Supporting Scotland's oil and gas sector
Scotland’s Energy Jobs Taskforce was established in January 2015 in response to the downturn in the oil and gas sector.
Since then, the Taskforce has delivered an exceptional range of support for the industry and individuals working in the sector. This has included targeted help to 800 companies and assistance 4,200 people facing redundancy.
The Taskforce has now fulfilled its mandate from industry members, which was to ensure a long-term vision, focused on securing sustainable change that addresses the sector’s structural challenges.
The work of the taskforce will now be taken forward by the Oil and Gas Industry Leadership Group, co-chaired by Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse.
Under the guidance of the taskforce, oil and gas innovation spend almost trebled last year, with £15.9 million of Scottish Enterprise support for 82 companies to deliver 111 projects. In total, 800 companies have been advised in areas such as innovation, leadership, internationalisation, business resilience and diversification.
Catalyst for change
Following the final taskforce meeting in Aberdeen, the First Minister visited Tullos Training, where she met engineering apprentices undergoing training to be the North Sea workforce of the future.
The First Minister said:
"The Energy Jobs Taskforce has been a catalyst for culture change, ensuring companies innovate and remain competitive while helping thousands of individuals. It has made a vital contribution to strengthening the oil and gas sector, laying the foundation for a positive future for the North Sea economy.
"With employment levels beginning to stabilise, the signs of improvement are encouraging. However, I fully appreciate that challenges remain and we will continue to work with industry to ensure the recovery is sustained."
Lena Wilson, chair of the taskforce and CEO of Scottish Enterprise, said:
"The time is right for the work of the Taskforce to become mainstream business for the various organisations involved and Scottish Enterprise will continue to work closely with the sector to help it respond to challenges and opportunities ahead."
Deirdre Michie, Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive, said:
"Over the last few years, the Taskforce has provided helpful support to those who lost their jobs in a challenging climate for our industry. Work by the Taskforce also contributed to the development of Vision 2035, which industry is focusing on working towards.
"Oil & Gas UK has been pleased to play our part and will continue to work closely with other organisations to build on what has been achieved to support our sector and our people."
Building collaborative working
Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the Scottish Trade Union Congress, said:
"As well as achieving many of the objectives set by the First Minster, the Taskforce has been the catalyst for a number of other positive outcomes that should serve the industry well in the period ahead.
"Among the most significant is the constructive relationship that has developed between unions and employers and the recognition that a workforce with an effective voice at strategic and operational levels is vital to the industry's future success."
Jake Molloy, Regional Organiser for the RMT Union, said:
"The Taskforce has been an invaluable means for engagement between all stakeholders and Scottish Government departments, something which has never previously been achieved.
"This has provided a far greater understanding of the work and roles of the respective Taskforce members and created a foundation to continue building collaborative working to create and sustain employment in the energy sector. The group may no longer meet but the work goes on – it has to."
Key action areas
Scotland's Energy Jobs Taskforce identified a number of key action areas to best support the oil and gas industry:
Quick links for oil and gas support