Scottish Employer Perspectives Survey 2019: research report

Comprehensive research report outlining the results of a survey of employers in Scotland regarding their approach to recruitment and training.


1. This question was only asked to those who had already been in business for 12 months or longer to prevent start-ups, who would be more likely to have grown during this period, from skewing the results.

2. Examples of this include suppliers offering training on a new piece of equipment.

3. Union Learning Fund, Flexible Training Opportunities, PACE and the right of employees to request time to train.

4. The last UK-wide EPS was carried out in 2016, principally commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE). Earlier editions of the UK-wide EPS were principally commissioned by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). 

5. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 include: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

6. RAG membership included officials from the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

7. The most recent data available at the time of the study.

8. See accompanying technical report for further details on establishments in scope for the survey.

9. Relative change is reflective of the change in percentage share of the establishment population

10. ROA region is defined by Local Authority in Appendix C

11. GDP growth of 2% in real terms compared to the first quarter of 2018 in Construction, compared to 1.4% overall (Scottish Government, 2019a). 

12. 24% of vacancies in 2017 and 2015 were skill shortage vacancies, Winterbotham et al. (2018a).

13. Academic qualifications such as Nationals, Highers or a degree

14. When recruiting, public sector employers must advance equality of opportunity between those who share an Equality Act 2010 protected characteristic and those who do not - removing or minimising disadvantages due to protected characteristics and taking steps to meet their needs. Larger employers, across all sectors, with 250 or more employees must report their gender pay gap.

15. This analysis shows differences in the proportion of employers engaging in DYW-type activities (using work inspiration activities as a proxy) among those who: (a) have not heard of or engaged with DYW Regional Groups; (b) have heard of but not engaged with DYW Regional Groups; and (c) have heard of and engaged with DYW Regional Groups.

16. This decline in training is consistent with other sources such as the Annual Population Survey (APS) which show the percentage of employees who reported receiving job related training (in the last 3 months) decreased from around one third of workers (31.2 per cent) in 2004 receiving job related training in the last 3 months, to 22.5 per cent in 2018 (Scottish Government, 2019d).

17. Commercial training organisations included consultants and private training providers.

18. Suppliers included organisations that were part of the supply chain, providing training on new equipment, machinery and software.

19. Vocational qualifications are “work-based qualifications…inherently practical and offer a guarantee that someone can do their job well and to national standards.” (SQA, 2018).

20. The Union Learning Fund (ULF) aims to encourage greater take up of learning in the workplace. The ULF is managed and administered by union learn, the TUC’s Learning and Skills Organisation, under an agreement with the Department for Education (DfE).

21. PACE helps companies and people who are facing redundancy, local teams assist businesses to try and minimise the risk of redundancy before it happens, and as such their services would only be used by businesses at risk of being made redundant.

22. The right to request time to train policy, gives employees of large businesses (with over 250 employees) the right to request time off for study or training (Department for Education, 2017).

23. Further information on Scottish apprenticeships can be found at: 

24. These proportions are based on employers that had current apprentices at the time of the survey. One might assume that employers who were offering apprenticeships but did not currently employ any at the time of the survey have ‘decreased’ the number of apprentices they employ, but the survey did not establish whether these establishments have previously employed any apprentices.

25. Note that these data on who approached employers about offering apprenticeships are based on a relatively small number of respondents (36) and should be interpreted with caution.

26. The remaining 9% of employers either reported that it varies too much to say or that they were not sure.

27. Note that these characteristics are not merely the opposite of the characteristics listed for the employers planning to start offering apprenticeships as there were varying levels of employers reporting that they were unsure of their intentions.

28. The number of employers expected their apprentice numbers to decrease over the next two years was too low (base of 17 employers) to report their reasons for expecting a decrease.

29. “Work inspiration” activities include activities such as hosting site visits for students, talking to them about their careers or conducting activities such as mock interviews to improve their employability.



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