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The Scottish Government will set up a new energy jobs taskforce to support the oil and gas sector.

Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson will chair the new taskforce, which will focus on supporting jobs across the energy sector with an initial focus on the oil and gas sector.

The membership of the taskforce will consist of SEAB members, including SE/SDI, Scottish Government, SDS, Scottish Funding Council, Local authorities, Oil and Gas UK, Union representatives and engineering and oil and gas industry representatives.

Wilson said: "The energy industry as a whole is crucial to the Scottish economy, with the oil and gas sector alone supporting almost 2,000 Scottish supply chain companies and 225,000 jobs across the country."

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "The North Sea has made an enormous contribution to the Scottish and UK economies over the last 40 years.

"It is now vital, in order to prolong the life of the industry beyond 2050 and maximise economic benefits, that the UK Government maintains the momentum for fiscal and regulatory change in the oil and gas sector.

"The North Sea has made an enormous contribution to the Scottish and UK economies over the last 40 years."

"However, the recent drop in the price of a barrel of crude oil, combined with the mismanagement of oil and gas fiscal policy by the UK Government, and other challenges facing the industry, pose a threat to a number of jobs.

"That’s why I have established the energy jobs taskforce, to make sure that partners are working across the sector both to maintain jobs and to mitigate the potential impact of any losses."

Funding from Scottish Enterprise to the oil and gas sector was £15.1m in 2013/14.


Image: Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson. Photo: courtesy of Scottish Enterprise.