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Recruitment problems ‘worsen’ for Scottish firms

A new survey in Scotland has revealed that recruitment difficulties have continued to worsen in key sectors

A new survey from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has revealed that recruitment difficulties have continued to worsen for a number of key sectors in Scotland.

The survey found that financial and business services, manufacturing and tourism were the worst hit, with tourism and financial and business services close to survey records for levels of hiring difficulty.

The report added that the challenges in recruitment, as well as concerns over investment levels, suggested growth may remain fragile for the immediate future.

Neil Amner, chairman of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce economic advisory group, told the BBC: “Many sectors are continuing to invest in training in an attempt to retain and upskill their existing staff, but it is clear that businesses are finding it challenging to fill vacancies.

“This continues to emphasise the need for government to continue investing in our talent and skills base through initiatives including Developing the Young Workforce and Foundation Apprenticeships.

“In addition, the need for a practical immigration policy to arise from the Brexit negotiations, which puts business first, is made even more critical by these conditions.”

The quarterly economic survey, produced in partnership with the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute, found growing optimism within manufacturing and financial and business services firms on a more positive note.

There were also positive signs of an “encouraging” fourth quarter of 2017 for the retail and construction sector, with sales and cash flow reported as improved compared to the previous three months.

Mr Amner said the results of the survey suggested that Scottish businesses were “continuing to display positivity in an uncertain economic environment”.

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