was critical and required careful and thoughtful stakeholder management at the Scottish Cabinet Secretary level and the UK and Scottish governments. There had already been several (unsuccessful) attempts to develop a Skills Passport for the offshore energy industry. As such, there were no previous successes to draw on, whilst our work would be paving the way for other industries such as infrastructure and automotive.

The project is still in its delivery phase and the Skills Passport is due to be deployed later this year. Ultimately, our work is having a positive impact on both local communities and wider society by creating a visible, fair and efficient energy workforce transition and, crucially, is helping to drive the UK’s transition towards net zero by:

  • Creating a transition for approximately 70,000 oil and gas sector workers to find future careers in the renewables energy sector.
  • Supporting OPITO in its successful funding application of £5 million from the Scottish government.
  • Reducing retraining costs for the workforce and employers with estimated savings of around £180 million and around 900 years of training days over the next eight years.
  • Building OPITO’s credibility and profile in the UK and global energy sector, establishing it as a leader in offshore energy workforce skills and the energy transition.

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