PDA

View Full Version : New Work Projects in Caithness



rob murray
25-Sep-15, 11:21
from Doanalds fits in ae groat ae day

GUEST accommodation is coming under increased strain to cope with the influx of workers being deployed in Caithness on major infrastructural projects. And with the size of the incoming labour force set to rise, as new phases of work come on stream, Highlands and Islands Enterprise is considering carrying out a study of the number of rooms available in the area.

Great to see this ...anyone got any idea what the new phases of work entail ? Renewables ? And why the influx of workers....... are there not opportunities for locals to work on these projects ?? Surely HIE should be coordinating local involvement, re training / training people if possible so as to gain employment and lower unemployment rates ?

cptdodger
25-Sep-15, 12:14
I have no idea what the new phases of work refer to, but last year when I worked in a hotel in Thurso, for the majority of the week (every week) the hotel was filled with workers. There were times when there was no accommodation available at all in the whole of Caithness, I know because I contacted every hotel and B&B in the area and as far west as Melvich I could think of to try to secure accommodation.

I don't know where all of them were working, but a few were working on the sub stations, and they were there for months, some worked for (I think it's) Sub Sea7 (that deal with pipes) We had building contractors from England building the refit at Lidles. I know what the cost was for these firms sending their workers to work here, and in some cases it ran into thousands of pounds.

Why they could not find local people to do the work, I don't know. I know if my partner wanted to take a holiday, somebody form either Aberdeen, Glasgow or Derby would have to cover him. It is something that needs to be looked into.

This ties in slightly with the thread about the Job Centre, if there are gaps in the market, along with a percentage of unemployed here, then surely the Job Centre could organise training programmes so there was not such a need to bring so many workers here from outside the area.

rob murray
25-Sep-15, 12:23
I have no idea what the new phases of work refer to, but last year when I worked in a hotel in Thurso, for the majority of the week (every week) the hotel was filled with workers. There were times when there was no accommodation available at all in the whole of Caithness, I know because I contacted every hotel and B&B in the area and as far west as Melvich I could think of to try to secure accommodation.

I don't know where all of them were working, but a few were working on the sub stations, and they were there for months, some worked for (I think it's) Sub Sea7 (that deal with pipes) We had building contractors from England building the refit at Lidles. I know what the cost was for these firms sending their workers to work here, and in some cases it ran into thousands of pounds.

Why they could not find local people to do the work, I don't know. I know if my partner wanted to take a holiday, somebody form either Aberdeen, Glasgow or Derby would have to cover him. It is something that needs to be looked into.

This ties in slightly with the thread about the Job Centre, if there are gaps in the market, along with a percentage of unemployed here, then surely the Job Centre could organise training programmes so there was not such a need to bring so many workers here from outside the area.

Yes thats the way I see it, if there are opportunities that locals can do then why not upskill them / retain / train so the work stays locally, I accept that some positions may have to be filled by expertise outwith the area and that firms outwith the area being involved will deploy their own people but if all Caithness gets is b/b accomodation etc thats a poor show. Its not rocket science to engage with incomming companies and see if / what locals they would need, then provide the training. This is an exercise that is urgently needed not to do an inventory of available accomodation as HIE are doing.

BetterTogether
26-Sep-15, 07:26
from Doanalds fits in ae groat ae dayGUEST accommodation is coming under increased strain to cope with the influx of workers being deployed in Caithness on major infrastructural projects. And with the size of the incoming labour force set to rise, as new phases of work come on stream, Highlands and Islands Enterprise is considering carrying out a study of the number of rooms available in the area.Great to see this ...anyone got any idea what the new phases of work entail ? Renewables ? And why the influx of workers....... are there not opportunities for locals to work on these projects ?? Surely HIE should be coordinating local involvement, re training / training people if possible so as to gain employment and lower unemployment rates ?Probably a 3 man team has been sent up to fill a pot hole !

theone
26-Sep-15, 08:03
The original post raises some very good questions.

When we hear about all these projects, wind farms, tidal arrays etc kicking off we're often encouraged to support them with 'X pounds of benefit to the local economy' or 'X jobs during construction followed by Y long term roles.

Although I welcome any investment I think we should be given a clearer picture of the real benefits to the county, not for the purpose of spin or for getting support, but to highlight areas where real local wealth is created through spending or jobs.

At the moment the main financial benefits seem to be going to hoteliers and other accommodation providers. Although some of these are local, and they do employ (generally low paid)staff, much of the money will leave the county to the corporate owners.

