The First Minister’s Scottish energy advisory board, which is co-chaired by Professor Jim McDonald of the University of Strathclyde and has representation from the key energy companies, has taken a specific interest in the future skills demands of the energy sector, including renewables. The board has commissioned Skills Development Scotland, as a member of the group, to produce a study on Scotland’s future energy skills demand.
In addition, the skills sub-group of the forum for renewable energy development in Scotland, under the energy advisory board, is charged with delivering the skills requirements that are needed for the developing renewable energy sector. By bringing together industry and key skills bodies, the group is focused on the delivery of the skills framework for action, as set out in the renewables action plan, including actions on developing appropriate qualifications and learning provision and raising awareness of the renewables industry as a positive career choice.
Given the significant plans for onshore and offshore wind energy, does the minister agree that it would be in the long-term financial interests of Scotland for there to be a stepped increase in investment in wind turbine technicians, such as that which is already provided, on a small scale, by Carnegie College in Dunfermline?
There is an opportunity for Mr Tolson and his Liberal Democrat colleagues, as well as members on the Tory benches, to come together with us as we debate electricity market reforms to ensure that the fabric of the low-carbon economy in Scotland is fully considered as we develop issues in the area along with his colleague, Chris Huhne.