Groups Call for Offshore Training Passport
Friends of the Earth (FOE) Scotland, Platform, Greenpeace, the RMT union, and the Unite Scotland union are calling for the implementation of an ‘Offshore Training Passport’, a new report has revealed.
The passport would allow workers to move freely between different energy sectors - such as renewables, oil and gas, and decommissioning - with a standardization of certification across roles and sectors and clarity that a certificate in date does not need to be repeated, according to the report.
The call for the offshore passport follows a survey of 610 offshore oil and gas workers conducted by Platform, FOE Scotland, and Greenpeace UK - supported by RMT and Unite - which found that 94 percent of respondents said they would support it. Of the 610 respondents, 53.8 percent live in Scotland, 40.4 percent in England, 3.1 percent in the rest of the UK, and the remaining 2.7 percent outside of the UK. The survey found that these workers were paying an average of over $2,500 (GBP 1,800) per year in training costs.
“The skills and experience of offshore workers are vital to enable a rapid shift to renewable energy, but workers cannot be expected to fork out thousands from their own pocket to duplicate qualifications they already have,” Ryan Morrison, a just transition campaigner at FOE Scotland, said in an organization statement.
“Promises of green jobs mean little when this training regime holds back the opportunity to move between sectors. It is time for politicians to listen to these workers by creating a regulated training passport to ensure a just transition for offshore workers,” he added.
John Boland, the regional officer for Unite the Union, said, “our members have made it clear to us that training costs and duplication of training are a major issue for them, particularly since the downturn, caused by Covid and the fall in oil and gas prices”.
“Many of our members have been made redundant and are having to pay thousands of pounds to have their training and medical certificates updated, so they can get work,” he added. “Unite have been raising the issues highlighted in this survey, about the barriers for offshore workers transitioning into new renewable jobs, for several years,” Boland continued.
Mick Lynch, the RMT union’s general secretary, said, “as a matter of urgency the energy industry must take control from the countless standards bodies that are setting the agenda based on commercial imperatives rather than what the industry and its workforce actually needs”.
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