Headquartered in Blackpool, with links to colleges in Chester, Redcar and Cleveland, Glasgow and Portsmouth, the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas will provide students with specialist training to meet the current and future needs of the industry.
According to the government, up to 70% of the gas we consume is likely to be imported by 2025. Investing in shale gas, the government believes, will ensure the UK becomes more self-sufficient.
“Shale is an enormous opportunity for the UK and one that we simple can’t afford to miss out on,” said Hancock.
The government today pledged £750,000 of development funding for the colleges and this will be matched by industry bodies and education providers.
The new centres for excellence will be overseen by oil and gas industry bodies and will train onshore oil and gas specialists as part of the government’s commitment to extracting shale gas deep underground.
Hancock said: “I am not prepared to pass up a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity, with the potential for industry to invest up to £33bn in the next 15 years or so.
“That’s why we are investing people in the project. Only by arming people with the skills they need to be shale specialists can we provide career opportunities for thousands of young people, boost the power and competitiveness of our firms and help the UK economy remain strong and competitive.”