First Minister of Scotland and energy chief fail to meet for six months

By Andrew Liddle, Energy Voice

Nicola Sturgeon failed to hold a single meeting with her energy jobs chief for more than six months last year – despite at least 800 offshore workers being made redundant in that period.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon.

Nicola Sturgeon failed to hold a single meeting with her energy jobs chief for more than six months last year – despite at least 800 offshore workers being made redundant in that period.

The First Minister held no official discussion with Lena Wilson on spiralling North Sea job losses between May 28 and December 14.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing also held no discussion with Dr Wilson – who chairs the Energy Jobs Taskforce – between June 22 and December 11, while Deputy First Minister John Swinney last met her on June 18.

From June to November last year hundreds of staff were lost from North Sea operations as firms announced widespread redundancies.

Records released to our sister paper, The Press and Journal, under freedom of information legislation also show that the Scottish Government has no idea if any out-of-work offshore employees have found new roles through the taskforce, which was launched to great fanfare at the beginning of last year.

Last night, the government insisted “ministers have received detailed briefing on the activities of the taskforce from both Dr Lena Wilson and officials on a regular basis”.

But the Scottish Liberal Democrats said the SNP’s claims to be supporting those out of work in the north-east were “completely unfounded”, and referred to Nationalist MSP Dennis Robertson’s claim last week that there was “no crisis” in the North Sea.

Lib Dem north-east MSP Alison McInnes, said: “Now we can see for ourselves just how superficial the commitment of SNP leaders to the industry is.

“The north-east is being completely forgotten about by central government and the first minister’s claims she will support those working in oil and gas industry are proving completely unfounded.”

Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald added: “The SNP didn’t want to admit there was an oil jobs crisis for months because it was politically embarrassing for them.

Continue the story at Energy Voice.

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