Shetland wide staff shortage raises concern

Staffing shortages across the isles in both the public and private sectors and the ways to attract people to those vacancies, was one of the topics of concern raised at this afternoon’s SIC environment and transport committee meeting.

Discussed during items one and two of a five item agenda it was revealed there was a significant amount of staff vacancies across the whole council service, a situation councillor Davie Sandison said “is clearly having an impact on our ability to stick to plans and programmes”.

He asked Neil Grant, director of development services, what was being done to specifically attract people to come and work in the vacant posts.

Mr Grant said: “I’m very well aware of the work going on at the moment with the council and the NHS on job profiles and how we make those available to the wider markets on the mainland.

“Also welcome packs are something that we’ve looked at before but just very recently, through Promote Shetland, we’ve been doing work on those as well.”

He added: “This is across a wide range of public and private sector jobs now that we are struggling with retention and recruitment.”

Housing, or the lack of it, was raised as one major stumbling block to attracting people to the island, echoing the concerns raised at this morning’s development committee meeting.

Mr Sandison said there was a “significant need to increase the availability of housing whether it be for purchase or for rent”.

Taxi tariffs were also discussed, a legal requirement for every council to review at least every 18 months. The last such review was held in June 2018.

Robina Barton, transport policy and projects officer, confirmed a consultation with all of the isles’ taxi companies had taken place and, despite rising fuel costs, the current tariff system is likely to remain in place.

A full report will appear in this week’s Shetland Times, out Friday, 3rd September.


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