Using the survey for analysis
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.
|Survey group||Population||Number of interviews||(Maximum) Sampling Error|
|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|
|Primary Sector and Utilities||13,300||233||± 6.36|
|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|
|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|
|Dumfries and Galloway||5,900||178||± 7.23|
|Edinburgh and Lothians||20,300||474||± 4.45|
|Forth Valley||7,500||166||± 7.52|
|Highlands and Islands||19,200||500||± 4.33|
|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.
|Base measure||Total||2 to 4||5 to 24||25 to 49||50-99||100+|
|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|
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