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Scottish businesses looking to expand

16 July 2013

  • SDS Press Release Archive

Positive news for private sector recruitment with four out of 10 firms looking to take on new staff in the coming year
AN INCREASING number of business leaders across Scotland are planning to recruit over the coming year, according to a Skills Development Scotland (SDS) supported report published today.

Carried out by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), the survey shows that 38% of private sector employers expect to increase employment over the next 12 months - up from 27% just six months ago.
Employers also emphasised the benefit of hiring fresh talent with 61% agreeing that 'young people bring ICT capabilities' to their organisation.

Highlighting┬╣the difficulty employers sometimes have in filling specific vacancies, the survey cited  engineering; management and leadership, IT and digital and financial management as the most challenging.

Two thirds of employers would also like to see greater emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects in the education and training system.           

Gareth Williams, Head of Policy at SCDI said:
"The results of this survey are encouraging. They demonstrate that, while economic conditions remain difficult for many employers, they are becoming more bullish on employment, a sign of increasing confidence.
"Attracting and developing people with the right skills is a key factor for businesses as they aim to grow and the survey highlights their priorities, such as an increased focus on science, technology and engineering.
"Employers are clearly saying that they want government and public agencies to build on the significant progress which is being made in aligning their support with the job opportunities businesses are creating."

The survey reflects the opinions of the SCDI membership with responses coming from across the private sector (76%), the public sector (13%) and the third sector (10%).

Damien Yeates, chief executive of SDS added: "It is positive news for the economy that so many employers are looking to recruit and greater emphasis on STEM subjects is at the forefront of our work.
"The survey confirms that businesses recognise the importance of a skilled workforce, in particular talented young people, and we are helping them to attract the best through work such as the make Young People Your Business campaign."

Businesses looking to hiring new staff or upskill their existing workforce can receive support and advice from  the SDS employer services team through calling the helpline on 0800 783 6000 or by visiting

Find the survey results on the Our Skills Force website here

Find out more about the Make Young People Your Business campaign on the Our Skills Force website here

Our Skillsforce
Sets out all the skills support services available to employers from organisations such as Skills Development Scotland, JobCentre Plus and local authorities.

About the Skills Pulse Survey
This is the third Skills Pulse Survey undertaken every quarter alternately with members of the Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI) and Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

SCDI has developed this edition of the Survey, with responses collected between April and May 2013 analysed by the Training and Employment Research Unit at the University of Glasgow. It is supported by Skills Development Scotland.

┬╣Of the 79% of employers who said they had tried to fill vacancies in the previous 12 months, 59% had found it difficult, dropping to 18% attributing the problem to the quality of candidates.        

The Skills Pulse Survey provides an in-depth study of the importance employers place on the contribution of skills to their business success, as well as highlighting the skills and business challenges they are currently facing.

The Skills Pulse Survey is already providing important data to inform decision-making in Scotland's skills sector. As we move forward, the views of employers will be invaluable to ensure the skills in the economy match the needs of employers and that together we can invest in people for growth.

For further information or for media interviews contact:
John Robertson
Skills Development Scotland
0141 285 6051