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Evaluation of the International Energy Skills and Training Alliance (IESTA)


The International Energy Skills and Training Alliance (IESTA) was formed by Scottish Enterprise (SE) in 2008 in recognition of the value and potential of the energy training market. It sought to help Scottish based training providers to access opportunities to secure overseas training contracts in the energy sector, with the overall objective of growing Scotland’s share of the global market for energy sector skills and training provision. IESTA has deliberately targeted specific markets such as North and West Africa to create and maintain focus. The evaluation aimed to assess: the progress of the project against its original objectives; the economic impact of the project; the progress to date towards self-sustainability; and the extent to which the Alliance delivery model is felt to still be fit for purpose.


The methodology consisted of an online survey and follow up telephone consultations with IESTA members; consultations with the SE project manager, the SE sector lead, and the Director of Operations for IESTA; and desk research.


The review concluded that IESTA has transformed itself in the last 10-12 months or so, despite slow progress initially, and that it is starting to have real value for its members. Momentum is gathering in terms of member recruitment and business opportunities. Views on the current direction and effectiveness of the Alliance are overwhelmingly positive. The net economic benefits are currently modest, estimated at £0.63m in new and safeguarded sales and £0.23m in GVA. Including benefits forecast in the future (from IESTA activity to date) and their persistence over three years, the net GVA is estimated to be £1.6m. The Alliance continues to have a strong fit with the objectives of SE, providing support to one of the Scottish Government’s identified key sectors and assisting businesses with accessing international business opportunities. IESTA is addressing the identified information-related market failures and starting to move towards some market adjustment in the sector. At the same time, the Alliance is at a critical point in its development, and immediate future funding support from the public sector would help IESTA achieve self-reliance and a more complete market adjustment. The costs of supporting the Alliance are relatively modest, yet the future potential returns are considerable, given the latent market potential and supplier competitive advantages.


In light of the significant development over the last 10 months, no specific recommendations have been made at this time.

Author Ekosgen
Published Year 2011
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development