About The Academy
Nigg Skills Academy, based at Nigg Energy Park, Nigg, Ross shire, was set up over six years ago to address the energy skills gaps in the oil & gas and renewable energy industry.
Nigg Skills Academy (NSA) is a “not for profit” training provider based at the 238 acre Nigg Energy Park, Nigg, Ross shire It was set up over seven years ago to address the energy skills shortages in the oil & gas industry. It is very much an industry led facility with instructors coming from the oil and gas industry who have vast experience in working all over the world in their specific skills, but now also are qualified SVQ Assessors and Verifiers in their own right.
The academy board of directors come from a combination of industry, education, the Highland Council, with a specific interest in the wider skills agenda. The board meets quarterly with a set agenda on the progress of the academy and any other training opportunities which might meet with the needs of employers and the wider energy industries.
Originally focusing on the delivery of Modern Apprentices, the Academy have added a range of short up skilling courses in Advanced Fabrication and Welding training. With welders being able to add welding codings to their portfolio. NSA has established itself as a leading industry led educational facility delivering "work ready" candidates, up skilled candidates and Modern Apprentice trainees to their employers.
Given the setting within the industrial base at Nigg Energy Park, NSA is unique in being able to add value, working with a wide cross section of employers from across Scotland and the outer Islands using the facility to train their people. The SVQ Performing Engineering Operations level 2 and a National Certificate with in Fabrication and Welding unique course for example is structured around an intensive 16 week course which provides the equivalent of a full year course normally delivered within a college environment. This has proven to be extremely attractive to both students and employers.
This SVQ Performing Engineering operations level 2 alongside the National Certificate and Fabrication and welding, is part delivered by our educational partner, North Highland College. It allows trainees to gain advanced knowledge and skills providing them with the back bone of skills to give employers the confidence that candidates can complete meaningful work when they go into the workplace to complete an apprenticeship. This “work ready” student gives employers confidence in allowing these students to do meaningful work in entering their employment. Completion involves progressing an appropriate SVQ level 3 “assessed” within the work place. In real terms, this approach is innovative and unique in reducing what has been the more common 4-year apprenticeship down to an average of 18 months.
NSA is also unique in having someone seconded from Job Centre Plus onsite 3 days per week, thus providing support and offering to test some of the long term unemployed to find out their suitability for being provided with welder training. This can lead to them being tested with industry specific welder coding whereby we can then try and find them employment opportunities using our contacts in the industry. To date we have an extremely impressive 87% success rate of finding them work once they have successfully completed their welder coding(s).
Importantly, many of our courses are fully funded and we utilise various forms of funding for potential candidates, with travel being offered subject to eligibility.
The NSA also has the ability to complete certain forms of commercial work to support employer needs.