Oil and Gas and Energy Transition Strategic Leadership Group minutes: December 2020

Minutes from Oil and Gas and Energy Transition Strategic Leadership Group meeting on 10 December 2020.

Attendees and apologies


  • Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands
  • Melfort Campbell, IMES Group
  • John Person, Petrofac
  • Gordon McGuiness, SDS 
  • Trevor Garlick, ONE
  • Jim Savage, Aberdeenshire Council
  • John McDonald, OPITO
  • Andrew Ritchie (in place of Steve Phimister), Shell
  • Ian Donald, ENPRO-Subsea
  • Peter Black, Energysys
  • Terry Savage, GE Group
  • Craig Shanaghey, Wood
  • Stuart Payne, OGA
  • Richard Knox, EC-OG
  • Rozanne Foyer, STUC
  • John Boland, Unite
  • Colette Cohen, OGTC
  • Audrey MacIver, HIE
  • Arne Gurtner, Equinor
  • Andy McDonald (in place of Linda Hannah), SE
  • Deirdre Michie, OGUK
  • Paul de Leeuw, RGU
  • Neil Gordon, Subsea UK
  • Phil Simons, Subsea 7
  • Mike Smith, NECCUS
  • Liz Rattray, University of Aberdeen 

•    Andrew McCallum, Aspect 


  • Linsey Wilson, Scottish Government


  • Emily Bourne, BEIS
  • David Rennie, SDI
  • Sonja MacMillan, SE
  • Sian Lloyd Rees, Aker Solutions 
  • Kim Hendry, Aspect Management
  • Gwen Folland, Petrofac
  • Jill Glennie, OPITO
  • Sir Ian Wood ONE
  • Kathryn McKee, BP
  • Gordon Stirling, OCA
  • Jenny MacDonald, SDS
  • Kevin Taylor, SE
  • Claire Mack, Scottish Renewables
  • Stephen Marcos Jones, UKPIA
  • Gavin MacKay, HIE


  • Andrew Gardiner, INEOS
  • Emeka Emembolu, BP
  • George Boyne, University of Aberdeen
  • Linda Hannah, SE
  • Damien Yates, SDS

Items and actions

Ministerial opening remarks

The Minister welcomed everyone to the eighth meeting of the SLG . 

The Minister advised it had been a busy two months since the last SLG with a number of important announcements including the UK Government’s 10-point net zero plan. The plan includes a range of commitments to decarbonise energy, including investing in carbon capture and storage and hydrogen development. However, we require clarity, including the scale and profile of the proposed investment accompanying these commitments.

The upcoming UK Government Net Zero Review and Net Zero Strategy will be critical in clarifying the level of the UK Government’s ambition. But we also need greater collaboration on the UK Government’s upcoming Energy White Paper, Decarbonisation of the Transport Strategy, Heat in Buildings Strategy and the Industrial Decarbonisation Plan. This announcement follows on from the funding packages and other initiatives the Scottish Government has announced over the last few months to support the energy sector. 

The Minister welcomed the recently published Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce annual oil and gas report  which has highlighted a number of the challenges facing the sector including business confidence and future activity, an issue we have discussed at previous SLG meetings. 

Advised that OGTC and OREC launched their Integrated Energy Vision report last week. This is a timely report as the oil and gas sector reaches a critical period as it moves on from the huge effects of COVID-19 and looks to the future. The three scenarios outlined within the report provide us with further intelligence to support and accelerate the development of an updated integrated energy vision, building on our Energy Strategy. 

Last week also saw the publication of OGUK’s Economic report on the sector. While it gives us what the impact COVID-19 has had on the sector and the subsequent commercial and economic implications it also explores the future role of the industry. The Minister was pleased to see that the report reinforces the industry’s long-term commitment to energy transition.  

The Minister explained he recently had a number of meetings with some key companies within the sector on particular issues affecting them and their plans for the future were discussed. Very pleased that there was a lot of positivity but knowing there are some issues are still overshadowing the sector and the future. 

The Minister welcomed the progress made by UNITE, RMT and GMB and 15 employers on the Energy Services Agreement (ESA) and the commitment  to drawing up the ESA next year. Understands more participants will be targeted once the ESA is in place, by demonstrating the value of the agreement in practice.  The Minister encourage businesses to discuss this with those who have signed up with a view of becoming part of the ESA.  

It was noted the scale of the challenge presented to our energy sector and supply chain is significant, but there is an opportunity to build long-term prosperity in Scotland based on new, net-zero investments, to maximise national and global opportunities. 

The Minister explained that we must harness the considerable skills and talent in Scotland’s energy system to deliver a just transition to net zero and ensure everyone can access the opportunities and good, green jobs. It is important the industry takes full advantage of the range of opportunities being offered in skills and training not only for their current workforce but to attract people into the industry. 

For the Scottish Government COP26 must provide the opportunity to highlight the leadership subnational governments demonstrate in addressing the climate crisis and drive forward the role of non-Party stakeholders in this area. It is clear that for COP26 to be successful we have to show action. Therefore, it is critical that there is full engagement with businesses.  

SLG action dashboard

Attendees were invited to note the updates to the Action Dashboard. 

