THE leader of Inverclyde Council has called for ‘urgent intervention’ from the Scottish Government to help stem the flow of jobs from the area after EE announced plans to relocate 450 roles to Glasgow.

Councillor Stephen McCabe has written to Màiri McAllan, cabinet secretary for wellbeing economy, net zero and energy, to seek ‘urgent intervention’.

Last week, BT Group - which owns EE - announced that it intends to vacate its Greenock office after 25 years.

The closure of the site would see the number of local jobs lost in the past 18 months rise to almost 1,200.

Greenock Telegraph: Stephen McCabeStephen McCabe (Image: Inverclyde Council)

Following the departure of major employers such as Amazon and IBM, a socio-economic task force was set up by Inverclyde Council in June 2022 at the request of Scotland’s former finance secretary.

In his letter to Ms McAllan, Cllr McCabe has pushed for urgent talks to identify ways in which the council and Scottish Government can work together in a bid to retain EE jobs in Inverclyde and bring employment opportunities to the area in the future.

Cllr McCabe said: “The council is limited in what it can do to stop employers like EE from packing up and moving away.

“The council is even more limited in terms of available resources in which to develop the type of infrastructure required to maintain existing employers, let alone attract new ones.

“Government, however, has many levers at its disposal to support communities like Inverclyde and support our shared ambition of seeing this area and our community thrive once more.

Greenock Telegraph: Mairi McAllanMairi McAllan (Image: PA)

“That’s why I am appealing to you in your capacity as Cabinet Secretary for urgent support and intervention from the Scottish Government to help us stem the flow of vital jobs from the area.

“By working with the council, we may be able to offer a joint package of support to the BT Group to persuade them to reverse their decision to leave Inverclyde.”

While there will be no compulsory redundancies from EE’s Greenock workforce, Cllr McCabe says there are likely to be job losses as not all staff will be able to transfer to Glasgow.

Greenock Telegraph: EE contact centre in Greenock.

He also raised concerns with Ms McAllan about the knock-on effect the move may have on the local economy.

Cllr McCabe added: “I believe an emergency meeting with key stakeholders is appropriate and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and government colleagues to discuss what support the government can provide to, in the first instance, persuade EE to remain in Greenock, but also to look at how we can work together to create opportunities for new jobs in Inverclyde.”