EDINBURGH, Scotland, May 13 (UPI) -- The Scottish government will support a training program for the energy sector with investments worth close to $10 million, First Minister Alex Salmond said.
"To keep pace with our potential, we must continue developing our talent and skills supply and we must ensure Scotland has the capacity to deliver the qualified workforce the industry needs," Salmond said in a statement.
The so-called Energy Skills Scotland represents a $9.9 million investment package, twice what the government announced last year.
The package will support industrial academies at Scottish colleges and universities to train technicians in conventional and renewable energy skills.
"Scotland's energy industry, across all sectors, needs 95,000 more people between now and 2020," Salmond said. "Energy Skills Scotland will support our energy industry and ensure people can access the jobs that are available. It's a win-win situation."
The Scottish government in January said there are around 24 billion barrels of oil to be recovered from the North Sea. The government estimated the wholesale value of the reserves at $2.4 trillion.
It expects oil and natural gas would add to the federal coffers of an independent Scotland. A vote for independence from Great Britain is scheduled for next year.