A Scottish Government minister and the leader of Dundee City Council have warned lower immigration due to Brexit could have a serious negative impact on vital services in Scotland.
Ben Macpherson, Holyrood minster for public finance and migration, said the effect of fewer foreign workers would impact food supplies and social care.
The MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith, said: “We’re going to continue to need to bring people here because of our demographic challenges, but also because those people bring their skills – all skills.
“That’s been demonstrated very clearly in this crisis, where what the UK Government has wrongly and inaccurately described as ‘lower-skilled jobs’ are, in fact, anything but. They’re very crucial jobs; whether that’s people who work in social care or in the agricultural sector.”
Mr Macpherson called on the UK Government to think about giving Scotland the flexibility to attract people for the country’s needs – in the short, medium and long-term.
“We want to attract company owners or people who have PhDs, but we also want people to work in our social care and agricultural sector, and our tourism and hospitality sectors as we get them back up to full strength,” he said.
He added the UK Government’s use of language showed those in so-called “low skilled jobs” were “less valued” by the Westminster Government.
Mr Macpherson was speaking alongside Dundee City Council leader John Alexander, who said it was wrong to categorise immigrants as either high or low skilled.
“The reality is, the skills required, or the specific criteria involved for each of those jobs will be different – that doesn’t make them less important,” he said.
“Dundee benefits so much from immigration, people coming to the city through our academic institutions – you look at the number of nationalities on campuses and it makes a really valuable contribution.
“But neighbouring authorities have huge farmland areas and the importance of workers coming to support those industries, we’ve seen in recent months.”