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OPITO Calls for Unified Action to Empower Energy Workforce in Achieving UK’s Net Zero Ambitions

OPITO Calls for Unified Action to Empower Energy Workforce in Achieving UK’s Net Zero Ambitions


OPITO, the not-for-profit, global safety and skills organisation for the energy industry, has issued a call for concerted efforts to champion the pivotal role of the energy workforce in the UK's journey towards net zero. In its newly launched Skills Manifesto: Empowering Tomorrow, OPITO outlines a strategic framework to enhance the skills and adaptability of the energy sector's workforce.

Working in close collaboration with governments, regulators, trade unions, trade associations, and other sector-wide organisations, OPITO designs and implements skills enhancement programmes across the sector.

OPITO’s new Skills Manifesto emphasises the need for a carefully managed transition. This approach is crucial for unlocking the workforce's potential, maintaining the UK's leadership in energy safety and competence, and attracting global investment.

The manifesto advocates for several key actions to ensure industry readiness and workforce adaptability including:

  1. National Skills Strategy: The creation of a unified and cohesive National Skills Strategy for the energy industry will help shape the country’s economic future, ensuring that individuals and businesses have the skills they need to thrive. The government must demonstrate leadership and stability to foster a collaborative dynamic within industry and provide assurance of long-term investments.
  2. Action over words: Active government involvement helps create a stable, innovative and resilient industrial and economic landscape, benefiting the entirety of the energy industry.
  3. Addressing the skills shortage: Bridging the skills gap requires a multi-faceted approach, including clearly defining job requirements, offering training and development opportunities, building relationships with educational institutions, nurturing transferable skills and embracing the use of emerging technologies. Further government incentives are required to reverse the decline in employer investment in training.
  4. Championing social mobility:  STEM-related subjects introduce a wider variety of perspectives that support greater innovation and competitiveness. The arts foster design, creative and critical thinking proficiencies. Both are essential for building the clean energy workforce of tomorrow.
  5. Fuelling future demand: OPITO is calling for adequately funded apprenticeships to ensure a diverse range of people can access quality training, regardless of their background. This will help alleviate skills shortages currently being faced across the energy industry.
  6. Ensuring stability: The impact of stable and considered energy policy is vital to influence economic growth, environmental protection, social equity, and technological innovation. The government must provide a clear and stable future policy direction to 2030 and beyond to ensure sector alignment and establish boundaries.

"The multi-disciplinary nature of our current offshore workforce is invaluable," said Stephen Marcos Jones, CEO of OPITO.

"With 90% of the UK’s oil and gas workforce possessing transferrable skills, there's a tremendous opportunity for these professionals to transition into adjacent energy sectors. This transition encompasses a broad spectrum of roles, from technical and engineering positions to leadership and digital skills, both onshore and offshore."

"Skills foster innovation. Achieving the key asks contained within our manifesto will lead to a highly competent, adaptable energy workforce to drive economic growth, social mobility, and competitiveness for the future energy system."
To download OPITO’s Skills Manifesto: Empowering Tomorrow, please visit OPITO’s website.

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE

Published: 02-07-2024

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