Aberdeen expected to be hit by 5,500 North Sea job losses within 10 years

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Aberdeen is facing a long-term downturn in the oil and gas industry, with another 5,500 jobs expected to be lost in the next decade.

Industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) said attracting fresh investment was vital.

The new installation will operate in the Penguins field, 150 miles north-east of the Shetland islands.  Picture: Andy Buchanan

The new installation will operate in the Penguins field, 150 miles north-east of the Shetland islands. Picture: Andy Buchanan

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The oil job losses figure was highlighted in a city council report into a draft regional skills strategy published by Skills Development Scotland (SDS). The strategy aims to address the oil downturn’s impact on the region’s skills base.

OGUK said in September the oil sector supported 300,000 jobs in the UK, down from 460,000 just three years ago.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was accused of believing the oil and gas downturn was “already over” soon after the release of those figures as the Scottish Government wound up the Energy Jobs Taskforce, which had been created to protect North Sea jobs.

The strategy warned the slump had been longer and deeper than previous downturns and has hit other sectors and called for a more “balanced” economy for the North-east.

The first action involves “responding to the current downturn” and highlights several initiatives created to help oil workers, including the Transition Training Fund (TTF). SDS has approved 2,825 applications for funding from oil workers who wish to retrain through the TTF.

The scheme was launched by the Scottish Government last year. SDS is also prepared to coordinate with its partners on the development of a digital platform for engaging with “affected individuals”.

Tommy Campbell, regional officer for the Unite trade union, told website Energy Voice: “The news that there are going to be fewer jobs is certainly very disappointing. There are plenty of job opportunities that could be created if there was investment. We need to invest, particularly in young people.”

Adam Davey, market intelligence officer with industry body Oil and Gas UK, said future jobs will depend on acitvity levels in the North Sea.

“The key priority is to attract fresh investment into the basin to drive new activity and protect jobs,” he added.

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