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ScottishPower to add 300 jobs

The company will also upgrade its electricity network over the next 10 years.

The company will also upgrade its electricity network over the next 10 years.

A day after announcing it was lowering gas prices, ScottishPower said today it will add 300 engineering and technical jobs and will spend more than £5b upgrading its electricity network in central and southern Scotland over the coming decade.

"The move to the low carbon economy, from modern and efficient electricity networks to new renewable energy generation will be a catalyst for economic growth and job creation," ScottishPower Chairman Ignacio Galan said in a statement.

One third of the new jobs will go to young people, with the creation of 50 apprenticeships and 50 slots in a graduate programme; the remaining additional 200 jobs will be engineering positions.

The company will also spend £6.5m between now and 2013 establishing partnerships with colleges and universities, developing pre-apprenticeship programmes and sponsoring post-graduate scholarships. Four of five energy industry workers will retire over the next 15 years, according to National Skills Academy for Power figures.

First Minister Alex Salmond said, in a statement:

Scotland's energy sector has the potential to reindustrialise this country and provide work for tens of thousands of Scots in the years to come. This kind of investment in training is critical to create the new generation of skilled workers to power our low carbon future - and it's something that is also a top priority for the Scottish Government.

ScottishPower joined the other "big six" UK energy companies in lowering prices yesterday when it announced a 5 per cent drop in gas prices.