Sunday, October 06, 2019

Scotland Needs Newcomers

Scotland faces future shortage of workers. Given Scotland’s peculiarities, including a lower birth rate than in all other parts of the UK, it needs immigration.

By 2041, Scotland’s pensionable-age population is projected to increase by 265,000, while the working-age population is seen rising only by 38,000. Since 1998, there had been an increase of 31 per cent in the number of people aged over 75 in Scotland, and a decline of 8 per cent in those under the age of 15.

Net migration from overseas, or inflows minus outflows, is forecast to decline substantially in the next few years. Experts commissioned by the Scottish government predicted in February that Scotland’s working age population would actually decline by 3 to 5 per cent over the next 25 years if the UK proceeded with proposals to end free movement of EU nationals.

EU migration to Scotland has to some extent offset the effects of an ageing population and one of the lowest birth rates in the developed world, says the paper by The David Hume Institute, titled ‘Wealth of the nation: Who will do the jobs?’. But overseas immigration, already lower than to England, has dropped sharply in recent years.
Jane-Frances Kelly, director of the David Hume Institute, said increasing immigration is important to sustaining the health of Scotland's economy.
"We are sounding a warning signal for Scotland's politicians and policymakers," she sad. "We need to get to grips with the coming demographic crisis or Scotland's economy will be severely affected.
Now that net migration is falling and we face the coming challenge of Brexit, we find ourselves once again facing a major demographic challenge,” the authors write. The report says part of the solution will come from future technological change and from encouraging more people of working age to enter the labour market. But even together these will not be enough to cover expected shortages. Immigration must, therefore, be a priority,” it notes.
Some parts of Scotland’s economy depend heavily on foreign workers. One example is the shops, hotels and restaurants sector. Another is what is known as the caring, leisure and other services industry.
Given the ageing population, the health and social care sector is likely to be particularly affected by labour shortages,” the authors write.
The ageing of Scotland’s population will be partly determined by immigration, since foreign nationals living in the country are on average considerably younger than the domestic population.

No comments: