Scottish employers face staff shortages following migration restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians

The limit on the number of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants allowed to work in the UK will have a damaging effect on Scottish employers, it was claimed yesterday.

George Chalmers, manager of hotel-jobs-scotland.com, Scotland’s largest recruiter of staff from Eastern Europe, said home secretary John Reid had been wrong to impose restrictions on the two countries when they join the EU in January 2007.

The ban will leave employers struggling to fill vacancies, Chalmers said, as there was an increasing pool of jobs in the hospitality and construction sectors.

“It’s not a question of cheap labour; it is a question of filling a skills gap,” Chalmers said.

“We had really been gearing up for Bulgaria and Romania, but now Reid has really caused problems for me and my clients.”

Chalmers estimated that he had placed about 3,000 Eastern Europeans in UK jobs since 10 new countries joined the EU in 2004, The Scotsman reports.

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