How X-Academy is delivering meaningful impact at pace to support the future of the energy sector

Matthew Jacobs
VP operations and partnerships, X-Academy

As we prepare to enter our second year of operating, Matthew Jacobs, our VP of operations and partnerships, takes a look back at the successes of our first year and how these have come to shape the future of X-Academy.

The energy transition has never been higher on the agenda as the world looks to renewable energy sources to fuel a net zero future. Existing industries are under more pressure than ever to reduce carbon emissions while supporting the switch away from traditional power sources.  

This clear shift has exposed current constraints on delivering a net zero future and the need for skills is firmly at the centre of this challenge. A report published by Robert Gordon’s University highlighted that to fill this growing gap in the Northeast of Scotland alone, a further 40,000 people must be deployed into the energy industry by 2030.  

This capacity challenge is not a new phenomenon. It has been a problem for the industry for far too long, with the sector traditionally recruiting and training graduates based on present business needs. There must be a shift in how we future-proof our workforce. 

This is the concept behind X-Academy. Having launched in November 2021, our mission for the industry remains clear: to develop people globally, that can be deployed on projects at pace to create change that makes a real difference in solving the climate crisis. 

From employing 26 people to enrol on our two-year programme, securing six external secondments and achieving a trio of awards for our hard work, X-Academy is on an upward trajectory. Starting 2023 on positive footing allows us to elevate and drive forward our ambitions from 2022, to deliver on the highest standard of projects on a wider scale than previously. 

A fundamental component in achieving this is the establishment of our Xcceleration Hubs. Channelling X-Academy’s expertise into four different categories – social impact, project origination, industry enablement, and research & development– ensures that we are actively involved in the key areas which will harness the greatest impact in our energy future. Each will be championed by a member of our growing leadership team: 

  • Christina Horspool, VP for sustainability & climate action, will head up our social impact hub, collaborating with the industry’s greatest creatives and a broad spectrum of sustainability champions to deliver climate justice, social performance, just transition and diversity, equity and inclusion across Xodus’ international locations. 
  • Gerardo Arteaga Mora, VP of origination and project delivery, will take the reins of the project origination hub, partnering with X-Academy partners and stakeholders to architect and accelerate projects to move us closer to net zero. 
  • Matthew Jacobs, VP operations and partnerships, will lead our industry enablement hub, collaborating with various players across the industry to provide agile solutions to current and near-term capacity challenges that our Xccelerators can solve.  
  • The research and development hub, which will be championed by the entire leadership team, is set on the task of targeting strategic funding to accelerate progress in cross-sector innovation via project management, resourcing and short-term placements. 

The launch of these hubs is crucial to our vision and the differentiation of X-Academy as a skills & development programme with a unique approach to achieving net zero targets. This dynamic team – led by and working closely with X-Academy MD Peter Tipler- will be essential in driving the growth of X-Academy during its second year, working with division managers and technical specialists across Xodus to support the development needs of Xccelerators and the projects we support.  

The creation of our Xcceleration Hubs is the inevitable next step in our mission and this unique approach ensures that our Xccelerators continue to receive the best experience possible, providing them with the essential skills to combat the energy challenges of the future.  

Supporting people from all walks of life, whether graduates, young professionals, or those with established careers - each with a desire to transition into the renewable energy sector - we are working alongside industry to deliver driven and passionate workers who are ready to make an impact on real-life energy transition challenges.  

If you want to find out more about X-Academy, our ambitious 2023 plans and how you can get involved, click the link below and find out how you can support us in prioritising meaningful impact today. 

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