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Migrant workforce survey reveals initial findings


One in seven businesses in Tayside, Scotland, have employed migrant workers in the past two years, and a similar proportion say they could or will do so again in the next two years.

These are among the initial finding of the first full-scale survey of migrant labour in Tayside, currently being carried out by Scottish Economic research, based at Abertay University’s Dundee Business School.

Six hundred local employers have responded to an initial survey, and SER is now conducting a more in-depth survey with a number of these. The research team is urging more businesses to get involved and contribute to the in-depth survey, with the aim of making it as accurate and comprehensive as possible. It is hoped the research results will help to inform policy development and planning by employers, support organisations and other agencies.

The results so far show that Poland is the commonest country of origin for migrant workers in Tayside, followed by the Czech Republic and Lithuania, although different countries are represented among the workforce.

About 20% of the migrant workforce is in the tourism and hospitality sector, and a further 12% in agriculture. Three out of five migrant workers are male.

Perth & Kinross seems to be the most promising part of Tayside for migrant workers. Twice as many Perthshire businesses said they would recruit in the next two years compared with Angus companies, and almost five times as many as in Dundee.

“These findings are very interesting, and will be important to our sponsors, who are looking for data that will help them to target resources on managing the influx of migrant workers more effectively,” said SER director Neil McGregor.

“As unemployment in Tayside continues to fall, the availability of migrant workers will become increasingly important to provide the flexibility employers need to cope with busy periods.

“If local authorities and development agencies understand the detail of how migrant labour operates in Tayside, they will be better able to support local industry. That’s why we are keen to get as accurate a picture as possible by including in the survey as many businesses as possible who have employed or are employing, or even just thinking about employing migrant workers in the survey,” he added.

Companies throughout Tayside are being urged to complete the survey, if they have received a copy through the post, or contact SER on 01382 308705 for a copy of the questionnaire.

The project is being sponsored by Scottish Enterprise Tayside, Communities Scotland, Angus Council, and Perth & Kinross Council.

Kevin Coe | alfa
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