Highlands & Islands

Warning of Brexit impact on Highland Council workforce

Woman typing on keyboard
Image caption Council workers could be lost due to changes to their status, a report warns

Highland Council must prepare for an impact on its workforce from Brexit, according to a report to councillors.

An estimated 10% of the population of the Highlands are EU nationals, with many working for the local authority.

The report to a meeting of the full council on Thursday warns that uncertainty about their status may see EU nationals leaving the area.

An increasingly ageing population and a decline in numbers of younger people also present challenges.

In their report, council officers said: "From a workforce perspective, given that Highland already has a high employment rate and the number of jobs - new and replacement - is forecast to increase, this means that the number of people available within the labour market and the pipeline of future talent for the council and all employers are diminishing.

"There is a need to increase the working age population."

To meet the challenges, the officers said ways had to be found to encourage young people to stay in the Highlands and encourage those who have left to return.

Other solutions include continuing to make the Highlands an attractive area to work for EU migrants and flexible working arrangements that allow older people to continue in employment.

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