LifeScan Scotland plans to create 28 new jobs – and 50 temporary roles – at its Inverness facility amid ongoing consultation over axing up to 80 existing jobs.
The largest private-sector employer in the Highlands is about to enter individual consultation with its staff, with the voluntary redundancy deadline looming this week.
The job cuts are part of a wider move that will involve shedding 350 jobs from across its global diabetes care business.
The firm is owned by US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) which announced a “strategic” review of its global diabetes care group companies in January.
Last week, J&J announced that it plans to close a surgical suture factory in Livingston with the loss of 400 jobs, as part of the same global restructuring.
The company is thought to employ more than 1,000 in Inverness. LifeScan, which produces blood glucose monitoring systems, has been hit with three years of declining sales and profits due to “adverse market conditions” and “strong competitive forces”.
In January, a spokeswoman for J&J confirmed the move was part of a global business reorgansation which would affect about 80 jobs in Scotland, pending the outcome of the consultation process.
Employees at risk in Inverness will be given the opportunity first to apply for new roles.
The additional 50 temporary jobs will be created as a result of manufacturing volumes being consolidated in Inverness.
Last night, Highland Council’s leader Margaret Davidson said the creation of new job roles was “good news,” adding: “Until Johnson & Johnson go through their reviews we will all be waiting. It’s a profitable business and they’re obviously looking to put some jobs back in there, and that’s all a good sign.
“Any job losses in the Highlands are a major concern and we have a small population up here and need our jobs and we need to feel they are safe.”
LifeScan Scotland was created in 2001, when J&J acquired the UK assets of healthcare device company Inverness Medical. In August last year, J&J announced an £8.7million investment in the Inverness company, including a £1.85million grant contribution from development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).