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Oil-Related Jobs

Volume 12: debated on Wednesday 11 November 1981

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14.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his estimate of the total number of oil-related jobs in Scotland.

It is estimated that in June 1981 total oil-related employment in Scotland was in the range 80,000 to 95,000. Of this, the Manpower Services Commission's six-monthly survey of oil-related companies has found that 50,000 jobs were in firms which are wholly oil-related. The remainder are to by found in firms which are partly oil-related, either as direct or as indirect suppliers to the industry.

Will the Minister give an assurance that when the Government force through their plans to privatise the BNOC no individual or company will acquire a majority of the shares, thus endangering the planned office block in the centre of Glasgow, for which 2,500 jobs are zoned, and which has already been considered by Glasgow district council's planning committee?

There is no reason for the hon. Gentleman to be concerned about job losses in Glasgow as a result of the Government's privatisation plans. Indeed, all the signs are that the number of oil-related jobs in Scotland will continue to expand. Conservative Members believe in public ownership in the full sense of the term, but the difficulty with the Labour Party is that it believes in State control. That does nothing for the quality of service to customers or for the country's prosperity.

What estimate has the Under-Secretary of State made of the number of jobs lost to Scotland through the failure to go ahead with the gas-gathering pipeline and the failure to connect our pipelines to those on the Continent, thus deriving revenue through the passage of Norwegian oil and gas to the Continent? How many jobs have been lost directly through the Government's policies?

The right hon. Gentleman will be pleased to hear that the oil companies are currently considering how they can take up proposals to bring the gas ashore. It is not expected that any jobs will be lost as a result. There are companies which, in the near future, will have an improved incentive to bring the gas ashore.