To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that offshore oil and gas workers in north east England made redundant during the covid-19 outbreak are offered support to re-train for work in the offshore wind industry.
The Government is closely monitoring developments related to potential impacts on the upstream oil and gas industry and is in regular contact with a range of stakeholders from the sector.
In response to the pandemic, we have announced an unprecedented financial package to support businesses, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
In the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, the offshore wind sector committed to developing an Offshore Energy Passport (recognised outside the UK) to accredit offshore workers and facilitate job-mobility between offshore renewable and extractive industries. The sector has established an Investment in Talent Group, supported by a skills professional, who will identify skills needs across the sector, and develop curricula and accreditation to deepen the skills base.
The Green Jobs Taskforce, which my Hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills and I chair, forms part of the Government’s ambitious plan to build back greener and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Its aim is to focus on the immediate and longer-term challenges of delivering skilled workers for the UK’s transition to net zero including supporting workers in high carbon transitioning sectors, like oil and gas, to retrain in new green technologies. This will also be a key aim for the upcoming North Sea Transition Deal.