NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

MSP 'inundated' with offshore worker discrimination concerns

North Sea oil platform Image copyright PA
Image caption The North Sea industry has seen oil prices drop

An MSP has been "inundated" with former oil and gas workers claiming they have been discriminated against when seeking jobs outwith the industry.

BBC Scotland revealed this month that Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin had passed concerns about the practice to the UK government.

One oil worker said companies would not hire him because they believed he would quit if the oil price rose again.

Ms Martin's described the extent of discrimination claims as "shocking".

She said many more constituents had been in contact with her, saying they had been excluded by employers outwith the energy sector because of their oil and gas background since the issue was highlighted by BBC Scotland.

One of them, who only wanted to be named as Gary, told BBC Scotland: "One company said they would keep my CV on file, but they did not want to waste money or time on someone that will leave.

"They just straight away categorise."

'Highest level'

Ms Martin said: "I have been inundated with correspondence from oil and gas workers since revealing worrying evidence from constituents of job discrimination.

"It is shocking to see the breadth of discrimination against skilled people who have been hit hard by the downturn and simply want to return to employment.

"I will be continuing to take this matter forward at the highest level to raise awareness of how companies are simply outright dismissing talent from the sector."

She originally wrote to UK employment minister Damian Hinds about the issue and it was passed to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

BEIS said at the time: "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."

However, the managing director of a scaffolding business who has lost workers to the oil and gas industry hit back at claims former offshore workers were now being unfairly blacklisted.

William Dore of MJD and Sons said companies were tired of losing workers.

Thousands of people have lost their jobs since the oil downturn began.

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