A new study has been launched to “put a human face” on the north-east’s oil and gas downturn- and recommend how to better share the wealth in the region.
The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has launched a mass survey of workers in the sector in both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Responses will be gathered and a new report prepared for politicians on how the industry can be better run – while taking infrastructure improvements such as the AWPR into account.
While the problems with the sector, which was hit hard by the steep drop in oil prices around five years ago, have been well publicised, the STUC believe it is overdue for the voices of the workers to be heard.
Last November, Aberdeen council co-leader Jenny Laing admitted that the massive wealth from the North Sea had not been shared equally across the city with pockets of poverty existing in the oil capital of Europe.
A spokesman for the STUC said that while employment and the oil price was now recovering, there were still major issues of inequality and deprivation in the region.
He added: “We have been conducting research into what the downturn has done to the north-east economy, and what the shape of it will be in the future – particularly with big infrastructure projects like the bypass.
“We want to talk to people on the ground and are trying to assess how and where the wealth generated from the North Sea has been captured.
“The results and recommendations from our report would be presented to local and national policy makers.
“The results will put a human face on the downturn.
“You often hear from oil and gas bosses about job losses and budget cuts, but the aim of the study is also to find out how that wealth has been divided in the past and now.”
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said: “We know thousands of people have lost their jobs and thousands more have had to leave the area to search for new opportunities.
“There has been a substantial human impact and it is important to remember that these aren’t just numbers.
“It is certainly important that everyone at every level raises these issues about the impact of the downturn. While the crisis is easing, the sector has been ignored by all levels of government and desperately needs attention.”
To take part in the survey, visit: www.surveymonkey.com/r/workinginaberdeenshire