Scotland is missing out on offshore wind farm jobs while English yards are “booming”, says a former SNP government minister.
New research from the House of Commons reveals developments in the north of England are seeing turbine construction and a jobs boom.
Kenny MacAskill, former SNP justice secretary and Alba MP, said the “rhetoric of the Saudi Arabia of wind isn’t matching the reality onshore in Scotland”.
He claims yards at Arnish on the Isle of Lewis and the former Bi-Fab yard at Methil, Fife, are “lying idle and workers seeing employment” and has called for governments to take action to deliver more jobs north of the border.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said he wants to make a “big bet” on renewables and turn the UK into the “Saudi Arabia” of wind power.
The Siemens Gamesa facility in Hull is one of the sites that will receive funding via the UK Government’s Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support Scheme.
The yard, which opened in 2016, has produced more than 1,500 blades to customers worldwide and employs around 1,000 people directly, according to the Commons research.
In August the plant announced £186 million plans to expand to more than double its existing size by 2023, adding another 200 direct jobs.
Meanwhile, a new GE plant in Teeside, expected to create 750 direct renewable energy jobs and “close to 1,500 indirect jobs in the area”, is due to open in 2023.
‘We’ve got the yards and the skills’
Mr MacAskill claims former Bi-Fab yards in Fife and at Arnish on the Isle of Lewis are “sitting idle” and should replicate the success of their English counterparts.