MORE than one in five

Scottish manufacturers view Brexit concerns and uncertainty over future trading tariffs as a barrier to growth, and 72 per cent have difficulty in recruiting employees with relevant skills, a survey has shown.

The Brexit issues were cited as a barrier to growth by 22 per cent of Scottish respondents in the survey, conducted by Henderson Loggie in conjunction with the MHA association of UK independent accountancy firms and Bank of Scotland. This is greater than a corresponding 16 per cent for the UK as a whole.

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The survey authors noted that 17 per cent of Scottish manufacturers had cited “a lack of motivated applicants locally for lower-skilled roles” as a key issue.

And 23 per cent of Scottish manufacturers declared they had lost or were at risk of losing staff as a result of Brexit

Gavin Black, manufacturing lead at accountancy firm Henderson Loggie, warned that skills shortages highlighted by companies in the sector were likely to be exacerbated by potential loss of staff because of last year’s Brexit vote.

He said: “The sector continues to have difficulty recruiting staff with the relevant skills, the pressure on which is likely to increase as some businesses are at risk of losing staff due to Brexit.”

Of Scottish manufacturers surveyed, 65 per cent predict growth over the next 12 months. In last year’s survey, 60 per cent were forecasting expansion on a 12-month view.