Bank’s investment to help create workforce of the future

17/01/2024
Left to Right: Jimmy Williamson (The Bank) and Douglas Duguid (Aurora). (Photo: Abermedia)

AURORA Energy Services (Aurora) will help provide a pipeline of reskilled workers and apprentices to drive forward Scotland’s journey to Net Zero.

The business will use up to £20 million of funding from the Scottish National Investment Bank to bolster and expand its network of regional training hubs and workshop facilities vital to support the green energy supply chain.

The Bank’s backing will allow Aurora to service projects right across the renewables sector, including wind, solar, hydrogen, carbon capture & storage, as well as pumped hydro and waste to energy.

Its strategy will capitalise on the existing experience within the oil and gas sector and reskill workers to support energy transition. Aurora also plans to develop a globally recognised apprenticeship scheme aimed at training those new to the industry.

CEO Douglas Duguid said: “In securing this welcome financial support from the Scottish National Investment Bank it means we can accelerate our transition into renewables on several fronts.

“It will enhance our recruitment of people living and working in rural Scotland and allow us to be able to offer more job and training opportunities in a shorter timeframe.”

Aurora have recently opened a Renewable Energy Training Centre in Inverness – the only facility of its kind in the Scottish Highlands – and have other bases in Aberdeen, Wick and Huntly dedicated to the servicing, engineering and fabrication needs of the renewables sector.

Douglas Duguid added: “The wind sector is an important part of Aurora’s future expansion plans, but other renewable technologies like hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and pumped hydro are also key. The Bank’s support means we can speed up our strategic expansion in those areas.

“We are a Scottish business, firmly rooted in the Highlands but with an international footprint, and The Bank’s backing will be an important factor as we close in on other international acquisitions which are in the pipeline.”

The investment has been part-financed by capital from the Just Transition Fund, allocated to the Bank from Scottish Government in April 2023.

Since its establishment in 2020, the Scottish National Investment Bank has provided over £100 million into businesses supporting the energy transition.

Jimmy Williamson, executive director at The Bank, said: “Aurora has an exceptional team from a proven background of expertise honed in the oil and gas and industrials markets, now turning those skills to support the renewables sector. For Scotland to be able to harness the opportunities in renewable energy infrastructure, the right skills and a ready workforce are a critical dependency.  

“Aurora’s remit to develop new talent and retrain workers who already have deep, critical energy sector knowledge is a vital link in realising the potential before us.

“Aurora aligns with The Bank’s net zero and placemaking missions and has a key energy transition theme at its core. It is a great platform focused on helping create a long-term, valuable industrial cluster for the people of Scotland that will really allow us to become world leaders in the renewables sector.”

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