Business minister Jamie Hepburn has pledged to consider a staff buy-out of Stornoway’s Talk Talk call centre in a bid to save 59 jobs.
Mr Hepburn said he would be “delighted” to discuss the possibility of staff taking over the centre to allow them to bid for work independently of the telecoms company.
Talk Talk’s decision to close its Stornoway centre has caused alarm on Lewis, given that it is one of the largest private sector employers on the island.
At Holyrood yesterday, Labour Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant asked Mr Hepburn if he would consider a “staff buy-out” of the organisation.
Ms Grant said taking over the centre would allow staff to bid for call centre work and keep the jobs in Stornoway.
Mr Hepburn replied that he had yet to see a buy-out proposal, but added: “This government has high ambitions for employee-owned businesses and if it is something that the workforce is interested in I would be very delighted to engage with them on it.”
Earlier SNP Western Isles MSP Alastair Allan had asked Mr Hepburn to look at opportunities for basing more public sector jobs on the islands.