Symptomatic Testing:  An update was given on symptomatic testing and following the meeting held with OGUK and the Scottish CMO in August the discussions remain ongoing. OGUK continue to push for testing as they see this as a key enabler to increasing activity levels.  The Minister encouraged further engagement between OGUK and the CMO on the testing and vaccinations.


  • continue engagement with OGUK and the Scottish CMO on issues which arise from the sector regarding vaccinations and testing

Peer to Peer Platform: Scottish Enterprise advised that they now have a dedicated energy cohort on the platform, but it is still in trial. At the present time they are unable to share the links more widely due to the nature of the platform. However, when it becomes a broader platform, it can be shared. There are energy companies and specific members of the Scottish Enterprise team testing out the platform.

It was confirmed that all other actions are either completed or on track for completion. Members were directed that any offline comments regarding the Dashboard should be sent to the SLG Secretariat.

Clearance of minutes from previous meeting

Attendees were invited to note the minutes from the previous meeting and make any comments.

Jake Molloy, RMT requested that his comment regarding NGO’s be amended to “a just green recovery”. The minutes were updated accordingly. 

No further comments were made and as such the minutes from the previous meeting were approved. 

Ministerial update on Scottish Government Energy SLG meetings

The Minister advised the Scottish Government SLGs and the Scottish Advisory Board have continued to meet throughout the year and during the pandemic.

The Energy Networks SLG met on 2 December to discuss RIIO 2 Transmission Related Determination delivered this week by OFGEM and a number of other key matters. The Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC) met on 3 December.  There has been considerable discussion recently on  hydrogen and electrification and agreed there was room for co-ordination.

The Minister expressed his gratitude for the continued support on this SLG to help support the wider development of the energy transition and to support each other.

Update from the OGA Supply Chain Taskforce

John Pearson, OGA

Attention was drawn to the slides provided in the pre-read pack.

The emphasis is currently on short-term actions and preserving core capability, things that are practical and those that will make a visible and real difference. 

The focus of the taskforce continues to be on the four key areas and the next meeting will take place on Friday 11 December.

Stimulating Activity: The most powerful but hardest topic, focused on activities that need to be done but have been stuck due to capital allocation issues. Wells, Plug and Abandonment, Brownfield projects that need a innovative commercial or contracting approach to get them over the line and critical maintenance. The aim is ensuring that the volume of work flowing to the supply chain is constant through 2020-21.

Visibility of Work: Variety of stakeholders involved (employees, shareholders, external stakeholders). Leaning on trade associations (including EIC, OGUK and Subsea UK) to ensure people are messaging helpful actions and that 2021 may not be as bad as feared.

Frictionless Tendering: Getting work contracted and paid rapidly is very important. Piloting, with help, what can be done to award work quickly, thoroughly and transparently. What are the practical barriers to this though? There is lots that can be done.

30-day Payment: The key message to the sector is to pay promptly. The aim is to shine a light on where we can move money quicker to those who have done the work.

OGA has a unique role to play in ensuring the activity that should be done is being done, using normal regulatory tools. They have engaged with 20 operators and are reviewing all of their work plans, with 3 to 5 projects expected to be running as a result. Payment terms will focus on critical mass of the willing and trying to build that model to make a difference quicker, rather than a perfect solution.

It was noted it is easy to characterise the supply chain as those who work for operators, but we are all the supply chain. The expectation is to switch to some medium-term actions once this is done.

The Minister thanked OGA for the update and commented around the possibility of a cultural silence at senior levels on cashflow and this is perhaps not filtered down because of a performance culture further down whereby slowing payments, or through lack of communication.

The Minister noted his interest around critical mass in well plug and abandonment, particularly critical maintenance and do we have a firm understanding of the scale of work that might come through?. OGA said they are comfortable about that and not seeing any wholesale deferment. 

The RMT made an observation regarding Frictionless Tendering. In the last few days an independent oil company initiated a tender process that makes no reference to a collective agreement, specifically the ESA and this has caused friction and anxiety. Disappointed to have the ESA concept undermined. RMT are 100% supportive of the strategy but questioned whether some of the stakeholders are similarly supportive.  OGA noted people have forgotten about life pre-bargaining agreement. These things aren’t perfect. It’s a force for good and are there for a reason.

Update from Skills Development Scotland

Gordon McGuiness, SDS

Attention was drawn to the three slides shared and an explanation on the level of detail given regarding employment numbers.

Wider work is being undertaken by the Regional Skills Planning Lead who is engaging with ONE and the wider economic partners, SE and 2 local authorities to review the actions in the plan and to face new challenges.

SDS have introduced two support schemes:

  • Adopt an Apprentice with an employer recruitment incentive (both modern and graduate apprenticeships) with £5K funding
  • Employer Recruitment Incentive which is open to over 25’s with £3.5K of funding. Applications will be open from early January

The National Transition Training Fund has been introduced and referrals are through the DWP where people register for benefits. There is £11m of funding available until the end of March 2021. It is taking a longer time in terms of pace, this is reflective of hiring across the economy with job openings remaining flat.

