This report presents key findings from a small sample survey of Scotland-based seafood processing businesses to understand employment patterns of non-United Kingdom (UK) European Economic Area(EEA) workers in the sector. Data were collected from 18 seafood processing businesses, who employed 37% of the sector’s workforce in Scotland in 2016.
The survey found that 41% of people working in the surveyed processors in 2016 were from the UK, 58% were from other EEA counties and 1% were from non-EEA countries. Of the employees from other EEA countries, Polish, Lithuanian and Latvian nationals were the most cited.
The majority of staff (86%) were on permanent contracts and the minority (14%) were on non-permanent contracts. The data suggest that mixed seafood processing businesses have a higher dependency on EEA workers. All sectors reported dependency on low-skilled non-UK EEA workers.
Businesses identified a range of impacts on the UK’s exit from the EU on the seafood processing labour market. This ranged from no impact as some were not dependent on non-UK EEA workers, medium impacts due to a drop in the quality of the workforce, and significant changes in the way the businesses operate which in some cases is a direct threat to business’ survival.