HIE and other governmental depts should be looking on how to encourage greater benefits, particularly in communities like ours that have large industries leaving the area in the near future. Planning permission should only be granted on conditions of minimum local employment, or on a commitment to employ X apprentices. In Shetland, the council only permitted the building of Total's gas plant on the condition they built a hotel, open and available to the public, to house their staff instead of a traditional workers camp.

Any big project will always bring transient workers, but there is ways and means to benefit the community and it should be the role of HIE/the council to maximise that.

rob murray
26-Sep-15, 22:02
The original post raises some very good questions.

When we hear about all these projects, wind farms, tidal arrays etc kicking off we're often encouraged to support them with 'X pounds of benefit to the local economy' or 'X jobs during construction followed by Y long term roles.

Although I welcome any investment I think we should be given a clearer picture of the real benefits to the county, not for the purpose of spin or for getting support, but to highlight areas where real local wealth is created through spending or jobs.

At the moment the main financial benefits seem to be going to hoteliers and other accommodation providers. Although some of these are local, and they do employ (generally low paid)staff, much of the money will leave the county to the corporate owners.

HIE and other governmental depts should be looking on how to encourage greater benefits, particularly in communities like ours that have large industries leaving the area in the near future. Planning permission should only be granted on conditions of minimum local employment, or on a commitment to employ X apprentices. In Shetland, the council only permitted the building of Total's gas plant on the condition they built a hotel, open and available to the public, to house their staff instead of a traditional workers camp.

Any big project will always bring transient workers, but there is ways and means to benefit the community and it should be the role of HIE/the council to maximise that.

Totally agree with your points, especially planning permission tie ins : the kyle of sutherland achany trust has an apprenticeship scheme tied into community wind farms projects..see http://sse.com/beingresponsible/responsiblecommunitymember/localcommunityfunds/kyleofsutherlandapprenticeshipscheme/

BetterTogether
28-Sep-15, 01:30
You'll probably find that the reason they don't do more is their hands are tied by Trade agreements and free trade policies coming from the EU. Why pay a Scottish worker top dollar when you can employ someone from another country cheaper and claim it's not free trade if anyone complains. Restrictive practises are frowned upon as well.

rob murray
28-Sep-15, 09:42
You'll probably find that the reason they don't do more is their hands are tied by Trade agreements and free trade policies coming from the EU. Why pay a Scottish worker top dollar when you can employ someone from another country cheaper and claim it's not free trade if anyone complains. Restrictive practises are frowned upon as well.

I dont know about that....does anyyone know where the incomming workers are from ?

theone
28-Sep-15, 10:20
You'll probably find that the reason they don't do more is their hands are tied by Trade agreements and free trade policies coming from the EU. Why pay a Scottish worker top dollar when you can employ someone from another country cheaper and claim it's not free trade if anyone complains. Restrictive practises are frowned upon as well.

There might be an element of that, but there's ways around it.

Advertising for apprentices who 'must live within commuting distance" is one of them.

rob murray
28-Sep-15, 10:36
According to CPT Dodger Subsea 7 had incommers....they would be for pipe line welding and the majority would have been from the highland based specialists and cannot make daily travel, sub stations would have been SSE, workers working on the new LIDL's came from england as I belive an English company has the contract to build all LIDLS supermarkets, wind towers...organistions that own hem / sold them will supply their own people...socant see influx of overseas workers in any of the qouted projects. STill nowhere near finding out just what exactly the new projects are ??

theone
28-Sep-15, 13:39
...socant see influx of overseas workers in any of the qouted projects. STill nowhere near finding out just what exactly the new projects are ??

The substation/power grid work is a very big ongoing job.

rob murray
28-Sep-15, 13:58
The substation/power grid work is a very big ongoing job.

Cheers, then it will be SSE / SSE contractors working on them...no influx of cheap over seas labour then ?

squidge
28-Sep-15, 14:33
My lad is working on the pipeline as a pipeline welder until Christmas I think. He is employed by an invergordon based company who seem to be supplying a lot of workers up to Caithness. There doesn't seem to be Hardly any overseas workers in Caithness on that job and when he goes off to Norway and Angola he is working with local lads too.

He started his apprenticeship in Caithness with a basic welding course at North Highland College. Then did a pre apprenticeship course in Inverness college before being placed with an Invergordon firm. He has gone from strength to strength. So he would have started that 10 years ago this Month