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Skills in Focus December 2014

4 December 2014

  • Skills in Focus events
  • Labour Market Intelligence

The event featured presentations on the key Scottish findings from the Employer Skills Survey, Employer Perspectives Survey and Working Futures from Dr Vicki Belt and Alex Thornton. Dr Belt is Assistant Director at UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and Mr Thornton is a Senior Research Manager.

The event was well attended with a variety of senior representatives from across the skills network. The organisations represented included the Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, Jobcentre Plus and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce. There was also representation from training providers, colleges and universities.

Dr Belt began with an overview of the role of UKCES and the activity it undertakes.

Mr Thornton then presented the Scottish findings from Employer Skills Survey 2013. The research found that job vacancies in Scotland increased when compared to 2011, but skills shortages are growing faster. Persistent pockets of skills shortages exist by sector, occupation and location. Skills gaps are falling but there is evidence of considerable under-use of skills.

Dr Belt presented some initial findings from the recently published Employer Perspectives Survey 2014. One of the key findings was that interpersonal skills are key in order to get young people that have left education into work. This is because employers are still using word of mouth and personal recommendations to recruit, and they want to see work experience, even though more could be offering work placement opportunities.

Dr Belt closed proceedings by summarising the findings from Working Futures 2012-2022 employment projections. Managerial, professional and associate professional occupations are projected to increase their dominance of UK employment. Consequently, higher level skills will continue to increase in importance. Middle-ranking administrative and manual jobs are projected to continue their long-term decline, potentially disrupting traditional employment entry routes and progression pathways.

The event showed that UKCES produces a rich and varied source of LMI for Scotland. All of the findings from their research and the related outputs are available on their website.

The presentation can be downloaded. Below is a video clip from the event.