The UK government on Thursday unveiled its latest strategy aimed at securing billions of pounds of investment in the oil industry.

A trio of ministers was on hand to unveil plans in the Scottish oil capital of Aberdeen with a focus on job creation, innovation and increased competitiveness, particularly in the offshore fabrication arena.

The industrial strategy, which followed on from similar strategies for the country’s nuclear and aerospace sectors, will address the industry’s fiscal regime, aiming to secure a promised tax certainty for oil & gas players operating in the UK.

It will also look at ways of increasing energy exports to markets such as Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Australia while boosting supply chain support. A key part of proposed new supply chain support is to invest in the UK’s relatively ailing fabrication industry.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “I want us to consider what barriers are stopping British companies bidding for and winning work in the North Sea.

“This is an expanding industry. We can either help create more jobs and opportunities across the UK if we get this right. Or see work going overseas if not.”

The government’s so-called business bank will also provide access to financing for small and mid-sized enterprises in the industry. Newcastle University has also been handed £7 million ($10.58 million) to establish the Neptune Centre for subsea and offshore engineering to boost innovation and tackle the skills shortage. The oil & gas industry currently supports around 40,000 jobs in the UK.

Energy & Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “The UK’s oil and gas industry is a vital strategic resource that helps fulfil our energy needs and insulates us from volatile global markets. By partnering with industry to support oil and gas investment offshore and onshore, the coalition government aims to boost growth and enhance the UK’s energy security.”

Malcolm Webb, chief executive of industry body Oil & Gas UK, commented: “Record investment is forecast this year to search for and produce UK oil and gas reserves. This will be followed by an upturn in production from 2014, sustaining growth across the supply chain and reinforcing the industry’s already significant contribution to the UK economy.

“The strategy … will further strengthen the oilfield services sector across the country, boost investor confidence, safeguard jobs and help to maximise recovery of Britain’s oil and gas reserves.”

The strategy, unveiled by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, also reiterated a desire to retrain ex-military personnel with a view to them seeking jobs in the industry.