Confirmed working with partners on the Manufacturing Recovery Plan (MRP) which was launched for consultation last Friday (4th December). The MRP runs across the supply chain, digital, development, networks and collaboration. Would welcome input and feedback from the SLG on this.  Links were circulated to the Group on the chat.

The Scottish Youth Guarantee offers a wide range of initiatives to support and limit the damage of youth unemployment. An additional 14 Developing Young Workforce co-ordinators have been placed into secondary schools in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. A comprehensive range of support requirements are available. SDS are keen to hear from employers in the region if there is anything else we can do to support them in the next stage of the pandemic.

The Minister noted the job losses in Aberdeen/Aberdeenshire are being kept under review, and link back to the previous item around cashflow issues. There is good data around the construction, food and drink and hospitality sectors who are experiencing similar challenges in demand/cashflow, with positives around culture of late payment, which feeds into the issues of risk of redundancies and intervention from Government to help with that. 

Update from OGUK on Committee on Climate Change report and sixth carbon budget report 

Deirdre Michie, OGUK

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report was released this week. The CCC set the tone last year for the direction for the UK / Scottish Governments and the targets they have put into law, by 2045 for Scotland and 2050 for the rest of the UK.

The report sets the direction and reinforces and looks at a number of scenarios for the future, recommending an energy system that utilises renewables, hydrogen and CCUS.

OGUK looking forward to the White Paper the UK Government will be publishing, the building blocks are there and given that it focuses heavily on CCUS, Hydrogen and supply chain, now seeking to accelerate the NSTD with support from people in this group.

The Minister spoke about moving at pace for the NSTD and the choreography around COP26 and asked OGUK how hard will we be pushing in the group for it to hit Quarter 1 next year?

OGUK  agreed that we need to keep the pressure and pace up on NSTD and land it as soon as possible. COP26 is an additional incentive.

Ministerial remarks and introduction to discussion: part one

The Minister thanked everyone for their updates and explained that the next part of the discussion would be focused on the outcomes from the last SLG meeting in October.

It is clear there is a need to understand the landscape outside the sector in order to see what the future opportunities are, including marine engineering, but also to showcase the expertise and skills the oil and gas sector has to offer across a wide range of other sectors. This can in turn lead to future work and collaborations with other sectors. 

There are many other forums and groups supporting the sector. This group should reach out and look at ways of collaborating to ensure there is no duplication of work but also to influence their future agendas and work.

The group also asked for clarity on the Scottish Government’s aspiration for COP26 and what does that mean for a group like the SLG. The Minister referred to the paper the Secretariat circulated outlining some ideas on this. 

It is important that as we go forward towards 2021 and recognise some of the key issues facing the sector we are clear on the aims of this Group. These are shown on the slide deck.  The Minister advised he would be happy to take any comments/ thoughts on the aims. 

ONE confirmed support for the four aims but noted from the conversation at the last meeting on the possibility of SME, supply chain, energy transition and global international export opportunities. Perhaps another aim the group could have is to ensure we are fully connected with key markets.

The Minister agreed an internationalisation aim would very much tie-in with the NSTD and directed SDI to consider further, noting content in principle with the suggestion but recognised the aim would need to be defined and welcomed input from ONE.   ONE confirmed their availability to help with the “internationalisation” aim.


  • SDI to consider further and provide an update back to the SLG on a proposed international aim supporting future export opportunities

There were a number of agreed actions from the October meeting. The Minister was happy to take any comments or thoughts. One of the actions was to bring forward to this meeting a paper on how this Group and the wider energy sector can engage and support the Scottish Government’s aims for a successful COP 26 in November next year.  

The COP 26 paper sets out how this Group and the Scottish enterprise agencies can work with the sector ahead of COP 26 to show progress and action on energy transition. The Minister asked for any immediate thoughts or comments and that the Secretariat would be happy to receive any written comments and thoughts after the meeting. 

OCA made the point that COP 26 for businesses in Scotland is a one-off event, but how do we maximise lessons learnt? Do we tap into previous forums or other major events?

The Minister confirmed the industry’s vast experience with large international conferences. 

Shell reflected looking back on  previous COP events taking place worldwide, where they had been present but had attracted strong negative criticism. One of the things they are struggling with is many of the timelines they are looking at for more significant steps in hydrogen, CCUS or electrification, we are not going to have major progress to announce. As the Scottish Government thinks about how it wants to participate, Shell and the industry are interested to see how they can help the Scottish and UK Governments showcase progress.

The Minister agreed it is hugely challenging, but by the time COP 26 takes place hopefully the NSTD will be in place. He will be keen to try and emphasise any progress being made and a single message from the sector.

BEIS agreed this question does merit more thought. Having agreed the NSTD and being able to talk about it would be positive. Another potential opportunity for discussion would be how you make a successful energy transition in a country with a major oil and gas sector.

OGTC agreed with the discussion and intent. To be credible at COP26 there is a need to be in “action” on these things. It would be helpful if we could get the Energy Transition Fund (ETF) and sector deal sorted in the first quarter of 2021. This would provide more credibility for the industry.

