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Business / Seven jobs to go at Ocean Kinetics

Ocean Kinetics have their headquarters at Lerwick's Port Business Park.

LERWICK based engineering company Ocean Kinetics is shedding seven jobs – ten per cent of its workforce – as the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the local economy.

The company’s managing director John Henderson confirmed on Friday that a consultation process with the 70-strong workforce was under way.

He said: “I can confirm that we are making roughly ten per cent of the staff redundant due to the oil and gas crisis and also due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are hoping that we can maintain the rest of the staff beyond that but we can’t guarantee that. We are taking early steps to try and mitigate further redundancies.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have to do this but it really is about survival.”

The company has it origins in marine engineering, particularly in the fish farming sector, and it has expanded significantly in recent years by branching out into oil and gas but also emerging sectors such as renewable energy.

With the building trade still in lockdown, the oil and gas sector not investing anything due to the low oil prices and the fish farming industry only doing what is absolutely necessary, Henderson said the company had little choice but to reduce the workforce.

Henderson said the company had around 20 per cent of its staff furloughed at present.

“The furlough scheme has been quite good but it is masking the reality of the situation. At some stage companies will have to say: ‘we are not going to be back the way we were, we will be a smaller company’.

“It will be harder times for everyone,” he said.