Staff shortage in Perthshire companies blamed on Brexit effect


Perthshire hotel companies continue to struggle to recruit staff.

On Monday, the owners of the Kirklands Hotel in Kinross, Anthony and Shona Clifford, had to notify guests of a temporary closure.

And although it reopened again, it lost two days of potential revenue.

The hotel management posted on Facebook: “Sorry to tell you that we will be closing for a few more days this week.

“Unfortunately, due to staff shortages and illnesses, we can’t cover the whole week. We will be closed on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5, reopening on Wednesday 6 October at 12 noon for the lunch service.

The Kirklands lost revenue for the same reason just a few months ago. The hotel posted a closing day on August 30 with the explanation, “Like many others, we are still struggling with staff shortages and that makes things very difficult at the moment. We really hope that with new faces joining the team next week, we don’t have to start over. “

Last month, a call went online for the Kenmore hotel, featuring a list of internal vacancies, with new managing director William Inglis warning the company was “on its knees” over the problem of recruiting workers.

William left to interview potential candidates, and more recently a two-minute video describing what an attractive location Kenmore was to work in was shared on social media.

The hotel continued its call for applications and reported potential wins: “We have been very well supported by the Facebook community over the past few days in our search for Superstars waiters, receptionists and room attendants.

“We are always on the lookout for creative chefs … It’s a really exciting time to join us as Sous Chef £ 30,000, CDP £ 25,000, Clerk £ 21,000 and KP £ 10.”

Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart and Highland Ward Councilor Mike Williamson recently visited to speak to Highland Perthshire businesses about the staffing challenges they are currently facing.

Over the past few weeks it is understood that there were over 80 vacancies for Chiefs in Highland Perthshire alone.

SNP politicians see the difficulties facing the local economy as a consequence of Brexit.

Pete Wishart MP noted: “The increased bureaucracy to procure parts and materials was a notable feature of the difficulties that Taiga Upland and Edradour Distillery encountered.

“They are, however, considering new processes to adapt to the changed environment and, in both cases, deserve a lot of credit for their innovative and flexible approach to changing circumstances.”

At Pitlochry Coach Service Elizabeth Yule, they are struggling with a shortage of drivers.

Mr Wishart added: “During COVID [the coach transport company Elizabeth Yule] has been hit hardest as one of the forgotten industries hit by the pandemic and it looks like the bus industry continues to be low on the UK government’s priority list.

“As they ask heavy truck drivers to come here for the unattractive three-month visa ending on Christmas Eve, they have taken no steps to increase the availability of bus drivers.”

Cllr Williamson added: “The hospitality and agriculture sectors were the first to be affected due to labor shortages.

“These labor shortages were caused by the end of free movement, and they will surely start to put more pressure on our supply chains and the provision of basic services.”

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