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Wed, 2017-03-15 10:57

Commenting on the news that Scotland’s unemployment has fallen by 16,000 in the three months to January, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“The latest set of unemployment figures for Scotland is very encouraging and show that our unemployment rate has fallen back towards parity with the UK rate.  However, despite a rise in employment levels, our employment rate remains below the overall UK rate and below the Scottish rate for the same period last year.

“With employment growing and unemployment falling, our Governments north and south of the border urgently need to plan for how businesses’ future skills needs will be met, both from our domestic pool of talent and from overseas talent.  That is why the Scottish Government must invest to upskill our existing workforce and to equip many of those currently not working with the skills they will need for a rapidly evolving labour market.

“Additionally, as we approach Brexit negotiations, the UK Government must determine our future migration policy.  Our economy will continue to need skills and talent from overseas and in the longer term we strongly believe that migration targets should be determined by economic need and flexible enough to accommodate the particular needs of both business sectors and the regions and nations of the UK.  Meanwhile in the short term, the negotiations with the EU must secure early agreement on the rights of EU workers to remain in the UK, with equivalent rights for UK workers in the EU.”