FORTH Valley College’s innovative new Oil and Gas Academy Scotland (OGAS) facilities were officially launched today (Thursday 20 March) by Fergus Ewing MSP Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism.
The Scottish Minister was met on arrival by college principal, Dr Ken Thomson, who led him on a tour of the new £1.21 million facilities consisting of a state-of-the-art chemical distillation plant, virtual control room, mini-rig lab, process training plant and mechanical workshop.
Funding was provided by the Scottish Funding Council and also the Energy Skills Scotland (ESS) Initiative, led by Skills Development Scotland, which aims to increase capacity for engineering training and support the new Oil and Gas Academy for Scotland (OGAS).
OGAS is a collaboration between six training providers for the oil and gas sector including the college, Heriot-Watt University, North East College Scotland College, Robert Gordon University, University of Aberdeen and ASET International Oil & Gas Training Academy.
This exciting new partnership will see organisations sharing expertise and resources and aligning provision to provide a wide range of world class training and professional development opportunities for national and international employers in the oil and gas industry.
Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing, said: “This facility demonstrates our investment in the sector, in the area and most importantly in our young people.
“If our young people are to benefit from the tremendous opportunities that this sector presents, both now and in the future, it is essential that we equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
“Forth Valley’s close relationship with local employers in the energy sector makes it ideally placed to be at the forefront of the skills pipeline for the energy sector in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting continued growth in Scotland’s energy sector.
“With up to 24 billion recoverable barrels with a potential wholesale value of £1.5 trillion, more than half of the resources in the North Sea, by value, still to be extracted, it is clear that the industry will make an important contribution to the Scottish economy for decades to come.”
Forth Valley College principal, Dr Ken Thomson, said: “We are extremely proud of our new facilities and are delighted the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism could come along to provide our official launch.
“Our partnership in the Oil and Gas Academy Scotland is very important to us and offering students training in these state-of-the-art facilities ensures that Forth Valley College continues to be one of the best places in Scotland to learn energy skills.
“I look forward to seeing how these fantastic facilities benefit our current and future learners.”
Energy Skills Scotland (ESS) director, Mike Duncan, added: “I’m delighted to be here to see the opening of this facility, supported by ESS, which provides a state of the art training environment for the oil and gas sector. It is a natural step to build upon existing provision and networks within the sector.
“ESS is already working with training providers across the country creating 1,000 opportunities for people in related industries to upskill and train for energy jobs through the Energy Skills Challenge Fund.”
Laurence Howells, interim chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “The oil and gas industry can be confident that these fantastic, high-quality facilities will meet their future skills needs.
“The real life working conditions will give learners a competitive advantage with hands-on experience and improve their employability.”
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