Issued by the Scottish Government
New PSS Engineering office opens in Wick
Finance Secretary John Swinney officially opened Process Safety Solutions’ (PSS) new offices as the company announced it will create up to 40 jobs by summer 2017.
Mr Swinney met staff of the engineering specialists at Wick Business Park, where a team of five has already moved to. Five more will join in the next 6 months, increasing the company’s total Wick-based staff to between 30 and 40 within two years.
The Aberdeen-based company also outlined a partnership with software firm Siemens and the development of an apprenticeship programme with North Highland College UHI.
The Cabinet Secretary was in Wick for a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Cabinet. He said:
“PSS has an impressive track record of annual growth since it was founded in 2010 and this expansion in Wick demonstrates the company’s commitment to develop an exceptional skills base in the North East and reinvest locally. They are reversing a trend of lost opportunity and outsourcing of engineering work to develop the expertise the industry needs right here in Scotland and looking at the new opportunities that the renewables sector also offers.
“The new partnership with Siemens and North Highland College UHI, will develop this skills base even further, creating opportunities for advanced apprenticeships. This builds on the company’s successful graduate programme and I am sure it will be a great asset as PSS looks to diversify and expand. Commitments like this clearly demonstrate that Scotland is investing in our engineering sector to not only benefit our economy and home grown talent but to secure our place as skilled operators in global industries.”
PSS founder David Green added: “We have had great support and have worked closely with the team from Highlands and Islands Enterprise as we saw great potential in utilising the wide skills base in the area. More and more companies in Aberdeen are out sourcing engineering work, until now this has been largely to India and England.
“We would like to reverse this trend and fully realise the potential within Scotland’s engineering community. Access to the local skill base developed over the last 50 years at Dounreay was one of the main drivers to the new office location. When you couple that with the fact that I am originally from Wick and know the area and people very well, the reasons are quite compelling.
“The location will also enable us to diversify into the renewables market for wave, tidal and wind energy. The development of the Smith Bank and Beatrice offshore renewable wind energy sites presents opportunities for investment to support this emerging industry. A new PSS office in the North of Scotland will be well placed to provide engineering services and long term maintenance and support for all renewables projects in the North.”
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has provided £194,000 to assist PSS move to the new premises at Wick Business Park.
Roy Kirk, HIE’s Area Manager for Caithness and Sutherland, said: “We are delighted to welcome PSS to Caithness. In deciding to open this new office in the county, the company is taking advantage of a skilled workforce and our excellent connectivity with Aberdeen, which can be reached in only 25 minutes via Wick John O’Groats Airport. Our funding will assist the company to recruit 30-40 staff, many of whom currently undertake the significant commute to Aberdeen, into highly paid, skilled jobs which will support the local Caithness economy.”
The partnership to develop apprenticeships is further good news for the region following the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that North Highland College UHI will introduce a new degree level engineering course combining workplace learning and studying.
It will act as a pilot for other courses around Scotland; implementing the recommendations of the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce. The recommendations aim to increase the number of higher level and advanced apprenticeships, in addition to the hugely successful Modern Apprenticeship programme which has created more than 77,000 training opportunities in the last three years.