Dozens of jobs maintaining power lines could become available in the region over the next few years as a result of plans to upgrade the electricity grid.
This comes as a result of the confirmed development of the power grid across Dumfries and Galloway and the major upgrade to the substation at Moffat and the interconnector at Gretna.
As well as creating new jobs, it is predicted that the upgrade will put an end to most of the power outages caused by bad weather that have plagued Dumfries and Galloway in recent years.
The grid developments were revealed after a meeting between south of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine and executives from Scottish Power.
Ms McAlpine asked for the meeting after energy minister Fergus Ewing told her of the jobs possibilities for Dumfries and Galloway as a result of the upgrade.
The SNP MSP said: “These are good jobs and Scottish Power told me they really need local people who understand the communities they are serving.
“They also need to be able to work outdoors in all weather.
“The company will be using contractors to upgrade the substations and also build new power lines in future.
“I pressed them to do everything they can to ensure that local contractors get to bid for these contracts.”
This follows a recent announcement over plans for Dumfries and Galloway College to run a pilot course to train unemployed electricians as linemen starting next year – a first of its kind in Scotland.
Scottish Power Renewables this week announced funding assistance for the 18 month course, which will have 12 places, and run alongside a similar programme in Ayr.
Apprenticeships will also be available as demand grows as a result of the £2.6billion south of Scotland upgrade of the ageing distribution and transmission system.
College principar Carol Turnbull said: “Dumfries and Galloway College is delighted to be part of this development which will deliver an industry recognised qualification to learners in the south west of Scotland and Ayrshire to meet growing employer demand for individuals in this exciting and growing industry.
“It is an excellent example of what can be achieved when industry, colleges and sector representatives work together.”