Glasgow & West Scotland

Scottish government offers help to job loss BAE workers

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Media captionDeputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says the Scottish government will support BAE workers facing redundancy

More than 800 workers facing redundancy from BAE's shipyards in Glasgow will be offered help to find other high-skilled jobs, the Scottish government has said.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it would be next week before the firm clarified which jobs would go.

She said that once this happened the government would target help to affected staff at Govan and Scotstoun.

Ms Sturgeon was speaking after she and Finance Secretary John Swinney met BAE management and unions at Scotstoun.

She described the talks on Friday morning as constructive and said the Scottish government was ready to help.

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"The principal focus of the discussion this morning was on what support the Scottish government can bring to bear to those affected by redundancy in the weeks and months to come," she said.

"We have well-established arrangements to help people affected by redundancy find alternative employment, to help them access retraining and reskilling, so we wanted to give a very strong message that that support is there.

"On the upside, this is a highly skilled workforce and we know there are other companies out there who have a demand for these kind of skills. So it's going to be very important for the government to do what it can, in addition to what the company will already do, to match up those skills with the demand that there might be for them."

Ms Sturgeon said there were engineering firms around Scotland that have a demand for the kind of skills the Glasgow shipyard workers have.

Image caption More than 800 jobs will be lost at BAE's Govan and Scotstoun shipyards

She added: "There are discussions in the early part of next week between the company and the unions where I think we will start to hear some of the detail of the breakdown of the job loss number.

"Obviously that detail is important to those affected but it also allows the government to know where the support that we can offer can best be targeted."

BAE Systems confirmed on Wednesday that it planned to cut 1,775 jobs at its UK yards.

The firm said 940 staff posts and 170 agency workers will go at its Portsmouth site, where shipbuilding will end.

Some 835 jobs will be lost across its yards in Govan and Scotstoun, Rosyth in Fife, and at the firm's Filton office, near Bristol.

To offset the job losses, BAE and the Ministry of Defence announced that three new ocean-going offshore patrol vessels for the Royal Navy would be built at Govan and Scotstoun.

This was aimed at sustaining shipbuilding at the yards until work is due to begin on the Type 26 global combat ships, sometime after 2014.

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