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SNP urged to keep renewable-energy jobs in Scotland

THE Scottish government was urged today to take immediate action to ensure that jobs in the renewable-energy sector are retained north of the border after an overseas company was handed a multimillion-pound project.

Despite a summit last week when ministers assured unions and companies in Scotland that measures would be put in place to protect jobs, Paris-based GE Renewable Energy has been handed a contract in the creation of the country’s biggest offshore wind farm.

The £2 billion Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) project is already being run in conjunction with firms from the Netherlands, Ireland and France’s EDF, and trade unions have called for more to be done to protect Scottish jobs.

Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “It was only last week that we welcomed the Scottish government’s intention to ensure that local and regional supply chains would benefit from contracts in the renewables sector.

“Several days later we now find out that American and Dutch-owned companies are feeding off the billions of pounds’ worth of work on the NnG contract when this work should be going to locally based companies such as BiFab, who are ready and fit for purpose.

“The Scottish government need to enact their local content clauses immediately to stop work being outsourced to international competitors.”

Last week the government announced that developers will have to agree on supply-chain commitments when applying for offshore wind leases in an effort to protect domestic jobs. However, it is unclear when these changes will be put in place.

The Scottish government said it is “doing everything” within its “existing, limited devolved powers to retain and boost job numbers and increase the Scottish presence in offshore wind projects.”

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