North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that the Energy Jobs Taskforce is allowed to finish its work, and is not wound up prematurely.
Speaking in a debate on Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) initiatives, Lewis Macdonald said taskforces have played a “key” role in following the closure of the Young’s fish processing factory in Fraserburgh and the oil and gas downturn which has affected the whole north-east region.
He said an announcement that the Energy Jobs Taskforce is now going to meet quarterly rather than monthly would “cause concern” across the area.
The MSP added: “Nobody who lives in the north-east would say that the Energy Jobs Taskforce has finished its work.
“Employees are still being made redundant from the oil and gas industry and associated sectors, and offshore work is still being affected by the low oil price.
“It is vital that the Energy Jobs Taskforce continues to meet, and to supplement the work of PACE and industry initiatives, to ensure that as many people as possible are supported back into work, or get access to the training they need to start a new career.
“I hope that the Scottish Government will reassure people across the North East that they still take seriously the threat posed to the region by the oil and gas downturn.”