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Allan Raises Stornoway Job Losses at First Minister's Questions

SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has used First Minister’s Question Time at Holyrood today to ask the First Minister what can be done to help the 59 people in the Isle of Lewis who were yesterday told that they would be losing their jobs at the TalkTalk call centre in Stornoway.

Alasdair Allan asked First Minister Nicola Sturgeon:

“To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government can do to assist the workforce of the TalkTalk call centre in Stornoway who have just learned that they are all to lose their jobs this summer.  The First Minister will appreciate that 59 job losses leaves a very big hole in a small self-contained island economy, perhaps comparable to 1,800 job losses in Glasgow. Can I urge the Scottish Government and its agencies to do everything possible now to seek alternative options as well as to help these workers and the wider community.”

The First Minister responded by saying:

“I was very concerned to learn of the developments at Talk Talk in Stornoway yesterday and the impact this will have on the employees affected, as well as on the local community and the local economy.

“Our agency Highlands and Island Enterprise is already in direct contact with Talk Talk both at local and national level and we are committed to doing everything possible to address this situation urgently in the hope of obtaining a positive outcome.

“Of course,  in the unfortunate event of individuals facing redundancy, we stand ready to provide support through the PACE initiative, but of course our first priority is to explore all options for avoiding redundancies.   I know the Economy Minister will be happy to liaise with further with Alasdair Allan about the action we’re taking and any further action that it is considered the Scottish Government and our agencies could take.”

Alasdair Allan commented afterwards:

“The situation of the TalkTalk workforce in Stornoway is a very unhappy one, and it is a major disappointment that the company have acted in this way. This is a skilled workforce who deserve a future in the islands.  I appreciate the First Minister talking a direct interest in this matter. I will continue to be in touch with HIE and other agencies to see if another company can be found to make use of those skills.”

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