NEWS that the Grangemouth chemicals giant Ineos is due to receive the first shipments of US shale gas next month (“Fracking firm losing patience with SNP”, The Herald, August 10) while valuable offshore decommissioning work was lost to Norway (“Scotland ‘losing out’ on a £40bn North Sea lifeline”, The Herald, August 8) shows the industries of the future are already off and running.

Yet our economy, which is being pushed to the brink of another recession by the collapse in oil price and a decimated manufacturing sector, doesn't look like it’s at the starting blocks in the race for these highly competitive and lucrative markets.

And if we don’t move quickly to make the most of these opportunities while they are present then it’s inevitable that our future will be determined more by others than by ourselves.

Scotland needs an affordable and secure gas supply to heat nearly 80 per cent of our households, while the days of plentiful and profitable oil production in the North Sea are coming to an end – perhaps more quickly than we anticipated.

Fracking presents us with a massive opportunity to transform our economy and industry, create thousands of high value jobs and ensure an affordable and secure fuel supply for our population for years to come.

Decommissioning of the North Sea could be worth more than £100 billion and provides us with an open-goal to revitalise manufacturing in working-class communities across Fife, Dundee and the North East whilst making the transition to a post-oil economy.

This week the Scottish Government acknowledged the fragility of the country’s economy by announcing a £100 million post-Brexit stimulus package (“Sturgeon bids to steal march on May”, The Herald, August 10). Time will tell what sectors will be the main beneficiaries of this intervention, but time is not on our side and the package itself won't be enough.

So the Scottish Government needs to maximise the open goals presented to us through the changing nature of industry by investing where it can and pulling the UK Government by the nose where it must, because, irrespective of our constitutional future, that’s its job.

GMB Scotland is clear. The opportunities presented by decommissioning and fracking are there for the taking and Scotland can’t afford to pass them up.

Gary Smith,

GMB Scotland secretary,

Fountain House, 1/3 Woodside Crescent, Glasgow.