Gaps and Opportunities: Employers’ Perspectives on Skills Policy in Scotland

Recent months have seen growing reports of labor and skills shortages across various sectors in Scotland, with 41% of businesses reporting vacancies that are hard to fill, particularly in the professional professions. In addition, employers who recruit directly from a school, college or university are concerned about preparing young people for the job.

The impact of the pandemic on business activity, labor mobility and the number of apprentices, combined with changes to the UK immigration system, have contributed to this difficult environment. However, our recent survey, conducted for the CIPD by YouGov, shows there are clear gaps in what employers are doing to address the problem, and remarkably low levels of awareness of key Scottish skills initiatives that could be useful.

The aim of this report is to highlight some of the experiences and perceptions of employers in Scotland on skills development and training, and to offer a series of conclusions and recommendations in six key areas:

  • labor and skills shortages
  • management approaches to training
  • relationships with training providers
  • young people and work
  • learning
  • Scottish Skills Initiatives.

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