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Scottish Employers Skills Survey 2008

Scottish Employers Skills Survey 2008

Futureskills Scotland undertakes a large-scale survey of Scottish employers every other year. The 2008 survey covered 6,300 employers and results are representative for Scotland as a whole.

The survey covers business challenges, recruitment, skill shortages, skill gaps and training activity. The analysis of the most recent survey is now available at:


The Survey showed:

  • Establishments cited 'cash flow' as the challenge that was most likely to need addressed in the coming 12 months, with the 'downturn in the economic climate' coming next.
  • 'Attracting appropriately skilled staff' and 'attracting new customers' were both second order challenges.
  • Vacancies can be hard-to-fill for a variety of reasons. These include applicants lacking the necessary skills, qualifications and experience. But they also include employers' perceptions of applicants' attitude and motivation. Where hard-to-fill vacancies occur, they have a significant impact on business in terms of increased costs, meeting customer service standards, quality and innovation.
  • Where skills problems arise this is mainly because of weaknesses in softer core skills such as planning and organising, customer handling, problem solving and team working.
  • Very small firms have higher rates of vacancies, hard-to-fill vacancies and skill shortages than larger firms. Very small firms are also less likely than others to train their staff.