More than £14m invested in North-east's 'untapped potential'
More than £14 million will be invested to support North-east based workers impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the oil and gas downturn.
The funding will provide opportunities for more than 3,000 individuals in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire through training and enterprise projects across a number of sectors, including entrepreneurship, tourism and energy transition.
This includes a climate emergency training programme to help businesses transition towards net zero, and a scheme to support employers develop business plans to ensure long-term sustainable jobs.
Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Karen Adam said: “As we look to diversify the North-east economy, the SNP Scottish Government is committed to creating new sustainable employment opportunities.
“This will mean future proofing employment prospects and the local economy of Banffshire and Buchan Coast, and the rest of the North-east and Moray.
“The oil and gas downturn has had a huge impact on families across the region. However, we already know of the untapped potential Scotland has in terms of renewables.
"The possibilities in investing appropriately into the sector could bring unparalleled economic benefits to the region.
“As we look to rebuild Scotland’s economy after Covid, there isn’t a better time to invest in Scotland’s future and support our move toward just transition.”
Minister for Youth Employment and Training Jamie Hepburn accepted the North-east was facing particular challenges as result of the double impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the downturn in oil and gas.
He said: “This targeted £14.3 million investment will aid economic recovery in the region and support businesses to make the transition to net zero.
"These 29 training projects will also provide opportunities for workers to upskill and re-skill, enabling them to capitalise on careers in growing sectors. Our funding will also support those entering the workforce and aid business growth and innovation.
“We have worked closely with local partners including universities, local authorities and business organisations to develop these proposals and to ensure this funding meets the economic needs of the region.”
Opportunity North East (ONE) Chief Executive Jennifer Craw, said the region had a clear vision for economic recovery and transformation – to focus on high-value activity and transition to a low-carbon economy as quickly as possible.
"This new funding addresses specific challenges in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and builds on the action, investment, and partnerships driving recovery and diversification,” she said.
“The projects, including those led by ONE, will help growing businesses across the region provide high-quality employment and training opportunities for people in a low-carbon economy and ensure that we contribute to an environmentally sustainable net-zero future at home and internationally.
“This is what a just transition to a better and fairer economy looks like, and it is what will make a genuine difference to people, their attainment and prospects, quality of life, and outlook.”