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

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Aberdeen is set to be rocked by a major downturn in the oil sector, with another 5,500 jobs expected to be lost in the next decade. A new report has predicted thousands of jobs will be axed in the city’s energy sector by 2027, reported The Scotsman.

But the job losses are tipped to be partly offset by strong growth in the digital, creative and financial service sectors, according to the study. A trade union official said the development was “very disappointing”.

Industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) said attracting fresh investment was vital. 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 draft strategy warned the slump had been longer and deeper than previous downturns.
The strategy authors also said it was clear the oil downturn had impacted other sectors, including retail, hospitality, transport and property.

Researchers said Scotland’s north-east must build a more balanced economic future if the region was to prosper. 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 in the coming years 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.” OGUK market intelligence manager Adam Davey said: “Predicting employment levels in the oil and gas industry will depend on future levels of investment and the type of activity that will be taking place on the UK continental shelf, which is why the key priority is to attract fresh investment into the basin to drive new activity and protect jobs.”


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