Date lodged: 8 March 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the announcement by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce's chief executive that Scotland must have a unique migration system to respond to its lower population growth rate.
Answered by: Alasdair Allan 16 March 2017
It is essential that Scotland maintains its population growth to ensure that we have an appropriate demographic profile to sustain all of our population living full, supported and productive lives. Stimulating population growth is a key driver of sustainable economic growth, and in Scotland, most of our population growth is supported by inward migration. We know that 90% of the population increase in Scotland over the next ten years is projected to come from migration (57% from net international migration and 32% from net migration from the rest of the UK). This is markedly different to the projections for the UK as a whole, where 51% of the projected population increase over the next 10 years is due to natural change and 49% is due to international migration. If current trends continue, net inward migration is projected to be the main contributor to Scotland’s population growth over the next 25 years.
As the Chamber of Commerce have identified, it is crucial that Scotland has an immigration system which enables businesses to attract and access the skills and talent required to boost Scotland’s long-term competiveness and to support Scotland’s Economic Strategy.