Civil service posts

Aberdeen boost as energy jobs relocate to city

Alister Jack at SAC hearing
Alister Jack: ‘great news’

A shift of civil service jobs out of London will see the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) move 200 posts to Aberdeen.

It is part of plans to relocate 22,000 Civil Service roles away from capital by 2030 and a signal of Westminster’s strategy for energy transition in the north east.

Aberdeen is also the base for the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) and Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC), the latter backed by UK Government and Scottish Government funding.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack called it “great news” and said it demonstrated the Government’s commitment to “the north east of Scotland and to our oil and gas and renewables sectors”.

Energy Minister Andrew Bowie added: “The announcement of a second headquarters for our Department in Aberdeen underlines the importance of North East Scotland in our Net Zero transition.

“An Aberdeen base puts those working in the department closer to those working in the crucial oil gas and renewables industries – both the companies and the tens of thousands of their workers who play a vital role in our energy supply – and I am delighted to see this happen.”

Labour’s Ed Miliband said Aberdeen has a “strong claim” to host his party’s “GB Energy” proposal, should Labour win the next election.

Ed Miliband says Aberdeen is a contender for GB Energy (pic: Terry Murden)

Policy director at the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce Ryan Crichton said: “We have been pressing the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the UK Government to locate more civil service jobs in Aberdeen, so this is fantastic news for the region and a big victory for the Chamber.

“By bringing the headquarters of DESNZ to Aberdeen it will sit alongside other key institutions, such as the North Sea Transition Authority, Net Zero Technology Centre, Energy Transition Zone and the two universities leading on research and new technology to achieve net zero.”

Moving civil servants from Whitehall has long been part of the levelling up agenda, with more than 16,000 moved so far, including the relocation of jobs the Treasury to Darlington.

However, there has been some concern at plans to move 1,000 Foreign Office jobs out of East Kilbride to Glasgow.

Council leaders in the Lanarkshire town claim they were not informed of plans for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to leave Abercrombie House and that it contradicts previous commitments to provide more jobs.

The UK government has insisted that staff will be transferred just 18 miles to Glasgow and that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) workers who are currently based in the city will be moved into Abercrombie House. It is understood there are no planned redundancies.

A UK government spokesman said: “The FCDO is growing its presence and number of staff in Scotland.

“To widen their future talent pool, FCDO is relocating to a modern building in central Glasgow confirming the UK government’s long-term commitment to Scotland.

“HMRC will be moving into Abercrombie House, which is a building that is already part of the UK government estate, providing better value for money to the taxpayer and which will continue to boost the economy of East Kilbride.

“HMRC is still at the early stages of plans for the building and hopes to confirm timelines in the spring.”

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