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Scotland's bosses want to work with pupils and students

10 June 2014

  • SDS press release

Survey reveals few Scottish employers engage with their future workers

ONLY eight per cent of Scottish employers surveyed feel they are currently doing enough to engage with the education and training system, and would welcome more support for active engagement to prepare young people entering the workplace.

The survey, conducted by the Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI) in partnership with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) also revealed that 55 per cent of employers believe advanced apprenticeships would help them develop their workforce.

Ross Martin, Chief Executive of SCDI said: "While the survey revealed few employers feel they are doing enough to prepare those entering the workplace, it is encouraging that an increasing number of Scotland's businesses realise the importance of establishing links with schools, colleges and universities.

"It is vital that employers help to shape the future workforce so that they can be confident those leaving the education system have the appropriate skills to support business growth."

He added: "With the survey also highlighting that many employers feel higher level apprenticeships would benefit their business, it reinforces the fact employers value work-based learning and want to play an active role in the education system."

Covering public and private sector employers and businesses of various sizes across Scotland, the survey also found that 85 per cent of employers recognise they have a role to play in providing young people with work experience opportunities.

Businesses also recognise the benefits of investing in the development of their current workforce with 94 per cent of employers saying they plan to provide training over the coming year.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Chief Executive, Damien Yeates said: "SDS has been developing work-based learning pathways to help close the gap between industry demand and the skills supply, so I welcome the news that employers want to work closer with the education system.

"Our continual development and expansion of Scotland's Modern Apprenticeship programme demonstrates our commitment to responding to employers needs."

The survey's findings come just a week after the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce, led by Sir Ian Wood, published its final report.

Aiming to reduce youth unemployment by 40 per cent by 2020, its recommendations included more support for employers to take on young employees as well as closer links between employers and schools and colleges.



For further information, please contact:

Frances Ridge, External Communications

0141 285 6131 or


The Skills Pulse Survey (SPS) was undertaken by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) in partnership with Skills Development Scotland and is available at the following link:

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 inScotland'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.