OGTC agreed the CCC is complimentary to the work OGTC have done on the Integrated Energy Vision report. There is an opportunity in the first quarter to come up with a version of a pathway to net zero that industry/government/academia could all align with and decide what we want to invest in, accelerate and deliver between now and 2030/2035 based on the CCCs new aspirations.

The Minister thanked OGTC for the stimulating points and recognised the need to follow through on the ETF and acknowledged the huge amount of work being done by SE. 

The STUC noted that workers voices are important in this debate. Showing working with the workforce is good for our credibility. The Trade Unions will focus very heavily on what the plans for new jobs/green jobs are within the offer from Government. There is a range of concerns around contracting and support the Government is able to give including intervention and investment to keep jobs in Scotland, in all industries. There is a need to use the Crown Estate Scotland to ensure a proportion of jobs can be based in Scotland when anything done in our offshore territories. There is a need to retain as many supply chain jobs in Scotland.

The Minister advised that he understands and fully supports what is being set out by the STUC, but can’t speak for UK Government but are trying to work with them collaboratively to look at issues around this. We need to learn lessons from what has not worked well in other sectors. There is a need to use the powers we have to give as much incentive to using the supply chain if we are to have a Just Transition.

Petrofac noted the importance of legitimising the supply chain involvement in COP26. We must have jobs, export, skills etc built on the back of the energy transition – 80/90% involving companies already with the industry. Failing to note everything that needs to happen would be a bad thing.  

The Minister agreed with Petrofac, and the opportunity to cement the important progress that has already been made in the offshore wind sector.

Update on SLG/SOWEC co-chairs meeting 

Melfort Campbell, IMES

Melfort was asked to give an update on the recent SLG co-chairs forum.

This was the first time the four SLG co-chairs (including Networks, Renewables and Energy Consumers) had met as a group, and provided the following summary:

The discussion picked up on the lack of innovation technology development in oil and gas but also focused on the broad energy transition.
A focus on 4 main points including: 

  • opportunity - there is 40GW of offshore wind and a £3 trillion global market and factored in the non-energy supply chain opportunity
  • how do we get the supply chain to capture some of this value if we don’t convert the value into the UK economy?
  • noting that there would be a missed opportunity if we do not add to the global capacity and rely on offshore supply chain. A runway for the supply chain stems from investment. There is already a focus on top level investment, but we need to look at all 2nd, 3rd, 4th levels of opportunity
  • this in not only about economic value for UK but for consumers. There is an element of using it to counter fuel poverty. How do we tie this in, and skills is the key

Aker Solutions agreed with Melfort’s view. This is raised within the NSTD and starting to be addressed, the level of investment required for success. Also, to work with the trade associations and governments bodies who are trying to identify the gaps in the UK in terms of industrial scale and technology. 80% of the jobs are in the supply chain in the oil and gas sector today. We need to develop capabilities, technologies, skills and solutions and this is part of what we are trying to start and grow through the NSTD.

Melfort Campbell agreed it was a really important point. If we don’t have data, we can’t build on where is the 2nd, 3rd, 4th level investment happening. Where are they investing and on what? We should build on that and understand what companies are doing.

The Minister noted it was a good point, and perhaps something to come back on later – identifying where our technology gaps are and our capabilities. This has been discussed with the Minister for Investment, Innovation and Trade who is interested in developing the Scottish Supply Chain Development Programme.

Wood Plc said building on previous points, there is a lot of activity and investment and at various levels, but how could we be better co-ordinated behind the most viable opportunities we have now, to generate the pace we talk about and provide visibility to the industry and the workforce. It is incumbent on us to try and find a way to do that.

The Minister noted this was a very helpful point that supports the view of Melfort and Aker Solutions.

Equinor noted the good discussion and growing investment creates an enormous amount of opportunities. Important to look at what is required in terms of investments to deliver target plans, how that cascades down through the supply chain and what kind of opportunity space there is. The NSTD is really important to create drive and a policy framework, to help investment and guide on local content. We are courageous and hopeful and realise we can’t do it alone; we need everyone involved.

SE confirmed they are working closely with the Scottish Government. These points all reinforce that we need to be looking at things already underway. Ahead of COP 26, these should be embedded and understood before we get there and aligning to the climate skills emergency plan. The biggest message is trying to get as many Scottish based companies showcasing and aligning to the Scottish Government’s climate change plan.

ONE noted that COP 26 is a balance between new industries and oil & gas, we need to be careful not to let oil and gas overshadow it.

Ministerial remarks and introduction to discussion: part two

The Minister noted we are all well aware of the ongoing impact on employment within the sector. Whilst welcoming the continuation of furlough until the end of March 2021 the challenges for the sector continue not just for the workforce, but the sector more generally. It was discussed previously how important it is that the sector has the right skilled people going forward to support energy transition. 

The Scottish Government has announced a number of key support packages for key sectors across Scotland to help our economy out of this current crisis and to help people back into work. This includes the launch on 8 October of the first strand of the £25M National Transition Training Fund.  

