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Ed Davey in Aberdeen to discuss challenges for oil firms

UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey has met with oil company representatives in Aberdeen to discuss challenges facing the industry.

It comes after BP announced it would be axing 200 jobs and 100 contractor positions at its North Sea operation.

The recent sharp reductions in oil prices are very challenging for companies active in the North Sea and that’s why I’m here in Aberdeen today to meet with industry leaders to address the challenges the North Sea industry faces both in the short and longer term as a matter of priority.

The threat to jobs has been brought home by the news from BP today. We have great sympathy with all those directly affected.

BP is a significant investor and employer in the North Sea and the UK Government recognises the importance of the North Sea sector, both in terms of thousands of Scottish jobs it supports and its overall benefit to the whole UK economy.

– Ed Davey, Energy Secretary

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Union bosses slam 'devastating blow' to oil industry

Union bosses have criticised oil giant BP for putting extra pressure on offshore workers with plans to cut hundreds of back-office jobs, labelling it a "devastating blow" for the industry.

And general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, Mick Cash, said he believed there was more bad news to come.

Union bosses say offshore oil workers are being made to 'carry the can' by BP as onshore job cuts are announced Credit: PA

He called for a freeze to more cuts.

The announcement from BP is a devastating blow to hundreds of workers in the UK energy industry and we are being warned that there is much worse to come.

RMT believes that the industry is making offshore workers carry the can for their failure to plan for lean times such as these. Instead they have gone for a short-term slash-and-burn approach that will have long-term implications for the future of the entire industry and the security of the UK's energy supplies.

RMT, along with our sister unions, is meeting with Oil and Gas UK tomorrow, where we will be pushing for a halt to the job cuts programme and an emergency package of measures to stave off the destruction of both jobs and infrastructure.

– Mick Cash, RMT

Minister: Threat to oil jobs 'most serious' in Scottish history

The threat to jobs from the slump in the price of oil has created "the most serious jobs situation" in Scotland "in living memory", Holyrood's Energy Minister has claimed.

As oil giant BP announces 300 job cuts - including 100 contractor positions - at its North Sea operation, Fergus Ewing said urgent changes to the tax regime were needed to help protect the industry.

He warned of the potential for "premature" decisions to decommission oilfields due to cost concerns, which otherwise could continue production for decades.

BP announces 200 jobs to go plus 100 contractor roles

BP has announced it expects to cut around 200 jobs and 100 contractor roles.

The oil giant said the cuts are being made to land-based roles rather than offshore operations, and said other non-job-related changes would also be imposed.

Regional president for BP North Sea, Trevor Garlick, said the firm was working with those affected.

We are committed to the North Sea and see a long- term future for our business here.

However, given the well-documented challenges of operating in this maturing region and in toughening market conditions, we are taking specific steps to ensure our business remains competitive and robust, and we are aligning with the wider industry.

Whilst our primary focus will be on improving efficiencies and on simplifying the way we work, an inevitable outcome of this will be an impact on headcount.

– Trevor Garlick, BP

The cuts come as part of a £638 million cost-cutting exercise, as major restructuring plans are stepped up due to a recent slump in oil prices.

Unions have warned that a cut in the number of jobs could cause "serious long-term damage" to the UK's energy capacity.

Read: Oil giant BP 'to brief staff on potential job losses'

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Cadbury to invest £75m in Birmingham production lines

ITV Central Business Correspondent Mark Gough reports that Cadbury will invest £75 million in modernising productions lines at its factory in Birmingham:

  1. Central

200 jobs set to go at Cadbury factory in Bournville

The company says none of the job losses will be compulsory Credit: PA

More than 200 jobs are to go at Cadbury in a move the company says will safeguard production at Bournville for the next 25 years, according to reports.

It will see long serving members of staff receiving payoffs of more than £100,000.

Cadbury say none of the job losses will be compulsory.

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