Call for probe into jobs ‘snub’ for oil workers

Thousands of workers have lost their jobs following the industry downturn
Thousands of workers have lost their jobs following the industry downturn

A North-east politician has called for an investigation amid claims former oil and gas workers are facing discrimination in the jobs market.

Aberdeenshire East SNP MSP Gillian Martin has forwarded evidence of the practice outwith the sector to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin has called for an investigation into the discrimination claims

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin has called for an investigation into the discrimination claims

Scotland’s employment minister has also been made aware of the claims.

Union leaders have described it as amounting to blacklisting.

Ms Martin says advertisements for roles within sectors, including the construction industry, have specifically warned job-hunting North Sea workers not to apply.

She was contacted by a constitutent who produced evidence suggesting discrimination against former offshore employees.

Thousands of oil sector workers have lost their jobs following the downturn in the industry.

It is claimed that some companies will not recruit candidates because they believe they will leave once the recovery begins.

Ms Martin wrote to employment minister Damian Hinds but a DWP spokeswoman said the remit lay with the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the letter had been forwarded.

In it, Ms Martin states: “Many people who have lost their jobs in the oil and gas industry have been searching tirelessly 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.

“It is alarming to hear people who have already faced redundancy being written off by companies in other sectors before they have even had the chance to apply.”

Unite regional officer John Boland called on the UK and Scottish Governments to halt such treatment.

A BEIS spokesperson said: “The UK government is rightly proud of the oil and gas workers who have been on the frontline of an industry facing unprecedented challenges. Where jobs have been lost in the sector, we’re determined to hold on to that talent.

“That’s why we published the Oil and Gas workforce plan and expanded the Talent Retention website to give workers greater access to new opportunities in more than 1,000 engineering and manufacturing companies.

“Businesses should be in no doubt that the oil and gas industry in Scotland has one of the most highly skilled workforces in the world.”