A study into employment patterns of non-UK workers showed that 58% of Scottish seafood processing business employees come from other countries of the European Economic Area (EEA).
The survey established that 86% of all employees in the processing sector come mainly from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, and that they work on permanent contracts. The study was carried out with 18 Scottish processors representing 37% of the sector`s workforce in 2016.
The processors in the sample highlighted potential labor market impacts from the UK exit from the EU and point out that it could directly affect their businesses survival.
Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, said that this study shows the Scottish seafood processing sector dependency on EEA workers, and raises concerns from processors that Brexit could threaten their businesses’ survival. He also stressed the processors concerns for the potential loss of skilled and experienced food processing employees if most of them go on working with permanent contracts.
The study also shows that EU nationals contribute to more than GBP 4.4 billion to Scottish economy. Ewing assured they will continue showing EU citizens that they are welcome and that they will call for free movement of people. (FIS)