On 27 November the second and third strands of the fund were launched. The second strand will be sector focussed initiatives and will be administered by the most appropriate of the Enterprise Agencies, Skills Development Scotland, and the Scottish Funding Council. The third strand will focus on developing or expanding further and higher education training projects and will be managed by the Scottish Funding Council. Brought together, the projects in strands two and three have been designed to equip up to 4,000 individuals whose employment has been affected by the pandemic, with skills to help them retain or gain employment in growth sectors. 

In last years’ Programme for Government, the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan (CESAP) was announced. This has been delayed due to COVID-19 however, it will now have an immediate focus on green skills as part of the green recovery and National Mission for Jobs and is being led by SDS. 

The CESAP will focus on actions to meet the identified skills demands in sectors likely to make the greatest contribution towards the transition to net zero, this includes oil and gas. The Action Plan will now be published alongside the Climate Change Plan next week. 

It is critical that we move at pace to ensure we are not only supporting the workforce within the sector but those unfortunately who have left or likely to leave and recent labour market statistics indicate, young people will be particularly impacted by the significant challenges within the labour market from COVID-19.  

Many of the worst economic impacts of COVID have fallen on younger people. Young people are also more likely to work in the sectors most affected by the crisis. Working closely with young people’s organisations and others we announced a £60M Young Person’s Guarantee last month. The Guarantee will ensure that over the next two years, everyone aged between 16 and 24 will have access to support which can help them to find work. That support could be through education, training, an apprenticeship, or a formal volunteering opportunity. 

We want to ensure that the guarantee is led and supported by employers. The Scottish Government, as an employer, will lead by example and I am delighted that other major employers from the private and public sectors have already confirmed their support. However, we need support from even more businesses, third sector organisations and public sector employers. Therefore, I would ask you all to consider how businesses and the wider sector can support the Young Persons Guarantee. 

The Minister noted he was pleased to be receiving an update on the work of the Energy Skills Alliance, which is focused on developing an integrated skills strategy for a vibrant, net zero industry. It is critical that this work, given its linkages within the North Sea Transition Deal, and value to the wider sector continues to move at pace. It is important that this work not only supports the sector going forward into the medium and long term but has specific outcomes. 

Energy Skills Alliance update

John McDonald, OPITO

A high-level outline of the work being done by the Energy Skills Alliance (ESA) had been shared with the group previously.

Whilst the ESA is chaired and funded by OPITO, it is very much a cross industry effort with support from both Governments, many organisations in the SLG and other key agencies. The aim being to create an integrated skills strategy for a net zero UK energy industry. The work being undertaken is key to other ongoing programmes of work and is firmly embedded within the North Sea Transition Deal and very relevant to the Energy Transition Zone, Opportunity North East, the Global Underwater Hub to name a few.

An update on the My Energy Career (MEC) programme was circulated within the pre-reads and the importance of the work being done was emphasized, specifically the encouragement of the SLG members to suggest ambassadors i.e., young people within industry who can inspire other young people to come into the sector.

An update on the Future Energy Skills Demand workstream was provided by Claire Mack. 

There is a lot of new policy and activity in a quickly changing landscape which is adding to the skills and people who are at the heart of a well-managed energy transition.

It was noted we need to look at the rate of change more closely, due to the number of variables. However, a study has been commissioned by the group to look at what can be done with the information we have. Oxford Economics, who have a strong background in this area, have been commissioned to carry out the work.

In Stage 1 they will map a scenario-based approach, built from a desk-based review of the energy market reports. Looking at modelling shorter term 2035-2040. Key challenges around the study are lack of data however, the workplan will focus heavily on identifying data and is designed to get consistency and collaboration with strong sector definitions. 

Stage 2 will be industry consultation, working cross sector to have buy in around job families, functions and gain a strong set of agreements around this.

An update on the All Energy Apprenticeships workstream was provided by Stephen Marcos Jones.

The objective of the workstream is to build an All Energy Apprenticeship that creates opportunities for apprentices and feeds an increasingly diverse talent pool for employers to draw from.

The energy transition will require a multi-disciplined workforce and there are huge opportunities. This programme will support apprenticeships and create a future pipeline of talent. 

It was noted that if successful in getting this right, we will be contributing to a new paradigm of learning opportunities and jobs for apprentices, throughout and beyond the energy transition and across the energy sector.

A workgroup, made up of Government and individual representatives, has been created to drive the project and meetings take place fortnightly. Work is being done with companies early on, to create buy in, and existing models are being reviewed for any learnings and upcycling. Research is also being done on how the Apprenticeship Levy can be used more efficiently.

The aim is to deliver a pilot of the scheme by early 2022. This will be piloted in both England (the Humber region) and Scotland (considerations are being given to Grangemouth). A proposal to share apprentices across different organisations will be looked at and engagement with Government and industry will be undertaken.

An ask of the SLG would be initial feedback, separate follow-up after the meeting, and please engage with the workstream if you are approached as part of the gaps analysis research that will be undertaken. Volunteers/support from the SLG is also welcomed.

UNITE noted a few concerns. Around rate of change, the biggest question from offshore workers just now is how they transition into renewables/green jobs and the direction is not there. Concerned we are looking too much at strategy and not enough actions as by the time strategies are in place the existing workforce will be gone. It was agreed that the theory around All Energy Apprentices is good however, it is much more difficult to put in place. 

