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TRADE unions have welcomed new measures promised by the Scottish government designed to increase the number of offshore wind contracts staying in Scotland.
The government announced today that developers will have to agree on supply-chain commitments when applying for offshore wind leases in an effort to protect domestic jobs.
GMB branded the loss of Scottish jobs in the renewable energy sector a “scandal” ahead of the Scottish offshore wind sector summit in Edinburgh today.
The union said that contracts worth billions were lost to overseas competitors last year, costing tens of thousands of Scottish jobs.
It follows the revelation last month that supply-chain jobs at Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm have been lost to China.
Representatives from both Unite and GMB said that the move was “long overdue” following a “decade of failure for job creation” in the sector.
In a joint statement Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty and GMB Scottish secretary Gary Smith said: “In 2011 employment in Scotland’s offshore wind sector was forecasted to be 28,000 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs by 2020.
“We are nowhere near that and in the last few months redundancy notices have been handed out at supply chain firms like BiFab and CS Wind.
“Without a detailed industrial plan involving the industry and a substantial programme of investment for our supply chain, our green jobs revolution will continue to be delivered anywhere but Scotland.”
Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said that the government will use “every lever” at its disposal to “ensure [that] our renewables supply chain benefits from the expansion of offshore wind in our waters, leading to the creation and retention of Scottish jobs.”
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