Questions have been asked as to why a hotel in Perthshire is struggling to recruit staff despite ongoing unemployment issues in the area it is based.
Crieff Hydro bosses said there was a “disappointingly low” number of job applications from local residents for around 50 vacancies they have advertised.
It comes despite unemployment being named as one of the two main issues affecting people living in South Crieff, where the resort is based.
The leader of Perth and Kinross Council has made a call to address the mismatch.
The issues were brought to the fore at a recent meeting of Perth and Kinross Council’s Community Planning Partnership Board after having been raised during a recent workshop.
The workshop was set up to explore the biggest socio-economic challenges facing the area, examine what is driving those challenges and what solutions there are.
Poverty and unemployment or low pay were found to be two of the main socio-economic issues in South Crieff.
Reporting to the board a council officer said: “In South Crieff the Hydro has 40 or 50 vacancies and they are struggling to recruit people.
“Yet off the main High Street we have pockets of unemployment. Is there a skills mismatch? Are there barriers to employability there? Perhaps access to childcare? Or is working hours, conditions, etc?”
Following the presentation councillor Murray Lyle said: “From the other perspective I have the owner of Crieff Hydro saying ‘The locals don’t want to work’.
“Now the challenge there is in some cases the locals don’t see any benefit in work, if you like, because of the standard of living they would maintain but equally I think there is a communication issue there.
“We could maybe help between Crieff Hydro and some of the locals so they could understand the benefits of employment going forward.”
The Perth and Kinross Council leader said he had received complaints “on more than one occasion” from Crieff Hydro saying they had “great difficulty employing local people” and a “significant” amount of their workforce come from outwith Crieff and outwith the area.
Lyle said this was something the local authority could “try to address”.
This week a spokesperson for Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels said: “Local applicants for vacancies continues to be at a disappointingly low level.
“We continue to work with local schools, colleges and all agencies to help make hospitality a career of choice.
“Having said that, we do have a significant number of team members who live and work locally and there are many great opportunities in hotel operations and in supporting our wider business across the country in areas such as sales, HR and finance.”