Plans for a ‘Skills passport’ revealed, as energy leaders seek to address a looming gap in requirements

With the energy sector facing a growing gap in skilled workers required for a 'green transition', industry leaders have revealed plans for an ‘energy skills passport’. It is hoped that this will facilitate cross-sector recognition of skillsets to provide a seamless transition of workers.
June 4, 2024

‘Skills passport’ proposed to help facilitate a seamless transition

The UK energy industry has come together to draw up plans for a skills passport, which it is hoped could address some of the concerns around a looming skills gap within the sector. The passport will seek to align technical qualifications, map safety standards and create a means to recognise skills across the various fields within the energy industry. In doing so it is hoped that this will enable workers to transition between energy industry sectors more easily, for example from the oil and gas sector to offshore wind.

The plans are backed by funding from the Scottish Government and supported by notable industry organisations including RenewableUK, the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) and Offshore Energies UK. In addition, development has also been accredited to representatives from oil and gas and offshore wind energy, as well as government, trade union, and trade & skills bodies. The proposals follow research from Offshore Energies last year which suggested that 90% of oil and gas industry workers possess transferable skills applicable to offshore renewable energy jobs[i].

Jane Cooper, Executive director of offshore Wind at RenewableUK has 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.”[ii] 

Providing £3.7 million towards the scheme from its ‘Just Transition Fund’ the Scottish Government is eager to support offshore workers in utilising their transferable skills within the renewables sector. Minister for Climate Action, Gillian Martin has 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.” She adds: “We urge industry partners to further develop and roll-out this initiative at pace.”[iii]

Following the announcement, further refinement of the passport scheme is underway with user testing set to follow. The final version of the passport is expected later this year. RenewableUK and OEUK have also announced plans explore other areas to further support worker transitions between sectors.

Skills passports to form part of the North Sea Transition Deal

The initiative will form part of the UK Governments North Sea Transition Deal which was originally announced back in 2021. At the time, the deal promised to support oil and gas industry workers and businesses by introducing low-carbon solutions such as hydrogen production, carbon capture and storage, as well as offshore wind and decommissioning.

Further, in a release at the time of launch, the North Sea Transition Deal was promised as a means to support workers, businesses, and the supply chain as it transitions to a net zero future. This would be achieved by harnessing the industry’s existing capabilities, infrastructure, and private investment potential.

Through the Deal, the oil and gas sector and government will work together over the long-term to deliver the skills, innovation and new infrastructure required to decarbonise North Sea production. Not only will the Deal support existing companies to decarbonise in preparation for a net zero future, but it will also attract new industrial sectors to base themselves in the UK, develop new export opportunities for British businesses, and secure new high-value jobs[iv]”.

It is expected that the deal will support in the region of 40,000 jobs across the supply chain and cut pollution by up to 60 million tonnes by 2030. This includes 15 million tonnes through progressive decarbonisation from oil and gas production on the UK Continental Shelf - the equivalent of annual emissions from 90% of the UK’s homes.

At the end of last year, ZCA's research into the emerging green skills gap, found that green skills vacancies are set to soar to 147 million by 2028, with the bulk of demand coming from Asia Pacific. Yet, green skills adoption will currently not meet demand, growing at just 50% in the next 5 years, compared with 300% growth in green jobs. This poses severe implications for key industries and future workforce recruitment.

To discover more access our research here: The emerging green skills gap & Gen Z attitudes


[i] Workforce Insight 2023 | Offshore Energies UK (OEUK)

[ii] UK energy sector unites behind energy skills passport - Energy Live News

[iii] Roadmap for energy skills transition secures backing from wind, oil and gas sectors - RenewableUK

[iv] The North Sea Transition Deal (

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Lauren Foye
Head of Reports

Lauren has extensive experience as an analyst and market researcher in the digital technology and travel sectors. She has a background in researching and forecasting emerging technologies, with a particular passion for the Videogames and eSports industries. She joined the Critical Information Group as Head of Reports and Market Research at GRC World Forums, and leads the content and data research team at the Zero Carbon Academy. “What drew me to the academy is the opportunity to add content and commentary around sustainability across a wealth of industries and sectors.”

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