A north-east MSP has warned Aberdeen could face a skills shortage caused by Brexit damaging the region’s economy.
It comes after a report from Aberdeen City Council’s economy policy panel highlighted the “important role” played by people who come to the region from elsewhere within the EU.
The report also warned Brexit would have a negative impact on the “flow of key skills” to the Granite City.
Aberdeen South and North Kincardine MSP Maureen Watt said: “It is clear Brexit is going to have a huge impact on the north-east economy and make it more difficult for the city to attract and retain workers.
“Aberdeen City Council’s own report emphasises the important role EU workers and the challenges in recruitment.
“The north-east is a vibrant region with not only the oil and gas industry but hospitality and agriculture, and we rely on workers from elsewhere to come and live and work here and contribute to these sectors.
“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to support businesses during this challenging period but it is evident there is likely to be a significant impact on recruitment across Aberdeen.”
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Figures from Spice, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, show there are 22,000 EU nationals living in Aberdeen and 9,000 living in Aberdeenshire. During portfolio questions yesterday, Ms Watt asked Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, for an update on Scottish Government discussions with north-east business leaders.
Mr McKee revealed the city’s economy said figures from 2016 showed there was a recorded figure of 128,000 non-UK EU nationals living in Scotland.
He added the Scottish Government was taking key steps to mitigate the impact of Brexit but said it was clear there would be “inevitable harm” to the economy.
Businesses have been offered advice and tools to help them prepare for Brexit.