The leader of one of Scotland’s biggest trade unions has described the country’s lack of success in capitalising on the renewables revolution as a catalogue of failure. Gary Smith, the Scottish secretary of the GMB, accused the UK and Scottish governments of not delivering on job opportunities and investment in the emerging sectors, claiming they had raised expectations and broken promises. Speaking after last week’s surprise announcement that 35 of the remaining 43 core staff at the troubled BiFab engineering firm were to be made redundant, Smith said: “The renewables revolution has promised a lot but it has failed to create even remotely what Scotland could have achieved, and all it has delivered for consumers is higher bills particularly for the poorest people. “We were promised the Saudi Arabia of renewables but it has delivered very little in terms of manu facturing and employment.” It came as a report from Strathclyde Business School for the unions found that, despite growing demand, only 30% of content in UK offshore wind sites is sourced from UK suppliers. He said the report underlined the massive potential that exists, “but our political cheerleaders need to wake up to fact that there could be another missed opportunity here”.
Times 6th May 2018 read more »