Scottish Employer Perspectives Survey 2021

Results from the 2021 Scottish Employer Perspectives Survey.


The Scottish Employer Perspectives Survey (EPS) 2021 is a large-scale telephone survey of employers in Scotland, which provides labour market information on how employers engage with the skills system in Scotland, including:

  • their recruitment of new staff;
  • their perceptions of new recruits (including young people and education leavers);
  • their awareness and use of schemes or initiatives; and
  • their offering of work placements and apprenticeships.

The 2021 survey comprised 1,000 telephone interviews with employers between November and December 2021. This is a robust sample size which covers a range of sectors, regions and establishment sizes. The sample was drawn from commercial data supplier, Market Location. Following fieldwork, the data was weighted back to the ONS Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) population to ensure it was representative. It is the first in the series to be undertaken since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and since the UK's formal departure from the European Union. The publication of the 2021 Scottish EPS is the second after a longstanding UK-wide EPS series which was conducted biennially from 2010 to 2016. The last Scottish EPS was undertaken in 2019.[1]

Further information about the EPS method can be found in the Methodology section of this release and the accompanying Technical Report. This is an Official Statistics release covering the key statistics in the survey. Further data are available in published data tables alongside this report on the Scottish Government website. Accompanying 'Background Tables' include underlying data used in the report.

Reporting conventions

The terms "establishment", "employer" and "workplace" are used interchangeably throughout this report to avoid excessive repetition.

The survey population is UK businesses with 2+ employment; this means businesses with at least two people working on payroll including working proprietors. When reporting volume and density measures, we typically refer to 'employees' throughout the report rather than employment.

Where comparisons are made across regions, this is referring to the Regional Outcome Agreement (ROA region). 'Appendix A – Definitions' shows how local authorities match to these region categories.

Throughout the report unweighted base figures are shown on tables and charts to give an indication of the statistical reliability of the figures. These figures are always based on the number of establishments answering a question, as this is the information required to determine statistical reliability.

In the tables, "zero" is denoted as a dash ("-"); and an asterisk is used ("*") if the figure is larger than zero but less than 0.5%.

In the tables and charts, figures with a base size of fewer than 30 establishments are not reported (a double asterisk, "**", is displayed instead), and figures with a base size of 30 to 49 are italicised and should be treated with caution as the margin of error for these results is larger and therefore the results are less statistically reliable.

This report provides a descriptive overview of the key statistics from the survey. All differences referred to in the report commentary are statistically significant at the 95% level of confidence. This applies to differences between survey subgroups, such as region, size and sector, and also to differences over time.



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