RGU complemented the team on the progress of the work. It was noted the need to separate between jobs and people. RGU are undertaking a study which shows the degree of skills transferability to adjacent sectors and when this work is completed it can then feed into the wider study.

OPITO noted that these were all very valid points, RGU’s study is crucial piece of work and would be good, under the ESA banner, to understand better and align with the Future Energy Skills Demand piece of work. On the transfer into renewables, the number of organisations, safety bodies etc. means it’s not an easy path. OPITO have launched a pilot standard to help people move into renewables and are now working to create pathways. It was noted BEIS carried out a useful project many years ago which is still ongoing. The willingness is there to push forward. 

Stephen Marcos Jones noted the difficulty around apprenticeships, the theory is easier than implementation but looking towards defined industrial clusters and trying to pilot the schemes in more fertile lands in terms of uptake willingness.  Stephen welcomed the offer from ONE to follow up on digital skills which was accepted.

OPITO advised that they would be happy to have an offline conversation with Jake Molloy, RMT, around the comments in the online chat and take any feedback.


  • OPITO to prepare a written submission on Energy Skills Alliance with further points for the group, before the next SLG meeting on 18th February 2021

Update on the Hydrogen and CCUS Supply Chain Excellence Group

Mike Smith, NECCUS.

The SLG members were encouraged to look at the pre-read provided by NECCUS.

Following the 10 Point Plan for Green Industrial Revolution, BEIS are keen to work with industry to look at how the supply chain can fully participate in future hydrogen and CCUS projects. This is very pertinent to many conversations today and the work is being developed by the Carbon Capture Storage Association (CCSA) who are looking to lead the day to day operations of this.

This is a significant opportunity for Scotland, the existing oil and gas supply chain is recognised as most capable supply chain for CCUS and hydrogen. There is the potential to contribute to the economy going forward.

BEIS have, in the recent past, done analysis which has looked at all net zero vectors – nuclear, solar, onshore/offshore wind, hydrogen and CCUS and both hydrogen and CCUS have come out as having highest value add. This is an opportunity to look at developing supply chain excellence for both the UK market and to develop the export potential.

NECCUS would ask that the group are willing to participate when asked to contribute, to engage and continue to support existing initiatives around the supply chain already highlighted.

Also, alongside a  UK Ministerial lead, there is a requirement for a Co-Chair from industry for this group. This is an opportunity, across the Scottish leadership community, to highlight someone with a background and legacy in the supply chain who could step forward and help to anchor the work around hydrogen and CCUS supply chain excellence in Scotland. Mike asked to Group for any potential industry named to be shared with NECCUS.  Ideally looking for an industry heavy weight, deeply entrenched in existing supply chain, with potential experience of working with BEIS in the past. 
Ministerial closing remarks

The Minister noted this would be the last meeting for 2020 and thanked everyone for their hard work since April. 

The Minister acknowledged it had not been easy having monthly meetings given all the other immediate issues everyone has had to deal with however, the contributions made have been invaluable. The SLG has made a difference and will continue to do so. The sector still has challenges ahead, but together we can work through these.  As we go forward into 2021 we can be more positive for the future. It will take hard work and a lot of collaboration, but we have shown that we can work together. 

The date of the next meeting will be 18th February 2021 at 9.00 a.m.

The meeting closed. 

Instant chat messages

[9:34 AM] Andrew McCallum
As ever, please use the chat to raise questions, make comments and provide insights throughout today's meeting. 

[9:35 AM] Andrew McCallum
Or use the 'raise hand' function

[9:44 AM] Deirdre Michie
Thank you Minister - appreciate that and would like to follow up with you on that

[9:47 AM] Gwen Folland joined the meeting. 

[9:50 AM] Mark Abbey joined the meeting. 

[9:57 AM] Andrew McCallum
Will come to you Jake... saw your hand up

[9:57 AM] Andrew McCallum
And Sir Ian and then Phil... 

[9:58 AM] Gordon Stirling
I really like the idea of focusing on a 'coalition of the willing'

[9:59 AM] Melfort Campbell
Really good and important point by the minister. when we looked at this in the past one major issue was a department was charged with retaining cash in the business. ensuring that clarity will go some way.

[10:02 AM] Arne Gürtner
new ways of tendering through e.g. e-auctions should also help us to turn-around quicker, especially on 'standard procurement'. 

[10:02 AM] Wheelhouse P (Paul), MSP
Deirdre - happy to pick up on that. Will note that as an Action

[10:02 AM] Andrew McCallum
Thanks Deirdre

[10:02 AM] Jake Molloy
Thanks John.

[10:03 AM] Shanaghey, Craig
Great points well-made John, we need to be collective to be successful

[10:04 AM] Rozanne Foyer
Totally agree with Jake Molloy. Really important that all parties support the new ESA collective agreement. Otherwise it will be a race to the bottom.

[10:06 AM] Trevor (Guest)
Stuart is the loan idea progressing as well as the campaign planning for p and a T?

[10:09 AM] Rozanne Foyer
Good to have OGUK actively supporting ESA. Agree tendering process is crucial. 

