SNP MSP raises fears of job ‘discrimination’ against redundant N. Sea oil and gas workers

An SNP MSP has written to the UK government to raise concerns about allegedly illegal discrimination in job recruitment by some employers against former oil and gas workers.

According to evidence from one such affected worker, employers are reluctant to hire workers from the N. Sea energy sector because of fears that they will ‘simply head back up to Aberdeen when the oil price rises’.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin has written to British Employment Minister Damian Hinds and Scottish jobs minister Jamie Hepburn.

Martin said she has seen “documentary evidence” of some level of discrimination against former oil and gas workers and she now wants an investigation into how widespread this is.

Gillian Martin, MSP - a former oil industry white-collar worker.
Gillian Martin, MSP, is a former oil industry white-collar worker.

She said: “Many people who have lost their jobs in the oil and gas sector have been trying to find employment in other sectors of the economy.

“Examples suggest that companies are discriminating against these workers, regardless of their skills, based only on their past involvement in the oil and gas industry.

Scottish Employment Minister Jamie Hepburn, said: “These claims are deeply concerning and its absolutely right that Gillian Martin has raised this with the UK government, which has responsibility in this area.

“The north east has a highly-talented oil and gas workforce with skills that can be utilised in a wide range of different sectors, including renewables, construction, decommissioning and many others.

“The Energy Jobs Taskforce has brought together key partners to maximise employment opportunities and we have set up a £12 million Transition Training Fund that has so far enabled more than 1,500 former oil and gas workers to receive support for training from the fund.”

More than 10,000 jobs the Grampian region have been lost in the current crude oil price slump, while Aberdeen property selling prices and rental prices have slumped by around 20%.

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