- Part of:
- Business, industry and innovation
Second meeting hears updates on Economic Recovery Plan.
The Longannet taskforce was today updated on progress to deliver the Economic Recovery Plan to support workers, business and communities affected by the closure of the power station in March 2016.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing co-chaired the meeting. He said:
"Since the Longannet Task Force met for the first time last month, there has been a range of detailed work by Scottish Power, local councils, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise to develop the various strands of the Economic Recovery Plan that will help to support the hundreds of people and many businesses affected by the closure.
"Scottish Power now expect to know by the end of October how many Longannet employees wish to take redundancy, seek redeployment within the company or find new employment.
"We have already offered skills development and employability support for affected employees through our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) which aims to minimise the time individuals affected by redundancy are out of work.
"All workers and onsite contractors will have access to support through PACE through an onsite resource centre. PACE support has also been offered to employees of companies in the supply chain whom we know will be affected by the closure of Longannet.
"Local authorities impacted - Fife, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and West Lothian Councils - are working on a joint action plan which will aim to support business growth, attract new investment and continue community activities that are currently supported by Scottish Power.
"Longer term, Scottish Power and Fife Council are developing a masterplan to establish future uses of the site and the Task Force is engaging with supply chain companies to explore the precise impacts of the closure.
"That work will continue over the coming months and all members of the Task Force will work closely together to address the issues."
Co-chair Councillor David Ross, Leader of Fife Council said: "I am pleased with the progress we have made so far and with the way all the agencies are working together.
"However, we recognise the seriousness of the situation we face and that there is still much to be done. As well as the immediate support for the direct workforce and the supply chain we have been looking at how we can mitigate the impact of the closure on the local communities surrounding Longannet.
"We are also starting to assess how we can help replace the jobs being lost with new employment opportunities in the longer term, and how we can enhance training opportunities particularly for young people in these communities."
Hugh Finlay, ScottishPower Generation Director said: "The taskforce continues to make good progress and all parties around the table are working closely together to put forward a viable economic plan for the region. We are also continuing our consultation process with every team member employed at Longannet, and we remain committed to finding the best outcomes for everyone at the station."
The Task Force comprises elected representatives, trades unions, businesses and government agencies.
The Longannet taskforce remit is to bring together key partners to co-ordinate the development of a joint, multi-agency plan to mitigate the economic impacts of Longannet's closure.
The Task Force met on August 24 and agreed to develop an Economic Recovery Plan to:
- help ensure individuals employed at the site are supported, maximising each individual's opportunity to secure alternative employment;
- support the communities impacted by the closure;
- mitigate the effects on the supply chain;
- produce a masterplan for the long term future of the site, maximising the employment potential of the site; and
- consider the economic infrastructure of the local area, to identify how to create sustainable employment in the longer term.