Nicola Sturgeon has been criticised for not publishing an update on North Sea job losses – despite one not having been produced for six months.
Scottish Labour’s Jackie Baillie demanded the First Minister do more to help the industry in the north-east, which has been left in crisis by the collapsing oil price.
Her call follows revelations in the Press and Journal that Ms Sturgeon failed to meet with the chair of her energy jobs taskforce – Dr Lena Wilson – for more than six months last year, despite at least 800 offshore workers being made redundant in that period.
The debate came amid a fiery First Minister’s Questions, three questions of which were devoted to the grim employment picture in the north and north-east.
Ms Baillie said: “It has been more than six months since the last Oil and Gas report, nestled into the final day of the session.
“65,000 jobs have been lost and more are expected. What action will the First Minister take?”
Ms Sturgeon insisted that her government is doing everything it can “within its devolved power” to address the crisis, including pressing the UK Government to deliver a multi-billion pound city deal for Aberdeen.
She also said ministers would host a special meeting with Dr Wilson next week to receive an update on the crisis in the north-east.
Ms Baillie’s question followed that of Dunfermline MSP Cara Hilton, who asked what action the Scottish Government would take to help workers at oil-equipment firm FMC’s Fife base, where more than 100 job losses were recently announced.
SNP MSP Dave Thompson also quizzed the First Minister on what action she would take to help workers at Marine Harvest who are being made redundant.