A TRAINING fund for oil and gas workers who face losing their jobs will also be open to those who want to retrain as teachers, the Education Secretary has announced.
The £12 million Transition Training Fund was set up to help people move into other roles in the oil and gas, energy or manufacturing industries by offering grants to support their redeployment through retraining or further education.
It will also be available to those who want to become teachers, as part of efforts to boost teacher numbers in places which can have difficulty attracting them, Angela Constance said.
Oil and gas workers will be helped to being their expertise into teaching, particularly in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects.
Ms Constance said: “We have a highly skilled oil and gas workforce and it is important that we harness their abilities to benefit the next generation, the future of the industry and the north-east of Scotland.
“Developing options within the £12 million Transition Training Fund will help ensure we don’t lose valuable oil and gas sector skills, which can be put to excellent use and will lead to more high-quality, passionate teachers in the area.
“This is the latest in a range of actions we are taking to make sure we have the right teachers in the right places to benefit our young people.
“We have launched our #inspiringteachers campaign to encourage more people to enter the profession. We have increased student teacher intake targets for the fifth year in a row and are setting targets to train teachers in the subjects where they are needed most.”
Larry Flanagan, general secretary of teaching union the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: “The EIS welcomes this investment to support the training of new teachers, and the commitment to addressing the teacher recruitment challenges that exist across Scotland and in the north-east of the country in particular.
“This investment to support the retraining of experienced workers as teachers will help to tackle teacher shortages, while also continuing to ensure that only fully qualified teachers are deployed in order to maintain the very high standards of learning and teaching in Scotland’s schools.”