Skills in Focus December 2014
4 December 2014
The ninth Skills in Focus event took place at the Menzies Hotel,
Glasgow on Thursday 4 December 2014 hosted by Paul McKelvie OBE,
Chair of the Joint Skills Committee. The Skills in Focus series is
intended to stimulate informed debate around current and future
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
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
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.