[10:09 AM] Stuart Payne (Oil and Gas Authority)
Trevor: Unfortunately the loan proposal wasn't supported in the recent Spending Review. What we're now looking at is how can we take the value from all the pre-work, modelling & analysis that went into the proposal.
That is linked to us announcing refreshing of data at the OGUK Decom Conf for the supply chain to see what's "out there" in terms of wells, including the regulatory deadlines for operators.
Next phase is: 1) OGA working direct with operators as I mentioned; 2) Taskforces (wells, decom, SC&E) looking at what else we can do to stimulate activity
[10:13 AM] Deirdre Michie
good to hear about the transition fund Gordon - can this enable folk to keep their existing training up to date as well as moving into other sectors - that would be helpful

[10:13 AM] Colette Cohen
great data Gordon - do you have info on the age range - are we seeing job losses in the area across all age groups or are some groups at greater risk?

[10:14 AM] Deirdre Michie
Also can we help in disseminating info about this and all that you are making available please?
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[10:15 AM] Gordon McGuinness
it is designed for people at risk of redundancy and those that have been made redundant, so it will depend on their circumstances.  I'm also aware that that some certification has been extended

[10:17 AM] Shanaghey, Craig
Retaining early careers skills in the industry is critical, however we must also retain focus on maintaining pipeline flow and therefore supporting prospective graduate and apprentice recruitment in 2021

[10:22 AM] Colette Cohen
thanks Gordon McGuinness 

[10:22 AM] Jake Molloy
We are talking to SDS today to explore the potential to bring redundant workers in to in-house training and specifically the use of simulators or CBT training to maintain competence. We are thinking initially well intervention training and the use of the simulators at places like Halliburton, Baker Hughes etc so that we have a pool of ‘competent’ workers available as activity ramps up. This would be cost efficient and makes sense from a H&S perspective.
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[10:23 AM] Melfort Campbell

[10:23 AM] Kevin Taylor
completely agree Deirdre, lots of conflicting figures going about!

[10:24 AM] Melfort Campbell
Jake, suggest you also tap in to the simulators in the institutions, RGU and AU as well as others.

[10:24 AM] Jake Molloy
Melfort, absolutely, thanks.

[10:24 AM] Paul de Leeuw (eti)
Jake - happy to have conversation what we can do at RGU

[10:25 AM] Colette Cohen
if we land it in Q1 - we can be in action by Q3
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[10:25 AM] Jake Molloy
Thanks Paul

[10:25 AM] Gordon McGuinness
Apologies Jake I did mean to reference your suggestion of utilising simulator capacity , in my update

[10:26 AM] Deirdre Michie
thats a better way of putting it Colette!

[10:26 AM] Bourne, Emily (Energy Development & Resilience)
Very much note the comments on pace regarding the North Sea Transition Deal. Thanks for these - our aim is to progress it as quickly as we can.
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[10:26 AM] Jenny MacDonald
Deirdre Michie  I can take an action to pick up with your team on comms around skills funding and initiatives available.

[10:27 AM] Deirdre Michie
yes please Jenny

[10:30 AM] Shanaghey, Craig
Supportive of the addition Trevor

[10:31 AM] John Pearson
Supportive also

[10:31 AM] Gordon Stirling
In terms of maximising the benefit for business and Scotland from COP26 can we access lessons learned from previous such events?

[10:32 AM] Andy McDonald
We are working with David's team in SDI both in Glasgow and in the international offices to develop the broader energy transition proposition in their forward plans. 

[10:33 AM] Stuart Payne (Oil and Gas Authority)
Worth noting that an "Ambassador" for the supply chain is a key point in the NSTD - if having one within this group, it's important that they're aligned (both on purpose and externally)

[10:35 AM] Deirdre Michie
Agreed- thank you for picking that up Stuart -thats a really important point to ensure alignment and no duplication or digressing agendas,,,

[10:35 AM] Lloyd Rees, Sian
should we add an action related to the investment in either new technology or more industrial scale capability needed? This will be the key to us being successful in many projects requiring new capabilities and future export potential?
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[10:38 AM] Arne Gürtner
I agree to the comment by Emily. The industry is already doing a lot to invest and diversify into low carbon. 

[10:39 AM] Shanaghey, Craig
Linking Sian’s point to Aim 2, how do we build a collaborative investment strategy in order to fast-track the most viable opportunities we have now that will stimulate activity and act as catalyst for future growth toward net zero
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[10:40 AM] Gordon Stirling
I agree. We need to make a substantive case based on actions otherwise we risk accusation of 'greenwashing'

[10:40 AM] Deirdre Michie
Agree we need to reinforce where we are already in action -we have great examples as Colette says that reinforces what we are doing and what we want to do going forward

[10:42 AM] Melfort Campbell
We do need to look at data and our knowledge of what is going on. recent surveys have been contradictory for example on the pace of diversification in the supply chain. how doe we get definitive information as we loose traction advocating what is already happening!

