A new training centre which aims to tackle the skills shortage in the UK oil and gas sector has been launched in Scotland; students will begin in October.
The £8 million Oil & Gas Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Aberdeen is offering students the opportunity to become geo-scientific and environmental researchers in the oil and gas sector, claiming it will create 90 experts in the next six years.
The program, funded by the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), aims to create a highly skilled workforce with expertise that can be used across the wider energy and environmental sectors. It will also help students gain the skills needed to reduce the environmental impact of oil and gas exploration and extraction.
John Underhill, Professor of Exploration Geoscience in the Institute of Petroleum of Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, which is leading the program said: “The centre provides an important new opportunity for a once-in-a-generation game change in academic training and research in oil and gas.”
The consortium includes world-leading institutes in this field, such as Imperial College London, the universities of Aberdeen, Durham, Manchester and Oxford, and the British Geological Survey (BGS).
The center will support a minimum of sixty students. These students will benefit from being embedded alongside world-class researchers and industry partners in the form of placements, mentoring, facilities and equipment.
The center will be the first in a suite of new NERC CDTs which will meet identified high-level skills gaps and priority needs. The first intake of students will begin at the CDT in October 2014.
Universities & Science Minister David Willetts, pictured above right, said, "Working alongside leading businesses in the oil and gas sector to improve our skills base is vital to the success of the government's industrial strategy. NERC's plans to develop a centre for doctoral training will support the growth of the UK's offshore oil and gas resources and attract further overseas investment, keeping the UK ahead in the global race."