A PARTIAL lifeline has been thrown to workers at one of Inverness’s biggest employers with the creation of 28 new jobs.
The new roles will be spread across a range of departments at LifeScan Scotland, which specialises in the production of a range of products for diabetes care.
It was announced in January that 80 jobs were to go at the firm after US-based parent company Johnson & Johnson announced a review of its operations in response to three years of "adverse market conditions."
The 28 jobs will be offered in the first instance to workers currently facing redundancy.
A further 50 temporary jobs will also be created at the Inverness site, following consolidation of various diabetes-related roles at other Johnson & Johnson locations.
With around 1000 staff, LifeScan Scotland is the city’s largest private sector employer and a lynchpin of the Highland life sciences sector.
The jobs boost has been welcomed by Inverness MP Drew Hendry who recently met with Johnson & Johnson bosses.
"I was greatly concerned when I first heard of this restructure and its effects on local jobs," he said.
"After meeting with the company however, I am encouraged to hear that the impact on jobs may not be as dramatic as first feared. I was encouraged to hear that the business is strong and has excellent potential for growth as well as an enormous market share for its products.
"I believe that Lifescan has, and will continue to have, a major presence here and will continue to be good for Inverness and the Highlands."
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP David Stewart said he was "heartened" by the announcement, but added: "I am still concerned that there will be a number of redundancies where staff either choose to leave or do not fit into the new system."