Scotland business

Shell to axe 380 jobs at Glasgow finance office

Shell office in Bothwell Street
Image caption Bothwell Street staff were told the news on Wednesday, triggering a 45-day consultation

Oil giant Shell is to close its finance operations office in Glasgow with the loss of 380 jobs.

Staff were told that all work would be moved to other sites during the next 15 months.

A company spokesman said all employees based at the Bothwell Street office would probably face "involuntary severance".

The firm said the cuts were being made following a review of Shell's global finance operations.

Shell, which employs 12,000 people globally, said it would relocate some positions to its other international centres but the number had not been decided.

'Significantly lower cost'

A spokesman added: "For Shell to remain competitive, difficult choices continue to have to be made to improve efficiency and value for money across all of our businesses and functions.

"Subject to employee consultation, we are proposing to close the Shell finance operations office in Glasgow and, over the next 15 months, move its activities to our other locations in our global Shell Business Operations network.

"This will result in a small overall reduction in the number of jobs in Shell's global finance operations. Employees currently based in the Glasgow office will likely face involuntary severance."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Shell opened its Bothwell Street office in Glasgow in 1998

The spokesman said that other Shell sites had evolved to handle the activities performed by staff in Glasgow at a "significantly lower cost".

Staff were told about the closure of the Bothwell Street office on Wednesday morning, triggering the start of a 45-day consultation.

Shell launched the Glasgow office in 1998 to oversee areas such as financial reports and management information, governance risk and assurance, and travel and expenditure.

'Devastating blow'

Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland's minister for business, innovation and energy, said he was disappointed by the news.

He added: "This will be a very difficult time for those employees affected, their families and the local area.

"Scottish Enterprise is liaising closely with the company and I am monitoring the situation closely."

He said the Scottish government's initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment, stood ready to help those affected.

"The Transition Training Fund is also available to support individuals who wish to retrain and secure new opportunities in the oil and gas or wider energy and manufacturing sectors," he said.

Scottish Conservative Glasgow MSP Annie Wells said: "The movement of jobs abroad is a challenging issue and it is as important as ever that both the UK and Scottish governments work together to ensure that things pick up in the future.

"The only silver lining to this story is that the announcement has been made over year ahead of most employees leaving the company.

"I would urge the Scottish government therefore to use this time along with its agencies to make sure that the process of redundancy is made as comfortable as possible for the workers and their families."

Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said: "This news will be a devastating blow to those directly affected and their families.

"It is vital, therefore, that the Scottish government and its agencies now work closely with Shell and staff representatives to support those impacted by this decision."