[10:43 AM] Mike Smith(NECCUS)
Can we ahead of COP26 - build alignment on a set of Scottish Unique Selling Points with respect to the Energy Transition that can be messaged by government, industry, thought leaders (e.g. the size and well defined nature of the CO2 stores in Scottish waters). Other nations have looked to carry out similar exercises in the past e.g. Denmark and offshore wind ahead of the COP in Copenhagen in 2009
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[10:57 AM] Rozanne Foyer
My Apologies - need to join another meeting at 11 am so will have to log off

[10:58 AM] Melfort Campbell
i need to sign off.

[10:58 AM] John Pearson
Apologies all, I also have a clash so will need to sign out now.

[10:58 AM] Wheelhouse P (Paul), MSP
Thanks Roz and Melfort.

[10:59 AM] Wheelhouse P (Paul), MSP
Thanks, John

[10:59 AM] Andy McDonald
I'm part of the group working with Scottish Government colleagues on the business engagement and mobilisation plans for COP26 - these comments help reinforce the points made in the paper from the secretariat about reflecting activity already underway, and the need to focus on the jobs and skills transition and I'll feed these back in directly as well as the secretariat gathering in further comment.

[11:03 AM] Deirdre Michie
Well said Sir Ian!

[11:05 AM] Andy McDonald
Gordon McGuinness mentioned earlier the consultation on the manufacturing recovery plan - the consultation documents can be accessed on this link - https://www.gov.scot/publications/making-scotlands-future-recovery-plan-manufacturing-draft-consultation 
Making Scotland's Future - recovery plan for manufacturing - draft: consultation - gov.scot
Making Scotland's Future: A Recovery Plan For Manufacturing - Draft proposes a set of actions for delivery over the next 12 months. Designed with industry, public sector, trade union and academia, ...

[11:06 AM] Gordon McGuinness
I mentioned Manufacturing Recovery Plan earlierhttps://www.gov.scot/publications/making-scotlands-future-recovery-plan-manufacturing-draft-consultation/
Making Scotland's Future - recovery plan for manufacturing - draft: consultation - gov.scot
Making Scotland's Future: A Recovery Plan For Manufacturing - Draft proposes a set of actions for delivery over the next 12 months. Designed with industry, public sector, trade union and academia, ...

[11:07 AM] Andy McDonald
Sorry Gordon, I noticed you'd dropped off the meeting earlier . ..

[11:08 AM] Gordon McGuinness
(thumbs up image)

[11:21 AM] Jake Molloy
Sorry, it’s my old ‘hobby horse’ again; in talks with other “Standards” bodies it appears that organisations like “Global Wind Organisation”, ECITB, and International Maritime Contractors Association are not engaged/involved in the process which in itself is concerning but moreover it is causing considerable hardship for workers trying to move across the ‘energy’ sector as their training and skills are not being recognised or accepted as they try to move from O&G to marine or renewables. Do we have a timeline on how/when this might be addressed so as to enable a “Just Transition”? 

[11:22 AM] Paul de Leeuw (eti)
can I add a comment

[11:23 AM] Wheelhouse P (Paul), MSP
Of course, Paul. 

[11:24 AM] Trevor (Guest)
Stephen -are you intending to include digial skills training in he AEApp ?  

[11:25 AM] Stephen Marcos Jones
Yes Trevor. 

[11:26 AM] Trevor (Guest)
maybe ONE Tech Hub coud help.. 

[11:27 AM] Stephen Marcos Jones
let's pick up offline Trevor

[11:27 AM] Colette Cohen
sorry I have to drop off - I have another call. Agree - timing of jobs is a major issue. Decisions on what the future of the new energy mix looks like is also critical so supply chain etc can start to 'transfer'. And this isnt a 2045 or 2050 issue - its decisions we need to make now as the job losses will be in 2025 - 2035 based on the analysis we have done with OREC in the Integrated energy visiion

[11:29 AM] Wheelhouse P (Paul), MSP
Thanks Collette 

[11:29 AM] Deirdre Michie
And finally from me ..Please join us for the OGUK awards this evening, celebrating some really uplifting people, companies and activities in the most challenging of years https://youtu.be/jG6v2dGhfqk
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[11:33 AM] McKee, Kathryn
Regret I need to dial off now - thank you all.

[11:33 AM] Bourne, Emily (Energy Development & Resilience)
Sorry I also need to leave. Thank you

[11:33 AM] Stuart Payne (Oil and Gas Authority)
Mike - very happy for John and I to work with you however we can to ensure the Supply Chain & Exports Taskforce work is aligned

[11:34 AM] Jake Molloy
Apologies, I have to drop out for another meeting, thanks. 

[11:34 AM] 
Jake Molloy left the meeting. 

[11:34 AM] Claire Mack
Am afraid I need to go now. Very keen to pick up with you @JohnBoland on your point. Communication to current workforce is critical. Thanks all, great meeting. Claire 

[11:34 AM] Deirdre Michie
And really finally from me - Mike we are very keen to work with you on this - ensuring alignment with the NSTD focus on Supply chain 
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[11:35 AM] Deirdre Michie
I have a great suggestion -why not the Supply Chain NSTD Champion..?

[11:35 AM] John Boland (Guest)
Claire, happy to discuss. 

[11:39 AM] Mike Smith(NECCUS)
Deirdre, happy to follow up on this offline

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