A SCOTTISH theme park company is to close a number of its attractions during the Easter school holidays because it is unable to get the numbers of staff to open.

The move by Landmark Forest Adventure Park, near Aviemore, is against a backdrop of an estimated shortage of 48,000 workers in hospitality in Scotland which is causing opening hours to be cut and in some cases full closures.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was this week prodded into admitting an embarrassing rebuke from the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority Sir David Norgrove, who took exception around Mr Johnson’s claims in Prime Minister’s Question Time that there are now more people in employment than when the pandemic began.

HeraldScotland:

Sir David wrote to the PM: “According to the latest ONS figures it is wrong to claim there are now more people in work than before the pandemic began.

“The increase on the number of people who are on payrolls is more than offset by the reduction in the number of people who are self-employed.”

The PM accepts we have record job vacancies of 1.25m, and adds: “One of the pressures we have on supply chains and on inflation is we are probably short of about 500,000 pairs of hands to do crucial things.”

The University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory said in January an estimated 18 per cent of the employed workforce in 2020 were migrants.

HeraldScotland: A bus carries displaced Ukrainians. AP Photo/Felipe Dana)A bus carries displaced Ukrainians. AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

However, migrants make up more than that in the hospitality sector (28% of workers), in transport and storage (26%), information, communications and IT (25%), and in health and social work (21%), it found.

The UK Government immigration policy is failing business. Tragically, it is also failing Ukrainians.

Dame Diana Johnson said that “the route taken by the government is around a family visa scheme, which is about controlling migration, not about dealing with a humanitarian crisis”.

Around 28,000 applied for visas through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, and only 2,700 have been granted, even though some are already linked with jobs or studies here.

A group of families in Aberfeldy got together to bring Ukrainian families here two weeks ago. By Thursday none had had managed to get through the red-tape put in their way by the UK.

Poland has welcomed more than 2.5 million. Authorities there are issuing refugees with debit cards so they can buy clothes and arrange suitable accommodation in dignity. 

Mr Johnson should hang his head in shame.

The UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility’s latest economic and fiscal outlook had nothing to offer Brexiters, says business editor Ian McConnell in his Called to Account column, adding: “It also underlines the detrimental impacts which have already manifested themselves.”

A landmark was reached as UK taxpayers’ stake in NatWest Group, owner of Royal Bank of Scotland, has been cut to below 50% for the first time since the financial crisis of more than a decade ago.

The Cambo oil field extension should be welcomed by SNP Government, writes business correspondent Mark Williamson this week after the potential of the North Sea’s undeveloped resources was underlined.

Good news: Bespoke Hotels has said the Glenburn Hotel in Rothesay will reopen “very soon” following the purchase of the property out of administration.