A statement released by Young’s earlier today suggests that some 650 salmon processors may lose their jobs by May 2016 and, in a bid to soften the blow, the government has announced that it will convene a taskforce to support workers and communities affected by the decision.
Business Minister Fergus Ewing will chair the taskforce, which will comprise representatives of Young’s, USDAW, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council, local MP Eilidh Whiteford and local MSP Stewart Stevenson.
The taskforce will meet in Fraserburgh on October 2.
Mr Ewing said: “This is deeply disappointing, but not unexpected, news. Since Young's first announced its plans, the Scottish Government and its agencies have made every effort to safeguard jobs at Young’s two sites in Fraserburgh and Grantown-on-Spey.
“Originally the company was proposing to cease operations in Fraserburgh and Grantown. Over the summer, the alternative plan was brought forward and discussed at the stakeholders meeting I convened and we welcome the decision to retain the Grantown operation and keep staff at Fraserburgh.
"The impact of Young's decision on Fraserburgh and the whole of the North East will be significant and far reaching.
"We have already offered support for affected employees through our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE). Through providing skills development and employability support, PACE will aim to minimise the time individuals affected by redundancy are out of work.
“Building on the significant amount of work that has already taken place, I have decided to convene a Fraserburgh taskforce. The taskforce will look at how the work at Fraserburgh can be expanded, in collaboration with the company, and will provide every possible support to those workers who need our help to find alternative employment and ensure all public bodies collaborate to mitigate, as far as possible, the impact on Fraserburgh and surrounding communities.”