Cisco boosts Scottish jobs

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CISCO SYSTEMS, one of America's biggest hi-tech companies, is set to announce a "significant" expansion of its manufacturing agreement with the Scottish subsidiary of Jabil, creating up to 100 new jobs in Silicon Glen.

The news follows the announcement by another Silicon Valley-based company, Seagate Technology - the world's largest independent computer disk-drive company - that it is seeking a buyer for its semiconductor plant in Livingston, Scotland, to avoid investing more cash in the plant.

Last week another US company, the chip-maker National Semiconductor, said it was shedding 600 jobs at its plant in Greenock, also in Scotland.

"There will be significant manufacturing of Cisco's products in Scotland," said Carl Redfield, in charge of Cisco's manufacturing operations. Mr Redfield was not prepared to comment on how much money the agreement was worth. Jabil currently employs around 475 people in Scotland.

Cisco is also planning to announce its intention to buy a 10 per cent stake in the Oxford-based hi-tech firm, Bookham Technologies, for around $10m (pounds 5.8m) and to establish a $12m research centre in Edinburgh. The announcement would coincide with a visit next week by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Peter Mandelson, to the San Jose-based company.

Cisco, which employs 400 people at its UK headquarters near Heathrow, plans to employ 60 people at the new research centre. The announcement will boost the city's plants to set up its own technology research and development zone to rival the one in Cambridge being sponsored by Microsoft.

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