The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and OPITO have signed an agreement that will see the organizations work together to provide a single source of vocational and educational qualifications for the multi-billion pound oil and gas industry.
Under the new agreement, qualifications will be designed to fit with the unique demands of the sector, giving it full ownership of the skills and knowledge needed to ensure competency in its workforce.
It will also help identify gaps in existing qualifications and translate the extensive employer investment in workplace learning into a structured framework which can be measured, understood and acknowledged through formal qualifications.
Successful learners will be awarded certificates by the SQA and entered onto Vantage, the industry's Central Training Register.
OPITO Group CEO David Doig said, "As the oil capital of Europe, Scotland has played a major role in the oil and gas industry for over 35 years, with 150,000 people currently employed by more than 2,000 companies extracting reserves from the North Sea.
"Over time, an education and training offering has developed within Scotland's education sectors to service the complex training and research needs of the industry. This new approach will give the industry full ownership of what skills and knowledge are needed to make a worker competent and how this is continually measured and recorded.
"It will also translate the massive employer investment in workplace learning into a structured framework which can be measured, understood and acknowledged through formal qualifications. Removing bureaucracy and adding tangible value, this is a clear move from the traditional approach to designing and awarding vocational qualifications."
Dr. Janet Brown, SQA chief executive said, "SQA are looking forward to working in partnership with OPITO, to deliver a first-class suite of qualifications specifically tailored to the needs of the oil and gas industry. Our work together will help create a skilled workforce ready to face the challenges of the 21st century."
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