It was only last week that Unite welcomed the Scottish Government’s intention to ensure that local and regional supply chains would benefit from contracts in the renewables sector.

Representatives from the UK Government, trade unions and industry including companies such as EDF, Deme Offshore, Saipem and SSE who stand to make tens of millions from Scotland’s shores were all in attendance at the Edinburgh summit.

To the Scottish Government’s credit the new commitment will now mean that developers will have to agree on supply-chain commitments when applying for offshore wind leases.

This is an important development which Unite welcomes and which we have been campaigning for.

Such agreements are common place in other areas of the world such as Newfoundland in Canada where clauses are inserted into contracts which guarantee that substantial shares of project management, and the execution of drilling and development for example are provided locally.

Several days later we now find out that American and Dutch owned companies are the latest to be awarded work on the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) contract off the coast of Fife.

The vast majority of the construction work on the 54 jackets is likely to go to Asia and then be transported back on barges to the east coast of Scotland.

This is absolutely ludicrous when the Bifab yards in Fife and Arnish can do significant volumes of work on the construction of jackets and piles beyond the rumoured eight jackets being awarded by EDF.

In fact, Unite is growing deeply concerned about the details surrounding the NnG project.

It’s our understanding that no contract has been signed-off. Therefore, there remains no clarity on how much work will actually go to BiFab’s Fife yards and how much work, if any, will go to the Arnish yard.

Another factory sitting idle, primed to contribute to the so-called green jobs revolution, is CS Wind in Machrihanish.

Unite has repeatedly raised the seriousness of the situation as the factory awaits a decision on the Hornsea 2 project. The project could see 40 towers being fabricated providing twelve months of work.

If CS Wind does not win this contract then in all likelihood the factory will have no future as the UK’s only manufacturer of onshore and offshore wind towers. Urgent clarity must be brought to the situation at CS Wind and BiFab because these facilities are lying empty while people are being lost.

Claims made by the Scottish Government in 2010 that developing a low-carbon economy would create up to 28,000 direct jobs in the offshore wind sector by 2020 has turned out to be a fantasy.

The fact is there has been less than 2,000 direct jobs created. The latest developments in the NnG contracts follows the previous announcements by the Belgian procurement firm GeoSea DEM on the Moray East project to award contracts for 100 turbine jackets to the United Arab Emirates fabricators Lamprell, and Belgian steel constructors Smulders.

In Kincardine, the fabrication work for five platforms supporting the project was awarded by procurement firm Cobra Wind International to the Spanish state shipbuilders Navantia.

Both the Moray East and Kincardine offshore windfarm projects have a value of around £2.8 billion.

All eyes now turn to the next major test in Scotland’s renewables contract merry-go-round.

SSE are set to announce the contract work on the Seagreen project in the Firth of Forth, and everyone including the Scottish and Westminster Governments will be judged on whether local firms such as BiFab win any work. Seagreen is situated only 16 miles off the Angus coastline.

This is one of the most significant construction projects undertaken in Scotland and will see up to 114 turbines being placed off the coast.

Montrose Port will be used for SSE’s operations and maintenance base for the construction of the Wind Farm.

Shockingly, supply chain jobs for this project are reported to be already lost to China.

The irony should be lost on no one that a company with ‘Scottish’ in its corporate name is rumoured to be awarding work to companies based in China who are supported by the state.

Companies such as SSE have been subsidised to the tune of billions of pounds of public money through the UK government’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme.

This process has set meaningless targets for job creation which is why the system is not fit for purpose and is in need of urgent reform. Clear targets must be set in future auctions.

Such reform must work in sync with the Scottish Government harnessing its consent, planning and procurement powers together with government bodies including the Crown Estate and Marine Scotland.

Unless the Scottish and UK Governments undertake immediate action to reform the process associated with the renewables sector then our nation’s greatest export is in danger of being the thousands of jobs and billions of pounds lost to foreign firms which should be captured for the benefit of Scotland.

Pat Rafferty is the Scottish secretary for Unite