Almost one-in-four Scottish businesses report 'difficulty in recruiting' 

In an ONS survey, 24.5% of companies north of the border said they experienced problems finding new staff.

Almost one-in-four Scottish businesses report ‘difficulty in recruiting’ Getty Images

Almost a quarter of Scottish businesses reported facing recruitment difficulties in November, a survey suggests.

In an Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey, 24.5% of companies north of the border said they experienced difficulties recruiting employees.

The figure was the highest for any part of the UK in the business insights survey, which received responses from 9,555 companies – more than 1,000 of which were in Scotland.

The UK average for the month of November was 20.7%.

Among Scottish responses, 43.1% said they did not experience recruitment difficulties and 17.9% said they were not sure.

The pro-union campaign group, Scotland in Union, said the SNP had created an “anti-business environment”.

Chief executive Pamela Nash said: “It’s bad news for Scotland that almost a quarter of businesses reported challenges in recruitment.

“That suggests that the opportunities on offer aren’t matching up to the skills available in our workforce, letting down both jobseekers and businesses.

“The SNP has been in charge for more than 16 years, over which time it has had control over education, skills, training and the economy.

“It has created an anti-businesses environment, driven down standards in education and completely neglected our vital colleges sector.”

She added: “The nationalists cannot simply shrug their shoulders and blame either Brexit or the UK Government – on this front the SNP has underperformed every single other part of the UK.”

Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray said: “While Scotland’s unemployment rate is lower than UK wide, recruitment challenges remain for industries such as hospitality and agriculture.

“The UK Government’s proposed changes to immigration policy will further prevent access to the international labour market that Scotland needs for our economy to prosper.

“With full powers over migration, Scotland could boost its workforce and tackle recruitment challenges, many of which have been caused by the end of free movement and the Brexit imposed on Scotland by the UK Government.

“Through our limited devolved powers and targeted approaches such as No One Left Behind, Scotland supports those furthest from the labour market – including disabled people, lone parents and those with long-term health conditions – to find and sustain meaningful employment.

“We are also developing a lifetime skills offer for adults and our apprenticeship programme is enabling employers to invest in their work force and provide greater opportunities to those at the start of their careers.”

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