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Scotland lures workers – but could do better

22 November 2004
Scotland lures workers – but could do better

Scotland must market itself better if its hospitality industry is to attract the best foreign workers, according to a survey from recruitment agency Chess Partnership.

The UK was the preferred workplace for the majority (65%) of the 230 foreign hospitality students or aspiring managers who were questioned, beating other European

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Scotland's scenery was one of the attractions for foreign workers

countries and the USA. But while London was their most popular destination, Scotland came second, recording 17% of the vote.

Despite this, account director Carol Somers said its survey revealed that Scotland needed to work harder to promote the opportunities it could offer to foreign hospitality workers.

Overseas workers were attracted to Scotland by its reputation for a good work-life balance (43%), its coastal areas (40%), the quality of life (27%) and its countryside (24%). However, only 6% of respondents said they would choose to work in Scotland to further their career.

Edinburgh was the preferred place to work, cited by 64%, while 37% picked Glasgow and 42% would work anywhere in the country.

Most employers were positive about the influx of foreign workers, particularly to fill lesser roles which local workers didn't want, and said their strong work ethic would quickly lead to promotion.

Scottish employers saw Eastern Europe - especially Poland - as a growing pool of talent, and believed the national minimum wage helped to attract workers.

The biggest obstacles to recruiting immigrants were cultural differences followed by the lack of affordable housing. Scottish bosses noted signs of prejudice from both staff and customers, especially towards Eastern Europeans, who were sometimes regarded as almost second-class citizens.

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