Since the global oil and gas downturn, the the Scottish Government has been doing everything it can within its powers to support jobs and businesses in the sector.
By contrast, there has been a shameful lack of action from the UK Government. SNP MPs at Westminster have been a strong voice for the sector, calling for more action to support investment and protect jobs.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. We are supporting businesses and reducing the risk of undertaking research and development projects with £12.5 million of funding to support innovation. In September 2016, the First Minister announced that 70 projects with a total value of around £16 million had already been supported.
2. SNP MPs have pressed the UK government to take further action on tax to improve exploration and investment. We will also continue to demand that the UK government deliver loan guarantees for critical infrastructure – as promised in the 2016 budget.
3. SNP MPs will demand the UK government future-proof jobs in the sector by exploring new incentives for oil and gas companies to diversify into renewable energy.
4. The Scottish Government’s £12 million Transition Training Fund is helping oil workers retrain to get jobs in other sectors, including the renewables sector and teaching. By September last year 600 people had applications for support approved.
5. We are supporting the wider North East economy through the Aberdeen City Deal and our plans for £254 million additional investment in rail and road improvements, digital connectivity and housing.
6. We established an Energy Jobs Taskforce in 2015 to help tackle the challenges facing the sector and provide practical support to businesses. The taskforce brings together enterprise agencies, government, industry and trade union representatives.
7. A new £5 million Decommissioning Challenge Fund will ensure companies in Scotland can benefit from the decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure.