MSP pledges to help job seekers

Glenrothes paper mill Tullis Russell
Glenrothes paper mill Tullis Russell

GLENROTHES MSP, Tricia Marwick, has vowed to help local people benefit from a ‘green’ energy plant, reports MIKE DELANEY.

She made the pledge amid continuing concern about job opportunities available to workers in the area at Tullis Russell’s biomass project.

When it was unveiled, there were hopes that the area would receive a much-needed employment boost, safeguard the 540 posts at the mill, while creating 400 temporary and 50 permanent posts.

But there has been criticism that few local people are working at the site where, instead, contractors have brought, or are bringing in staff from all over Britain and abroad.

The latest criticism came from the Unite trade union, which described the situation as “appalling” and claimed it breached a national agreement with bosses to hire as much local labour as possible.

Last month, the man leading the project, RWEnpower renewables’ Peter Wilson, said that 80 percent of the 238 workers then on site were from “central Scotland”, while Fife contractors involved included Glenrothes-based Skene Group and most security staff were also local.

Although RWEnpower is leading the project, the main contractor is an English-based firm called Jacobs and local jobseekers should contact them direct through their website, Mr Wilson recommended.

Mrs Marwick said: “I am aware that some concerns have been raised about employment opportunities for local workers at Tullis Russell’s biomass project in Markinch.

“I understand that applications for this project are being processed by Jacobs Engineering, which is the main on-site contractor. I have already written to this company to ask how my constituents can apply for any suitable vacancies.

“This biomass project will provide a huge boost for the local area and secure the jobs of 500 workers at Tullis Russell.

“As the MSP for Glenrothes, I will continue to do what I can to ensure as many constituents of mine as possible benefit from this project.”