Time to make most of post-indyref era

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As the managing director of a global drilling engineering consultancy based in Scotland, I urge both the Westminster and Holyrood governments not to lose sight of our country’s day-to-day business needs as they detail and develop a new era for all.

During the days of uncertainty leading up to the historic referendum, this company pledged that – whatever the outcome – we would work to make the business thrive and succeed under either an independent or strengthened devolved Scottish Government.

The people of Scotland have spoken and it’s time to move on. Businesses such as ours have to look to the future – to see where they can play their part in a prosperous Scotland – and to work together to ensure our country has a voice in the global industry and commerce arenas.

Nowhere is this more important than in my own sector – the oil and gas industry – where trillions of pounds worth of wealth still lie untapped beneath the North 
Sea.

Expert opinion – including that of Sir Ian Wood – has detailed the residual value off our shores.

We need to listen to the experts to ensure we capture that potential and we need to look beyond today to ensure that education and training programmes work to encourage our youth to develop
the expertise required to keep the pipelines flowing throughout the next generation and beyond.

A skills shortage in engineering has put serious 
restraints on our industry so we need to encourage more young men and women 
to view this as an exciting and rewarding career.

The Scots have always been an exploring race with wanderlust in their blood.

But we need to prevent the “brain drain” of our youth seeking adventure and secure employment abroad by offering them the best training and the best job prospects thereafter.

Merlin ERD is headquartered in Perth, away from the traditional Aberdeen hub of the oil and gas industry. Our client base and our extended reach drilling operations are spread across the four corners of the world.

The more successful we are, however, the more people we can employ in Perth and the more we plough back into the local and national economy.

While we had no plans to relocate as a result of the period of uncertainty in the run-up to the referendum, we were not immune to the upheaval and the impact on the business world.

In the wake of one of the most historic chapters of our lifetime, let’s pull together to make Scottish business the best it can be.

Let’s make sure the business voice is heard and that current and future governments respond to those who know best what will work for our individual sectors.

We’re building a future – let’s make it one worth working for.

Iain Hutchison

Merlin ERD

Perth

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