THE Scottish Government has been urged to address the “unexplained delays” in a key policy forming part of the just transition away from oil and gas and towards renewables.

Labour MSP Mercedes Villalba raised the issue of the "energy skills passport” – which was due in the first quarter of 2023 but is yet to launch – in Holyrood on Wednesday.

The passport would allow oil and gas workers to avoid retraining in skills they already have when looking to transfer to the renewables sector, facilitating the expected mass movement in the workforce.

But Lorna Slater, who serves as the Minister for Green Skills, confirmed that the rollout of the passport would be delayed until the third quarter of 2023.

READ MORE: ‘We need an intervention’ – MPs urged to back ‘Just Transition’ offshore training scheme

Villalba said in Holyrood: “As the minister will know, the energy skills passport was due to launch in the first quarter of this year. We are now in May.

“The unexplained delays are reportedly due to opposition from the Global Wind Organisation – GWO – which is the offshore wind standards body. In the meantime, offshore workers continue to face barriers to transition.

“Will the minister use her role and position to intervene and chair a crisis summit, which would include the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation, the GWO and the offshore trade unions – the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers and Unite – to resolve that crisis, end the delay and give offshore energy workers the certainty that they need in order to transition?”

Slater, the Green MSP and minister, said that the passport’s delivering had been pushed back to the third quarter of 2023.

She also told the parliament that £5 million from the just transition fund had been allocated to the passport. 

Slater said: “I support Mercedes Villalba’s call for the skills passport to be delivered in a timely fashion because we all want to support workers in a just transition.

“Excellent progress is being made on that project … The proof of concept and prototype of the skills passport was completed and signed off by union reps in December.

“We are progressing with a mapping exercise – mapping the alignment of standards – which is a big piece of work that will bring together in one place the standards from multiple offshore sectors. Currently, we are looking at the mapped equivalent of about 75 per cent of the core crew for an offshore installation, so that work is progressing well.

“The project is moving into preparations for beta testing of the prototype, with the intention being to deliver the skills passport to end users in quarter three of this year.”