SCOTLAND’S skill shortages and employment gaps are back in the spotlight today when a Westminster committee considers the country’s migration needs, as part of an ongoing inquiry.

The Scottish Affairs Committee will look at how to meet future challenges such as demographic changes in the age and growth of the population. It will also consider the options for a different Scottish approach to immigration, as well as what changes could be made to take better account of Scotland’s current and future needs.

Committee chairman Pete Wishart (pictured) said: “During this inquiry, the committee has heard from academics, business and sectoral representatives about how well Scotland’s current immigration arrangements serve the labour needs of Scottish business, and what addition challenges Brexit may create. We are looking forward to discussing how the immigration system might be changed to ensure it reflects Scotland demographic and labour needs.”

The meeting comes as Scottish academics prepare to examine how politicians and the media shape perceptions of refugees in a £3 million study on the impact of the migrant crisis on Europe.

Researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will study how political speeches on immigration, and the resulting coverage, shape public perception. They will also travel to Turkey and Iraq to set up “advice clinics” to ensure migrants and refugees have access to accurate information, as part of the three-year Respond project – an EU-funded review of mass migration to Europe.

Dr Umut Korkut of GCU said: “Our researchers will concentrate on three types of newspapers in each country; conservative, liberal and middle ground and see how the politicians’ speeches are put into context.

“The plan is to establish legal aid, educational aid, employment aid and public health clinics, in Istanbul and Baghdad, and we will also look to host a series of lectures to dispel the false news about immigration into the European Union.”