ScottishPower to create 2,500 engineering jobs

Wind turbines at Scottish Powers' Black Law wind farm by the village of Forth, South Lanarkshire. Picture: submitted
Wind turbines at Scottish Powers' Black Law wind farm by the village of Forth, South Lanarkshire. Picture: submitted
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Utilities firm ScottishPower has unveiled plans to create 2,500 jobs at its energy networks division over the next decade as part of a £2.6 billion investment in its transmission network.

The roles are on top of 1,500 posts that were announced last year and will lead to a dramatic increase in the workforce at the firm’s energy networks division, which currently employs about 3,000 people.

ScottishPower Energy Networks distributes electricity on behalf of supply companies and is responsible for operating and maintaining cables and power lines that serve about 3.5 million homes across the south of Scotland, northern England and north Wales.

The division’s chief executive, Frank Mitchell, said: “We are already well under way with recruiting the 1,500 jobs announced last year.

“The decision to fast-track our £2.6bn investment in our 2013 to 2021 transmission network programme allowed us to mobilise quickly, place £850 million of contracts for 2013 and recruit a third of the 1,500 posts – effectively trebling our annual recruitment levels.”

A spokesman said the bulk of the new roles would be in Scotland, with a mixture of direct employment and expansion among the group’s contract partners.

Iberdrola chairman Ignacio Galan, who also chairs ScottishPower, said: “As a global energy company, our operations are focused in the UK, US, Brazil, Mexico and Spain – with Scotland and the UK being a key focus for our investment plans.

“We are investing £4bn between now and 2014 in the UK, representing 40 per cent of our global investments, with two-thirds of this investment planned for Scotland.”

Galan added: “On the back of our long-term investment plans, we are creating 4,000 jobs in our networks business alone, which will see our company continue to grow and boost the Scottish economy.”

According to Iberdrola’s annual results, published in February, ScottishPower delivered underlying earnings of £1.2bn in 2012, roughly in line with the previous year. This included a 6 per cent rise to £760m in its regulated networks, and a 4 per cent increase to £292m from its generation and retail business. There was also a £134m profit from the firm’s renewables arm.

The group also announced yesterday that Glasgow City Council has approved plans for its new 14-storey head office, which will accommodate up to 1,900 staff when it is completed towards the end of 2015.

Finance secretary John Swinney, who was attending the official opening of the firm’s Ochil House office complex in Blantyre, said: “Scotland has established a global reputation within the energy sector and I am delighted that ScottishPower is expanding its Scottish operations and creating 4,000 new jobs in the next ten years.”