News | Published November 09 2019

Neil McLauchlan talks providing year-round employment in a seasonal business

Neil McLauchlan, manager of Dunstaffnage Marina, a 250-berth marina capable of accommodating boats of all sizes, located just three miles from Oban, spoke about the importance of offering full time contracts in the Parliamentary Review’s podcast.

He told host Jonathan White that “the struggle indeed, in Northern Scotland, is the winter, because the tourists go home and don’t come back until the Summer”.

McLauchlan continued, noting that one of the central issues with operating in such a seasonally dependent operation “is trying every year to extend that season with offers” incentivising tourists to visit at an unconventional time.

He stated that at Dunstaffnage Marina “we don’t take on staff and then lay them off in the winter”. McLauchlan continued that seasonal employment “doesn’t allow them [the company’s employees] to build their families and then settle in the community” in the same way that fulltime employment does.

Taking care of staff is considered to be of particular importance in the company, especially when faced with the challenge of “getting the staff who have experience in that industry”.

McLauchlan noted that “we are a year-round business which is something I have been very keen to put in place for our staff”.

McLauchlan’s comments come at a time when the UK tourism industry is expected to be impacted by Britain’s departure from the European Union.

Immigration plans for 2021 demand workers have a minimum salary of £30,000 while the average salary of those in the tourism industry is estimated to be £17,000.

At present 65 per cent of businesses on a national level believe they will no longer be able to operate should this legislation come into place.

Of the 3.3 million people who work in the UK tourism industry, it is believed that around 16 per cent are from overseas. However, in London almost half of tourism businesses are comprised of EU nationals.

You can listen to McLauchlan’s Parliamentary Review podcast here.

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
November 09 2019

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