Energy excellence for Aberdeen

AberdeenCity and Shire Economic Forum (ACSEF) has announced an initiative to lay the foundations for an InternationalEnergyAcademy in Scotland.

ACSEF has been working with the public and the private sector on plans to create a centre of excellence for the energy industry with an emphasis on improving skills over the next 30 years.

Dr Ian Heywood, director of economic development agency Scottish Enterprise Grampian, said there were enormous challenges, but an aspirational plan was essential in the drive to overcome skills shortages facing the industry, build the talent pool and act as a showcase for excellence in training people.

The concept behind the International Energy Academy (IEA) came from the Next Generation process, an initiative driven by ACSEF to work with the private sector to identify projects aimed at securing the long-term future of the north east’s economy.

One of these projects is Energetica, a drive to create an environment to support all types of energy production. Part of this is a new corridor from the Aberdeen Science and EnergyPark at Bridge of Don stretching northward to Peterhead.

Dr Heywood said there were several excellent local and national initiatives underway to plug the skills gap but they were not of sufficient scale to address the demands of the global marketplace and remained ad hoc and fragmented.

According to Dr Heywood, the next step would be to progress the formation of a partnership with key industry bodies to take the project forward. He said the emphasis would initially be to build on the expertise and demand from the oil and gas sector. Once that was achieved, work would continue with industry to shape other parts of the IEA.