Scotland business

North Sea oil and gas workers offered chance to retrain as teachers

North Sea oil platform Image copyright PA
Image caption The North Sea industry has struggled amid low oil prices

Oil and gas workers who lose their jobs amid the industry downturn could be given the opportunity to retrain as teachers.

Funding will be available from a £12m Scottish government transition fund already announced for the industry.

People wanting to retrain in science, technology, engineering and maths will be given priority.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) said it could go some way to addressing teacher shortages.

Education Secretary Angela Constance made the teacher training announcement in Aberdeen.

'High standards'

She said: "We have a highly skilled oil and gas workforce and it is important that we harness their abilities to benefit the next generation, the future of the industry and the north east of Scotland.

"Developing options within the £12m Transition Training Fund will help ensure we don't lose valuable oil and gas sector skills, which can be put to excellent use and will lead to more high-quality, passionate teachers in the area."

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: "This investment to support the retraining of experienced workers as teachers will help to tackle teacher shortages, while also continuing to ensure that only fully qualified teachers are deployed in order to maintain the very high standards of learning and teaching in Scotland's schools."

Prime Minister David Cameron also recently announced a £20m funding package to help the North Sea oil and gas sector.

That came after the Scottish and UK governments unveiled details of a £250m "City Deal" for Aberdeen, which will see them jointly invest in the area.

Separately, the Scottish government promised an extra £254m of investment in key infrastructure projects in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

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