Moray can expect a major jobs boost with the company behind the multi-million pound undersea pipeline linking Caithness and Moray pledging to guarantee a ‘living wage’.
Power firm SSE have awarded what is believed to be Scotland’s largest ever living wage contract.
The £460million contract has been handed to SHE Transmission and is part of the Caithness to Moray Transmission Project, which is expected to provide around 600 new jobs on either side of the Moray Firth.
SSE say that the terms of the contract ensures that all staff employed on the project will be paid at least at the living wage rate of £7.65 an hour – rising to £7.85 in April next year.
Chief Executive for SSE, Alistair Phillips-Davies, said: “Just over a year ago SSE became the first energy company to be a living wage employer – and remains the only energy supplier to do so.
“SSE is proud to play its part when it comes to being a responsible business and one which helps build a fairer and more prosperous Scotland.
“The new Caithness to Moray contract will make sure hundreds of workers on site will get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and reflects our commitment to being a responsible employer.”
Mr Phillips-Davies added that the Transmission Project would bring a “significant number of jobs in Caithness and Moray”, calling it a massively important piece of infrastructure for the north of Scotland.
Living wage campaigners welcomed the news, with Peter Kelly, director of The Poverty Alliance, saying: “Scottish businesses can all play their part in building a fairer and more prosperous society and paying the living wage is one way to do that.
“The living wage in Scotland is now gaining genuine momentum with employers – the number of employers paying it here has tripled from 20 to 70 since April. We recognise the support for the campaign from accredited employers like SSE and the Scottish Government.”
The new cable will carry renewable energy from offshore windfarms on the Moray Firth and includes extensive expansion to the Blackhillock substation near Keith, with construction work expected to be completed by 2018.