Leader of the Highland Council seeks support to protect jobs in Highland
The Leader of The Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has expressed deep concern at the latest news of job losses in the manufacturing and life sciences industry in the Highlands.
She has called for action in response to the announcement that 80 jobs may go at Lifescan. Other job losses include:
- 30 jobs likely to be lost at Dalcross based manufacturing and building firm Hambleside; and
- 17 jobs at Inverness based Roy Homes and Roy Home Timber Frames.
Councillor Davidson said: “The potential loss of so many jobs in the Highlands is extremely worrying and would be a serious blow to our already fragile economy. I am particularly concerned about the affected employees and their families in such a worrying time.”
“I am very well aware of the very difficult financial times we are all dealing with and the impact of necessary budget cuts on jobs in every sector, including local government. The Highlands are far less able than bigger urban areas in the UK to withstand the serious impact of significant job losses in an already fragile area. These job losses will have a knock on effect on other industry and economic confidence as well as the devastating consequences of uncertainty and unemployment on people’s lives.
“The Chief Executive and I will be meeting with Lifescan management to better understand the situation and discuss what support is needed to sustain the future security of this valued employer and associated life sciences industries in our region.
“Lifescan is a major employer and key driver of the Highland economy, with more than 1,000 staff. We understand the pressures on their global business as the result of factors affecting the diabetes industry. Inverness remains their main center for research and development and we are determined to work with them to ensure Lifescan can grow their business in the future.
“We will also be working closely with our partners on the PACE Initiative to provide assistance to those staff seeking advice about their futures.”
She went on to say:
Life sciences is a sector which is crucial to our strategic plans for the continued economic growth of the Highlands and we have a growing and highly skilled workforce which we need to retain. Growing our economy on the basis of life sciences, manufacturing, digital and research industries is central to our City-Region Deal.
“I will be writing today to Fergus Ewing MSP to express the council’s concerns and to find out what government support can be given to affected employees and to protect and enhance the economic future of the Highlands.”
PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment) is the Scottish Government's
national strategic partnership framework for responding to redundancy situations.