The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
FSB in plea on non-UK workers
A Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) “manifesto” wants the winning general election candidates to deliver a Scotland-friendly immigration system.
Highlighting the economic contribution of non-UK nationals who have made this country their home, the FSB said Scotland needs an immigration system “which works for local economies and communities”.
FSB Scotland policy chairman Andrew McRae said: “Our next batch of MPs will likely need to make a number of important choices about the structure of a UK future immigration system.
“At every turn we’re
“A regime that recognises Scotland’s demographic challenges”
urging them to push for a regime that recognises Scotland’s demographic challenges and is userfriendly and affordable for smaller business.”
Research published by the FSB and Strathclyde University this year showed immigrant entrepreneurs make a £13 billion annual contribution to Scotland’s economy and support more than 107,000 jobs.
Other FSB research found 26% of small employers in Scotland have at least one employee from another EU country, rising to 41% in the Highlands. This compares to 21% across the whole UK.
The FSB election wish list also makes the case for new funding for Scottish towns and high streets. Figures compiled by the small business campaign group show Scotland’s towns have faced more than 400 retail closures since the start of 2016.
Mr McRae said: “There’s no end in sight as many big name brands announce restructuring programmes.”