MEMBER NEWS: Multi-million pound energy transition skills initiative launched for Aberdeen

November 1, 2021
MEMBER NEWS: Multi-million pound energy transition skills initiative launched for Aberdeen

Courtesy of Energy Voice.

A new transition skills initiative designed to focus on solving “real life climate change energy issues” has been launched in Aberdeen.

Led by consultancy Xodus, X-Academy will provide training opportunities for hundreds of people to work directly on initiatives to reduce emissions and accelerate efforts towards net zero.

An initial 24 recruits will take part in the two-year energy programme, aimed at making “moon-shot ideas” a reality.

It’s open to graduates and people looking to reskill to become part of the energy transition.

X-Academy will reinvest training profits into further skills development, climate projects and innovations.

Not-for-profit ETZ Ltd, the brainchild of former oil and gas tycoon Sir Ian Wood, has invested a grant of £1.6 million to fund two years of running costs and part-fund the first-year cohort, who will start in December.

The application process is due to launch in the near future and potential candidates are being encouraged to register their interest through the Xodus website.

Peter Tipler, X-Academy director and dales & marketing director at Xodus said: “We want to use the time and resource spent on workplace training to make a transformative difference to support the planet. X-Academy will enable selected participants to have a meaningful impact in low carbon energy, focusing their collective mindpower on action that will address emissions and decarbonisation targets.

“With each trainee spending around 2,000 hours a year through on the job learning, we want to harness that power and put talented and motivated people to work addressing the moon-shot ideas that could make the biggest difference. We are thrilled to have the support of ETZ, BP and EnBW and are in talks with other stakeholders to ensure X-Academy can help as many people as possible.”

In addition to the cash from ETZ Ltd, ScotWind consortium partners BP and EnBW have committed more than £1 million to X-Academy as part of a five-year deal.

It includes a commitment to create entry-level energy transition roles and reskill experienced workers if the due are successful in the offshore wind leasing round.

Crown Estate Scotland, which manages ScotWind, is due to announce the results early next year.

Rebecca Hewlett, director of renewables & environment at Xodus added: “Alongside broader transition skills, X-Academy is our investment in contributing to the sustainability of the Scottish offshore wind industry. We will be working with key clients to help a new generation of workers to access the opportunities that the energy transition is creating. The growth of offshore wind globally has been incredible to witness, but without a concerted effort, we will quickly encounter a bottle-neck in experienced professionals to deliver these projects.”

Maggie McGinlay, Chief Executive at ETZ Ltd said: “ETZ is committed to ensuring a Just Transition by enabling the transition of skills to progress low carbon energy opportunities. We are excited to support this initiative which will deliver a practical and action focused model to deliver a workforce that is ready to support the leading position the North East of Scotland is taking in the journey to Net Zero.”

Emeka Emembolu, senior vice president North Sea at BP (LON: BP), labelled Scotland “uniquely positioned” to be at the forefront of the energy transition, with “decades of skills and experience” developed in the oil and gas industry.

He added: “Initiatives like the X-Academy will open doors for existing and future talent to pursue careers in the low carbon energy sector – and importantly be included in a just transition.

“That’s exactly why skills development was a critical component of our ambitious ScotWind bid with EnBW, which, if successful, will see us commit more than £1million to the X-Academy, so we can continue to nurture and apply those skills as we pave a new lower carbon energy future together.”

Read the article on the Energy Voice website here.

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise