South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth is urging local businesses to ensure their views are heard in a Scottish Parliament inquiry being launched into the current challenges firms face accessing supplies and workers.
The Parliament’s Economy Committee, which Colin Smyth is a member of, is seeking to understand how the challenges and shifts in supply chains are impacting Scotland’s economy and how to build a more robust and resilient supply chain.
The inquiry is set around three distinct themes:
People – analysing why there are persistent skills gaps in certain sectors and gaps in labour supply in other sectors;
Places – looking at the challenges facing Scotland’s supply infrastructure, particularly as we transition to net zero, and how it can be made more resilient;
Products – seeking to find out what issues face both Scotland’s importers and exporters, how they can be supported to maximise opportunities and how to better grow Scotland’s domestic supply chain.
Commenting on the inquiry Colin Smyth, “Businesses across our area have been hit by the double whammy of the COVID-19 pandemic and brexit but these have only exasperated what were already long standing weaknesses in our economy”.
“We’ve all seen the problems faced by the shortage of HGV drivers and a day hardly goes by when I don’t speak to businesses, who either can’t get supplies or have seen the cost of materials rocket, in particular within the construction and retail sector. Almost every business at the moment is also facing problems either due to shortage of labour or more specifically a skills shortage and this causing real difficulties”.
“That’s why this inquiry by the Economy Committee is so important. We want to hear from businesses and organisations about their experiences on how best the economy’s supply chain challenges can be tackled so we can’t support businesses to kick start the recovery. I’d strongly urge local firms to get involved and give evidence.”