Funding will be available for North Sea oil and gas workers who wish to retrain as teachers, the Scottish education secretary Angela Constance announced today.
Financial support to help workers who have been made redundant will come from the £12m Transition Training Fund, launched by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on 1 February.
Funding will be prioritised for those who wish to retrain in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
“The announcement today will hopefully go some way to addressing the shortage of teachers in some parts of the country while also increasing the number of teachers within the STEM subjects which would be a positive outcome,” said a spokesman for the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
“People are qualifying for teaching in a number of ways now, so we welcome this flexibility,” he added.
However, Tommy Campbell, a Unite regional officer who represents the oil and gas sector, said government funding would be better placed if it focused on the existing skills and expertise.
“It’s certainly welcome that the Scottish government is allocating funding for oil and gas workers to re-deploy their skills elsewhere in the economy, should these workers wish to so,” Campbell said.
“But the better way to help ensure a viable future for the oil and gas industry is to sustain expertise and skills within the sector today - something we have repeatedly warned both the UK and Scottish governments."