Ruth Maguire MSP today sought assurances from the First Minister that the Scottish Government will support workers affected by the announcement that around 60 jobs at GSK’s Irvine site were set to be lost.

The chemical and pharmaceutical plant in Irvine announced the redundancies after GSK have planned to stop processing the chemical 6-APA on-site.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions today, the MSP for Cunninghame South asked if the Scottish Government would be able to provide area specific support to ensure life science jobs in Ayrshire were preserved. She said: “At any time this would be bitterly disappointing, but in the current climate will feel even more devastating to those involved.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I’m disappointed to learn the GSK is in consultation with its workforce in Irvine with a view to making a number of redundancies. This will obviously be an anxious time for those affected, particularly during the current situation.

“Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with the company throughout the consultation period to explore all possible options to support the business and its workforce.

“Should there be job losses, and we explore every opportunity to avoid that, we will provide support through the Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) initiative through providing skills, development and employability support.”

Commenting further, Ruth Maguire said: “I’m glad to know that every possible option will be considered in order to avoid the loss of jobs at the GSK site in Irvine. The life sciences industry is important to North Ayrshire and any job losses in this sector will be devastating for the area.

“I will ensure I am kept up to date by the Economy Secretary on this situation as it develops and hope that workers will feel assured that they will be supported every step of the way.”

The question and response can be viewed in full below: