The oil downturn appears to have improved recruitment to certain roles within NHS Grampian.
A report on the health board’s workforce plan for 2016 said the labour market within the North-east remains “significantly unsettled”.
But added: “This seems to have improved recruitment to a variety of hard-to-fill roles as the ongoing downturn in oil and changing labour market has led to an increase in applications in a number of roles including healthcare support workers, administrative, HR, finance and IT.
“Despite the improving market, the difficulty of capturing the interest of suitable candidates and filling posts remains challenging, particularly for nursing and midwifery posts and some medical roles.”
The report adds that the number of consultant vacancies has decreased significantly from 66 whole time equivalent (wte) in 2015 to 34.3 wte as of March 31 with 59.2% being vacant for more than six months.
Since the end of March, a further eight consultant roles have been appointed but the individuals have not yet taken up post.
Junior doctor training posts also continue to be “a challenge” for NHS Grampian with around 50 vacancies identified in August 2016.
The number of bands five to nine vacancies (higher pay scale) have increased significantly by almost 20% to 326.9 wte compared to 273.7 wte the previous year.
Bands two to four vacancies decreased to 84.7 wte compared to 106 wte in 2015.