According to reports, ALVANCE British Aluminium announced on Tuesday this week that it will be scaling back its workforce on a permanent basis.

An ALVANCE British Aluminium spokesman said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has compounded an already difficult commercial environment for aluminium. Given the continued impact of the virus and uncertainty around post-Brexit trade talks, the market is likely to remain challenging for up to 18 months.

"With regret, we therefore have made the difficult decision to begin a consultation on reducing the workforce at the Lochaber smelter. We will be proposing a reduction of around 15 to 18 jobs.

"As a responsible employer, we need to balance the welfare of our people with the need to protect the long-term sustainability of the Lochaber smelter, which is a vital piece of Scotland’s industrial infrastructure and valuable contributor to the regional economy.

We will provide appropriate support to those affected – including looking at employment opportunities elsewhere through GFG Workforce Solutions, a redeployment vehicle operated by our parent organisation, GFG Alliance."