Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, has announced increased investment (up from £3.25m to £6.5m) for training facilities and energy sector skills courses for the oil and gas industry in Scotland, to help address the skills shortage – the industry needs 95,000 new recruits in the next 7 years. The emphasis for Energy Skills Scotland will be on encouraging women, young people and mid-career professionals to join the industry, a move which Aquaterra Energy wholeheartedly supports. Eric Doyle, general manager of Aquaterra Energy Aberdeen, said: “The industry is growing fast and we need the best engineering brains to drive offshore innovation and ensure the UK’s companies continue to lead the field. Some of the best engineers are women – they have an eye for detailed design and are able to tackle the most complex analysis challenges. So we applaud all initiatives that attract women to the industry, as well as career-changers, who will have the maturity and experience to add huge value to any organisation.” Analysis of US government data by Rigzone shows a rapid increase in the number of women joining the US industry, with 46% of new jobs being filled by women in the first quarter of the year; up from 30% in the last quarter of 2012.