From oil to offshore: Energy sector reveals ‘skills passport’ for seamless worker transition

The Government is currently aiming to host 50 gigawatts (GW) of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030.

The skills passport aims to help workers and employers recognise transferable skills and qualifications across sectors such as oil and gas, and offshore wind. This will enable workers to transition seamlessly between different roles within the energy industry as emissions are reduced, accelerating the UK’s energy transition.

The project will focus on aligning technical qualifications, mapping safety standards, creating career pathways, and establishing a mechanism for recognising standards.

The passport project has been developed through the collaboration of a cross-sector partnership comprising Offshore Energies UK, RenewableUK, OPITO, Global Wind Organisation (GWO) and representatives from oil and gas and offshore wind energy sector employers alongside government, trade union, trade and skills bodies.

RenewableUK’s executive director of offshore Wind Jane Cooper said: “We are strongly committed to easing the transfer of workers from different parts of the energy sector into renewables.

“Offshore wind companies need to attract oil and gas workers with valuable experience and transferable skills into our sector. We will continue to work with a wide range of partners and colleagues from other organisations to achieve this.”

The Scottish Government has supported the project providing £3.7m to OPITO from its Just Transition Fund.

Scottish Government Minister for Climate Action Gillian Martin said: “Our valued and highly skilled offshore energy workforces play a vital role in the transition to renewable energy sources and the passport will play an important role in supporting this.

“We urge industry partners to further develop and roll-out this initiative at pace.”

The North Sea transition

This initiative builds on the Government’s North Sea Transition Deal, aiming to align the oil and gas sector with the national net-zero target by 2050 through decarbonisation efforts and supporting workers with the transition by introducing green jobs in low-carbon industries such as offshore wind.

Currently, the UK oil and gas sector employs thousands of skilled workers, but this number is expected to decline in the coming decades. In contrast, the offshore wind industry, which already employs 32,000 people, is projected to grow to more than 100,000 jobs by 2030.

The Government is currently aiming to host 50 gigawatts (GW) of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030.

Research from Offshore Energies UK highlights that 90% of oil and gas industry workers possess transferable skills applicable to offshore renewable energy jobs.

The passport project has already produced career pathway information for more than thirty oil and gas roles, with entry routes into the wind industry.

Looking forward

Furthermore, GWO and OPITO are collaborating to finalise career pathways for high-priority roles in offshore wind later this year.

Upcoming refinements, including user testing, are scheduled for the summer and autumn, with the final version of the passport expected to be available by the end of the year.

RenewableUK and OEUK have also announced plans explore other areas to further support worker transitions between sectors.

Related news: Expanding UK Offshore Wind Supply Chain: £92bn Opportunity by 2040 (

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