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Spotlight to shine on challenges of Brexit at Highland event

By Gregor White

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The event will be held at Highland Council headquarters.
The event will be held at Highland Council headquarters.

The challenges of securing a workforce after Brexit will be discussed at an event this week.

Some of the region’s business leaders have already raised concerns about attracting and retaining senior level staff and lower level workers.

The event at Highland Council headquarters on Thursday will hear from Professor David Bell on a report from the independent Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population, which looks specifically at how the ending of free movement and future UK immigration policy will affect Scotland’s devolved responsibilities.

Panellists will then highlight issues and measures to mitigate the impact on the Highlands and Islands economy and community.

The panel includes Chris Gaffney, group finance director of Johnstons of Elgin and chairman of the SCDI Rural Commission; Morven Cameron, head of universities, education and skills at Highlands and Islands Enterprise; and Stephen Sheridan, Highlands and Islands regional skills planning lead for Skills Development Scotland.

Councillor Allan Henderson, who chairs the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee, said: “We recognise that this could be an uncertain and unsettling time for many staff and their employers which is why we have been working closely with our partners to encourage business in the Highlands to plan for the impacts of Brexit.

“This event is a great opportunity to come together to look at the challenges and find out more about the proactive work being done to ensure people are supported through this period of change.

“This includes all EU employees feeling supported to continue living and working in the Highlands, and also looking ahead to attracting new talent to make sure our economy continues to thrive.”

n Workforce Migration, Talent Attraction and the Future for Highlands and Islands – run in partnership with Economic Development Association Scotland, Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, starts at 5pm.

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