Gillian Martin MSP has called for the re-opening of the Oil and Gas Transition Training Fund as unemployment is expected to soar in the North-east.
The Aberdeenshire East MSP made the call during a parliamentary debate and has since written to the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy urging the government to offer targeted funding to people who have lost their jobs and want to retrain as a result of the oil and gas crash and the global pandemic.
This comes as KPMG has forecast that Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Council areas will be those in Scotland most heavily impacted by the low oil price, Brexit and the consequences of the global pandemic, with GVA shrinking by 8.6% and 8.5% respectively.
The Scottish Government previously allocated £12million towards this fund over three years running from 2016/17 through to 2018/19, making grants available to unemployed oil workers to help them gain new skills and qualifications.
Commenting Gillian Martin MSP said
It is vital that the Scottish Government act as early as possible to mitigate the impact on the North-east, and to enable the swiftest and most sustainable recovery possible. The report released today predicts the most job losses of any area, and this is of great concern given that our North-east is also predicted to be the worst affected by the impact of Brexit.
The challenges presented by the current pandemic mean that efforts to deliver a just transition are more important than ever. I believe introducing funding specifically for re-training people in the North-east would provide targeted help for those most at risk of losing their jobs.
I want to see the creation, development and growth of sustainable businesses, but also to ensure there is support for otherwise viable businesses the futures of which covid-19 and the oil price volatility has jeopardised.