Hundreds approved for new oil and gas transition training scheme
Six hundred people have been approved for a scheme to help people who face losing their jobs in oil and gas to gain new skills and find new work.
The £12m fund offers grants for individuals to acquire specialised skills or further training.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said 600 people had been approved as she opened a new Statoil headquarters in Aberdeen.
'Vote of confidence'
Ms Sturgeon said the oil and gas industry still had a strong future in Scotland despite its current challenges.
Statoil is developing the Mariner field, with production expected to start in 2018.
She said: "The expertise that Scottish oil and gas firms have built up over many decades has positioned our energy sector as a world leader and while we realise that the industry and workforce is going through a difficult time, this investment and expansion from Statoil is a vote of confidence in the North Sea's future."
And the first minister confirmed: "Only halfway through the first year of our three-year Transition Training Fund, launched in February, already 600 people have had their applications for support approved."