Isles MP Angus MacNeil is urging any island resident who has lost their job offshore due to the downturn in the oil and gas industry to check whether they are eligible for funding to retrain.

Skills Development Scotland have recently launched an online application service for the Transition Training Fund which offers training grants for workers to redeploy in the oil and gas sector or wider energy, engineering and manufacturing sectors.

A large number of Na h-Eileanan an Iar residents are employed in the industry and Mr MacNeil has been contacted by several constituents seeking advice.

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Mr MacNeil said: “I know that many individuals and their families in the islands have been impacted by the downturn in the oil and gas industry. I would urge anyone who has lost their job or has been informed that they are at risk of redundancy to look at their options such as seeking funding to retrain.

“There is funding available through The Transition Training Fund as part of a package from the Scottish Government worth more than £25million which is aimed at softening the economic impact of the downturn in the oil and gas sector.

“Comparatively, the UK Government has been something of a disappointment in its lack of practical support to the sector. Myself and my SNP colleagues will continue to press the UK Government to provide financial support for oil and gas workers to expand their skills set, and we will continue to call for exploration incentives so that the industry may realise the full potential of the North Sea basin.”
Mr MacNeil has also been contacted by constituents employed in the shipping industry which has also been impacted as a result of the downturn. He has raised these issues with the UK Transport Minister Robert Goodwill MP.

Any constituent who wishes to find out more about the Transition Training Fund should visit This is live and available for online applications.  In addition to the website, individuals can also speak with dedicated Careers Advisers by calling the TTF helpline on 0800 100 1855.

To be eligible for the fund individuals must:

  • Be resident in Scotland;
  • Have been made redundant or currently at risk of redundancy from the oil and gas sector or its’ supply chain;
  • Have worked in the oil and gas sector or the supply chain as an employee or contractor;
  • Be able to show that training will help get a new job;
  • Be actively seeking employment.

Redundancy advice is also available at