As vacancies hit all time high, salmon producers are struggling to fill positions says head of SSPO

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Scottish salmon businesses are experiencing extensive issues recruiting workers says head of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation.

New figures from the UK Office for National Statistics show the number of vacancies in the country has hit a record high, with over 1.1 million jobs available.

The country’s unemployment rate is now roughly 4.5%, compared to around 4% before the start of the pandemic – with the majority of industries across the economy seeing notable quarterly growth.

SSPO boss Tavish Scott. PHOTO: SSPO

Speaking to SalmonBusiness, Tavish Scott, CEO of Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation said: “As with many other sectors, Scottish salmon businesses are experiencing extensive issues in recruiting people for a whole range of different jobs. These job shortages are not just about Brexit or the lack of haulage drivers, although both of these are contributing factors. These issues are also about the lack of housing, particularly for young people and families, in the Highlands and Islands.”

Scott continued, “Our member companies do offer inducements to attract employees but the reality is that the largely European workforce which used to fill these roles has gone home and cannot return.”

“Our industry will do everything it can to make sure there is no disruption to the supply chain, not just in the run up to Christmas but ongoing, but we need action to create the flexibility needed to keep production flowing and a recognition of the seriousness of the problem.”