UK Employer Skills Survey 2022 – Scotland Report

Publication of Scotland results from the UK Employer Skills Survey 2022.

Data and Methodology

The 2022 ESS survey is the second time ESS findings have been published as Official Statistics by the Scottish Government (the first was the Scottish ESS 2020). The Scottish Government have also previously published EPS 2019 and EPS 2021 as Official Statistics. ESS 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 figures referred to in this publication were published in research reports by the UK Government Department for Education (DfE).

The population from which the sample was taken based on all ‘establishments’ in Scotland that had at least two employees (including owners and working proprietors), but not including any workers not on the payroll, like self-employed contractors or agency staff. This approach matches previous rounds of the survey and has been taken as it tends to be much easier for survey respondents to think in terms of the overall ‘headcount’ for their site – including both working proprietors and employees – than to separate out these two groups.

However, the ESS survey excluded the self-employed (with no employees). The question approach for this group would need to be somewhat different, since they are by definition not employers. There is also an absence of robust population figures for this group, meaning robust and representative sampling and weighting is difficult to achieve.

The survey encompassed establishments across the whole of the UK, covering all sectors of the economy (the commercial, public and charitable spheres). The profile of this population for sampling was established through Office for National Statistics (ONS) data from the March 2021 Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR), the most up to date business population figures available at the time of the survey. For weighting, the 2022 IDBR figures were used as the most up to date figures available.

ESS 2022 was the first in the series to use a Random Probability Sampling (RPS) approach, where all sample issued is processed according to agreed protocols until all leads are exhausted, meaning that units sampled from given population cells have an equal and known probability of being sampled.

Telephone interviews were conducted between June 2022 and March 2023. Data was collected via Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). A total of 5,207 interviews were achieved with Scottish employers. Large sections of the survey were modularised to ensure that ESS and EPS legacy questions could be covered without adding significantly to interview length. Establishments were randomly allocated to one of four modules (only English establishments were assigned to a fifth module E, not containing any modular questions). A core section of the survey was asked of all modules, while modular questions were assigned to one or more modules, depending on the needed sample size. Table 14 shows the number of completed interviews in each module, for Scottish establishments.

Table 14: Interviews achieved in Scotland, per module
Module A Module B Module C Module D Module E[3]
1,325 1,334 1,332 1,213 3

The overall response rate for Scotland was 52%, calculated as ‘achieved interviews’ as a proportion of all respondents who started the survey. This is in line with UK-level response rate (53%), and response rates in England (52%), Northern Ireland (53%), and Wales (57%).

Further detailed technical information is available in the accompanying technical report, published on the DfE website. Data regarding which codes are used for grouped categories can be found within the full UK report that will be published later this year. Further data can be accessed in published data tables accompanying this report on the Scottish Government website. Accompanying ‘Background Tables’ include underlying data used in the report.



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