Inverness health firm LifeScan to axe 40 jobs

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THE Highland’s biggest private sector employer has announced plans to axe around 40 jobs.

US-owned LifeScan Scotland said the decision to shed jobs at the company’s Inverness site was part of the decision to reduce its global workforce by 250.

The healthcare firm, which currently employs 1,100 people in the Highland capital, increased profits by £6million to £78.2million last year.

A three-month consultation will now start with staff.

Tito Bacarese-Hamilton, head of research and development at LifeScan, said: “We will do all that we can to assist those employees affected by this decision.”

Highland Council leader Drew Hendry said he was disappointed to hear of the loss, adding: “This is always a terribly worrying time for those who will be losing their jobs.

“We will be working closely with our partners on the PACE Initiative to provide assistance to those staff seeking advice about their futures.

“Lifescan is a major employer and key driver of the Highland economy, with more than 1,000 staff. We understand the pressures on their global business as the result of factors affecting the diabetes industry in in the US and outwith the control of the company.

“Inverness remains their main centre for research and development and we are determined to work with them to ensure Lifescan can grow their business in the future.”

SCDI’s Highlands and Islands Manager, Fraser Grieve, said: “We understand the uncertainty this announcement will cause for LifeScan Scotland’s 1100 staff based in Inverness and it is regrettable that they are having to reduce their workforce here by 40 posts as a result of the shift in the global diabetes market.

“We know that this decision is a result of workforce reductions around the world and know that LifeScan Scotland remain committed to their base here and that Inverness will remain the home of their global R&D.”