AN alarmed MSP today warned that further job cuts in Inverclyde could threaten the area's viability.

Labour's Katy Clark spoke out as she said that an 'all hands on deck' effort is required to save jobs at the EE contact centre in Greenock.

Owners BT Group recently revealed they want to shift the 450 call centre posts from there to Glasgow and close the centre down.

Ms Clark is urging them to do a u-turn, while urging the Scottish Government to intervene, describing the announced closure of the site as 'devastating'. She also wants a ministerial task force to be formed with the explicit aim of saving jobs.

In her letter to employment minister Richard Lochhead, the MSP states: 'Given Inverclyde is one of the most deprived council areas in Scotland, it would not be an overstatement to say that further job cuts could be fatal for its future.'

In a separate letter sent to BT Group, Ms Clark highlighted a lack of clarity around their claims over the 'substantial' investment they say would be needed to upgrade the local centre and keep it open.

She also highlighted the immense impact of the latest jobs blow for the area, citing recent closures and cuts at Amazon, Berry BPI, M&Co and Wilko.

Ms Clark, who represents west Scotland, said: “I have been disappointed by the lack of urgency from the Scottish Government in response to this news, with the First Minister seemingly waving the white flag and suggesting the only option is to provide recruitment support to those workers losing their jobs.

“We already have a dearth of well-paid jobs and opportunities across the West of Scotland, a legacy of deindustrialisation and a longstanding lack of investment by governments at Holyrood and Westminster.

"These latest cuts must not be limply accepted, particularly given the Scottish Government supposed commitment to towns regeneration.

“It should be all hands on deck to ensure we fight to retain these jobs in Inverclyde. That must mean seriously pressing the company to liaise with trade unions and explore alternatives, and pressing the Scottish Government to ensure that happens.”