First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday insisted oil workers are finding new jobs as she ploughed £25million into supporting the industry – despite claims the intervention is a year too late. The SNP leader said the energy taskforce set up a year ago had engaged with more than 2,500 workers, but did not elaborate on how many had gained new employment as a result.
The first minister has admitted that there is a “great deal” that needs to be done to protect oil and gas jobs – and insisted the Scottish Government is doing all it can to help alleviate the crisis. Nicola Sturgeon said that her taskforce was working to minimise job losses, but that the UK Government needed to stop hampering progress in the sector. The Conservative’s energy spokesman Murdo Fraser rounded on the first minister, saying she needed to do more than “pass the buck” while people are “worried about their futures”. Labour’s energy spokesman Lewis Macdonald agreed that her efforts so far have only “scratched the surface” of the crisis affecting the North East.