Scottish Employer Perspectives Survey 2019: technical report

Technical report accompanying the Scottish EPS 2019 research report providing background information on the methodology used.


The Scottish Employer Perspectives Survey

The Scottish Employer Perspectives Survey (EPS) is a large-scale survey of 2,650 employers in Scotland. It provides robust and reliable labour market information on how employers engage with the skills system in Scotland. This includes how employers recruit new staff, their perceptions of new recruits (including young people and education leavers), their engagement with training providers and their offering of work placements and apprenticeships.

This is the inaugural Scottish EPS, however the survey has emerged from a UK-wide EPS series which was conducted biennially every other year starting since 2010.[1] Thus there exists a long time-series for many of the key measures included in the Scottish EPS. The Scottish EPS sits alongside the Employer Skills Survey (ESS) which was last carried out at a UK-wide level in 2017 and focuses on employers' skills demands, skills shortages and training within organisation.

IFF Research was commissioned by the Scottish Government to carry out the research for the Scottish EPS 2019. The design and execution of the research was overseen by a Research Advisory Group (RAG) convened by the Scottish Government, including officials representing: the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

Structure of this report

This technical report provides background information on the methodology used for carrying out the Scottish EPS. It is divided into six chapters, each considering a different area of survey design and methodology in detail:

  • Sample design: detailing the method by which employers were selected to take part in the research, including the setting of quota targets and sample volumes;
  • Questionnaire design: detailing the considerations taken into account in the design of the questionnaire, including comparability with previous UK-wide EPS surveys, new question areas for EPS 2019, and the methods by which the survey was tested and refined to ensure high quality data collection;
  • Fieldwork: providing a detailed overview of how the interviews were carried out, quality control procedures, and the levels of response achieved;
  • Coding: explaining how verbatim responses to survey questions were classified for analysis;
  • Weighting: detailing how the survey responses were processed to ensure that the resulting dataset was representative of the population of businesses in Scotland; and
  • Using the data: considering the reliability and margins of statistical error of figures produced from the dataset.



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