First Minister urges young Scots to join energy industry

Alex Salmond has called on Scotland's young generation to consider a career in the country's flourishing renewable energy industry.

The Scottish First Minister claimed there are "unparalleled opportunities" for employment being opened up in the sector, as Scotland continues to attract big investments.

He said that growth in the industry is driving the re-industrialisation of the country, citing deals from major firms in renewables and oil and gas.

Recent developments in new technologies such as carbon capture and storage also make this an exciting time to become involved in the sector, added Mr Salmond, who was speaking before a Strathclyde University event to mark the award of honorary degrees to six prominent energy figures.

The First Minister urged young people to step forward and carry the baton, ensuring the country remains at the forefront of world energy development.

"Scotland's energy heritage is world-renowned, and our skilled workforce is a major attraction for the leading energy firms that are bringing investment and thousands of jobs to our country," he declared.

"We already have a world-class university base, and this is being increasingly complemented by a range of apprenticeships and training that is preparing the industry leaders of the future to achieve great, transformational things for energy generation in Scotland."

By supplementing the energy industry's workforce with fresh talent, Mr Salmond believes Scotland can continue to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving, highly-specialised sector.

He described the role of the next generation of workers as "absolutely key" to the success of the major investments now being located across the nation.

Given the country's energy challenge in the coming decades, the First Minister also expressed the importance of encouraging a greater number of women into the industry.

By doing so, he claimed it would ensure that the entire range of Scotland's skills is deployed to maintain the renewables and oil and gas success story.

Copyright Press Association 2013