Environment Protection: Training

Department for Education written question – answered on 4th December 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Bowie Andrew Bowie Conservative, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to work with (a) the oil and gas sector and (b) other parts of the private sector to support the technical and vocational skills training required to achieve the Prime Minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The oil and gas sector has a key role to play as we move to a net zero economy and this Government has committed to supporting this energy transition with a transformational North Sea Transition Deal. The focus of this deal will be on ensuring the sector can support the energy transition and anchoring the supply chain across the UK. This also includes a focus on skills, supporting high-quality jobs in new energy technologies that will help to decarbonise our economy.

Private sector engagement through employers is also key to our work in helping shape future policies and programmes. The new Green Jobs Taskforce, which was launched on 12 November 2020, has been set up to help the UK build back greener and deliver the skilled workforce needed to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is a joint initiative between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Education.

Working with employers and relevant stakeholders such as BP and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), the Taskforce will develop an action plan to support 2 million good-quality, green jobs and the skills needed by 2030, supporting the UK to transition to a net zero economy and deliver a green recovery.

One key aim of the Taskforce is to identify the support needed for workers transitioning from high carbon industries such as oil and gas and how to best mobilise their skills for a Green Industrial Revolution.

Taskforce members will represent views of businesses, employees and the skills sector. Involvement in this work will not be limited only to Taskforce members, and there will be opportunities for a wider set of stakeholders, including the private sector, to contribute.

Details of the Taskforce including a full list members can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-launches-taskforce-to-support-drive-for-2-million-green-jobs-by-2030.

We are also working closely with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education who are convening a Green Apprenticeships Advisory Panel to guide the Institute in identifying existing apprenticeships that support the green economy and encouraging trailblazers to align those apprenticeships to net zero and wider sustainability objectives. The Panel will also advise where there is a need for new apprenticeships to be created by employer groups. The Institute will be working to ensure that apprenticeships play their part in helping workers reskill and support a move to green sector jobs.

The ECITB grant also supports a wide range of training in the oil and gas sector, from craft, apprenticeships, and technical training to project management. The ECITB’s recently announced COVID-19 support package is directly focused on the oil and gas sector, including the ‘Train to Retain’ initiative, which will support the retention and development of graduates and apprentices, ensuring that vital engineering skills are secured in the industry.

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