UK: Oil workers’ union blasts ‘woefully inadequate’ gov’t plan

Britain’s largest union Unite has warned that the government’s Oil and Gas Workforce Plan, published on Wednesday was ‘woefully inadequate’ and fell short of arresting a decline in the industry which had led to over 120,000 jobs being axed.

Responding to the joint report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Energy and Climate Change, Unite called for a summit of key industry figures and ministers from the Scottish and Westminster governments to hammer out an action plan to save the offshore oil and gas industry.

Unite national officer Tony Devlin said: “The oil and gas workforce plan is woefully inadequate and fails to deal with the fundamental issues facing oil and gas workers and their industry.

“The report doesn’t address the race to the bottom which we are seeing in pay, terms and conditions and safety while thousands of jobs are cut and livelihoods are turned upside down.

He said that the emphasis on managing decline, rather than arresting decline and putting the offshore oil and gas sector on a sustainable footing, “is deeply disappointing.”

“We have had a lot of work going on through public bodies and various employer organisations, but we will not secure a future for the UK’s oil and gas industry unless key decision makers come together to formulate an action plan for the industry.

“We call on key industry figures and senior politicians to come together with trade unions in a summit to address the challenges facing the oil and gas industry and take action to put it on a sustainable footing for the future.”

To remind, the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, on Wednesday said it was working on a new online tool that should help skilled workers in the oil and gas sectors find job opportunities in the wider engineering sector, supported by the pipeline of large energy and infrastructure projects. Furthermore, the government said it expected workers in the oil and gas industry to benefit from the extension to Advanced Learner Loans. This means it is now possible to apply for loans for qualifications at Levels 3 to 6, which will be important for enabling workers in the oil and gas industry to study at higher levels and gain the skills to transition into infrastructure or other engineering sectors, the government said.

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