# Scottish Employer Skills Survey 2020: Technical Report

Technical report for the Scottish Employer Skills Survey 2020.

## Using the survey for analysis

### Reporting

The headline results from the survey are available in an Official Statistics Publication on the Scottish Government website. Supplementary data accompanying the Official Statistics Publication can also be found on the Scottish Government website. Accompanying 'Background Tables' include underlying data used in the report and the 'Additional Tables' provide a more extensive set of data collected in the survey.

### Sampling error and statistical confidence

Sampling errors for the survey results overall and for key sub-groups are presented in Table 6. Figures have been based on a survey result of 50% (the 'worst' case in terms of statistical reliability) and have used a 95% confidence level. Where the table indicates that a survey result based on all respondents has a sampling error of ±1.64%, this should be interpreted as follows: 'for a question asked of all respondents where the survey result is 50%, we are 95% confident that the true figure lies within the range 48.36% to 51.64%'. Significance testing on employer measures use the unweighted respondent base, while employment measures, and density measures such as the proportion of the workforce with skills gaps and skills-shortage vacancy density, have been calculated on the basis of the unweighted employment (or vacancy) base.

As a note, the calculation of sampling error has taken into account the finite population correction factor to account for cases where we are measuring a significant portion of the population universe (i.e. even if two sample sizes are the same, the sampling error will be lower if in one case a far higher proportion of the population was covered).

These confidence intervals are based on the assumptions of random probability sampling and a normal distribution of responses.

Table 6: Sampling error (at the 95% confidence level) associated with findings of 50%
Survey group Population Number of interviews (Maximum) Sampling Error
Overall 151,600 3,497 ± 1.64
2 to 4 76,200 873 ± 3.30
5 to 24 58,900 1,707 ± 2.34
25 to 49 8,600 452 ± 4.49
50 to 99 4,400 244 ± 6.10
100+ 3,400 221 ± 6.38
Primary Sector and Utilities 13,300 233 ± 6.36
Manufacturing 7,100 256 ± 6.01
Construction 13,400 214 ± 6.65
Wholesale and Retail 28,400 692 ± 3.68
Hotels and Restaurants 16,400 408 ± 4.79
Transport and Storage 4,800 123 ± 8.72
Information and Communications 4,500 67 ± 11.89
Financial Services 2,700 54 ± 13.20
Business Services 30,400 608 ± 3.93
Public Administration 2,800 65 ± 12.01
Education 4,400 167 ± 7.44
Health and Social Work 10,700 363 ± 5.06
Arts and Other Services 12,700 247 ± 6.17
Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire 17,100 410 ± 4.78
Ayrshire 9,100 230 ± 6.38
Borders 4,300 109 ± 9.27
Dumfries and Galloway 5,900 178 ± 7.23
Edinburgh and Lothians 20,300 474 ± 4.45
Fife 8,600 201 ± 6.83
Forth Valley 7,500 166 ± 7.52
Glasgow 21,300 375 ± 5.02
Highlands and Islands 19,200 500 ± 4.33
Lanarkshire 16,700 328 ± 5.36
Tayside 12,100 314 ± 5.46
West 9,500 197 ± 6.91
West Lothian 4,100 87 ± 10.40

Note: due to overlap between some ROAs, the sum of the number of interviews across the ROAs will exceed the total number of interviews. Population data is taken from the 2020 Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) ‒ the latest available business population statistics published by ONS at the time of reporting.

### Explaining variation between sub-groups in the report

Table 6shows the total number of interviews achieved across the entire sample. However, a number of measures are based only on a subsection of the sample. For example, questions on the provision of training were only asked of establishments that had arranged or funded training for their staff in the last 12 months (2,396 unweighted establishments). Table 7 shows common subsample bases used in reporting and their respective base sizes, both at an overall level and split by sizeband. Lower sample sizes achieved, increase the maximum sampling error, as shown in Table 6.

Table 7: Interviews achieved across key measures and by size band
Base measure Total 2 to 4 5 to 24 25 to 49 50-99 100+
All establishments 3,497 873 1,707 452 244 221
All establishments with vacancies 637 36 250 125 96 130
All establishments with skill-shortage vacancies 153 10 57 41 14 31
All establishments with skills gaps 638 39 309 125 78 87
All establishments with a need for upskilling 2,399 524 1,194 333 175 173
All establishments funding / arranging training in the past 12 months 2,396 400 1,186 394 215 201
All establishments who furloughed staff since March 2020 2,380 510 1,255 317 164 134

### Contact

Email: FHEstatistics@gov.scot