Scottish Power set to create 1,500 jobs

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The Independent Online

Energy giant Scottish Power is to create 1,500 jobs in Scotland as it upgrades its electricity network over the next 10 years.

The Spanish-owned company said it plans to spend £3 billion over the next decade as it increases use of renewable energy resources.

The work will include upgrading around 500 miles (805km) of overhead lines and almost a fifth of its substation equipment.

Under the proposals, the firm plans to connect around 11GW of new renewable energy projects to the grid across the whole of Scotland.

The projects aim to increase the transmission capacity between Scotland and England, allowing the transfer of almost three times more electricity than is possible at the moment.

Scottish Power said the investment meant it would need more staff, and new employees were needed to replace an ageing workforce.

Frank Mitchell, chief executive of ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: "Massive investment is required to ensure that Scotland's electricity network is fit for purpose for the 21st century.

"It is important that we have a modern and robust network to support our renewable energy ambitions and to provide reliability for those who generate electricity and the homes and businesses who rely on this electricity.

"ScottishPower is committed to investing billions of pounds in our transmission network, and we are also committed to offering employment opportunities throughout our supply chain for a new generation of energy industry workers.

"It is no secret that our industry has an ageing workforce, and we need to encourage new blood into the fold."

The firm, which is part of Spanish company Iberdrola, plans to recruit graduate engineers and apprentices over the next decade as well as retraining under-25s into highly skilled jobs.

Some of the jobs will be completely new while others will replace people who have retired.

Scottish Power's electricity network stretches from the Central Belt to the Borders and also covers north west England and North Wales.

The company said the investment would help meet the Scottish Government's renewable energy targets.