Energy crisis: Business minister to speak to Ovo management as 1,700 jobs set to be cut

The SNP business minister is set to meet senior figures at Ovo after the energy company announced it was to shut several offices in Scotland and cut 1,700 jobs.

Ivan McKee told MSPs in Holyrood that he would push for clarification as to the future of staff at the company and the potential impact of the decision on Scotland.

Staff at Ovo were told last week the company had plans to cut 1,700 jobs across the energy firm and reduce the number of offices from ten to three.

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Ovo Energy has announced the closure of multiple Scottish sites in a move that could spell the end of 1,700 jobs. Picture: Getty Images

This includes the closure of the former SSE office in Perth, which is home to 700 jobs, two offices in Edinburgh, and another office in Cumbernauld.

The cuts represent a quarter of the number of employees at Ovo, which has around 4.5 million customers.

Ovo said it will also increase its minimum wage by 15 per cent to £12 an hour, giving a pay rise for 1,000 employees.

The company said it would reverse the policy of offshoring from the previous owner and create more high-skilled jobs in the UK, and open a new Ovo Academy in Glasgow.

SNP MSP Jim Fairlie said the announcement was particularly worrying for those in Perth who had “no idea” whether they still had a job.

He said: “The strength of feeling towards this announcement is going to be felt by members right across this chamber.

"Does the minister agree with me that these announcements are not in keeping with what senior management at Ovo told employees and politicians when they bought over the SSE retail arm?”

Mr McKee said: “I am very disappointed by the decision and when I meet with Ovo tomorrow I will seek clarification on their change in position and why they have a different attitude now to what they did previously.

“I shall work to understand the rationale behind this decision because on the surface of it, it doesn’t look to be the right decision for the employees, for the communities, or for Ovo Energy, walking away as they are from such a valued workforce.

"I shall endeavour to find out as much information as I can from the company tomorrow, to impress on them the importance of the situation and encourage them to review the decision and take alternative measures.”

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