WORKERS impacted by the pandemic and the oil and gas downturn are to be backed for training and enterprise projects across a number of areas, including entrepreneurship, tourism and energy transition.

Over £14 million will be invested to support North East-based workers, providing opportunities for 3,000.

It also includes a climate emergency training programme to help businesses transition towards net zero, and a scheme to support employers develop business plans to ensure long-term sustainable jobs.

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Jamie Hepburn, Scottish minister for youth employment and training, said: “We know that the North East is facing particular challenges as result of the double impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the downturn in oil and gas.

“This targeted £14.3m investment will aid economic recovery in the region and support businesses to make the transition to net zero."

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He added: "These 29 training projects will also provide opportunities for workers to upskill and re-skill, enabling them to capitalise on careers in growing sectors.

"Our funding will also support those entering the workforce and aid business growth and innovation.

“We have worked closely with local partners including universities, local authorities and business organisations to develop these proposals and to ensure this funding meets the economic needs of the region.”

Jennifer Craw, Opportunity North East (ONE) chief executive, said: "This new funding addresses specific challenges in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and builds on the action, investment and partnerships that are driving recovery and diversification."

Jenny Laing, Aberdeen City Council leader, said: “Actions around energy transition are key to the future economic health and prosperity of the North-east – supporting skills and business growth to ensure our residents are ready and able to access new jobs and opportunities."

She added: “Aberdeen’s credentials are second to none in the deployment of ground-breaking technology, as demonstrated by Hydrogen Aberdeen, the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, and our commitment to reaching net zero."