Futureskills Scotland
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More jobs and a better qualified workforce by 2017

There will be 80,000 more jobs in Scotland by 2017, according to a recent report from Futureskills Scotland.  Scotland’s workforce in 2017 will also be more highly-qualified than it is today. Employment growth will be dominated by the service industries, in both the public and private sector.
Welcoming the report, Iain Duff, Chief Economist of the SCDI said “This report provides the type of evidence and information required to ensure the Scottish economy has the appropriate skills to compete effectively. It also underlines the challenges. All sectors will require an ever more highly skilled workforce – whether to support the substantial growth in services or the trend to higher value manufacturing.  It is imperative that employers, employees, both current and future, skills providers and educational institutions are able to react and adapt. This report, more than ever, emphasises the importance of investing in skills to improve Scotland’s productivity and prosperity. Tackling economic inactivity, skills development, attracting fresh talent and promoting flexible, sustainable working lives must be priorities.”
The main findings from the latest Labour Market Projections report from Futureskills Scotland include:
  • Modest growth in the total number of jobs available
  • Considerable job opportunities to fill jobs which become vacant as workers leave employment
  • Increase in the number of part-time workers
  • Employment growth will be concentrated in public and private sector service industries and higher skilled and service-orientated occupations
  • Job openings across all industries and occupations with most of the openings occurring in service industries and managerial and professional jobs.
  • Increasing numbers of older workers in the labour force,
  • Increasing number of individuals obtaining the highest levels of qualifications.
Over the next decade, employment will continue to shift away from manual occupations towards higher skilled and service-orientated jobs. Professional, managerial and sales and customers service occupations will dominate employment growth over the period. However, as result of the need to replace workers who leave employment, there will be job openings across all industries and occupations in Scotland over the same period.
More of the Scottish workforce in 10 years time will have higher-level qualifications. In 2007, around a third of the working age population hold further and higher education qualifications. This is expected to rise to almost half of the working age population by 2017.   This increase reflects the increasing number of individuals in Scotland gaining professional and post-graduate qualifications. 
Over the same period, the number of people with low or now qualifications is expected to decline .The proportion of the working age population with no qualifications is projected to fall from 13 per cent in 2007 to six per cent in 2017.
Dr. Patrick Watt, Head of Futureskills Scotland, said: “Our projections show that employment in Scotland will continue to grow over the next 10 years. Continued investment in education by the state, employers and individuals will lead to a more highly-qualified Scottish workforce. Our previous research has highlighted the importance of softer, core skills such as teamworking, problem-solving and customer-handling. These are likely to become more important in meeting the demand for higher-skilled workers in the service sectors.”
Charlene O’Connor, Director of Skills and Learning at Scottish Enterprise, believes this is a very healthy trend for Scotland: “These forecasts underline the increasing value of having the right skills for the job. As Scotland’s industry and sectoral mix changes it is clear that we need people with better and higher  skills, to help us compete on the global stage. I am encouraged by these projections, as they indicate an appetite to improve Scotland’s skill base, which is an aim that Scottish Enterprise whole-heartedly supports, through a variety of mechanisms and one which we’re committed to delivering.”
1.    Futureskills Scotland is part of the Enterprise networks in Scotland.  Its role is to provide better access to high quality labour market intelligence and analysis. These projections present a picture of what the labour market in Scotland might look like in the future, using past trends and events to model the future. Labour market projections cannot accurately predict the exact number of jobs there will be in certain occupations or industries. However, they do provide a broad indication of the likely trends.
2.      Job openings can arise for two reasons. New jobs arise because of growth in the economy in Scotland. Most of the job openings in Scotland will be replacement jobs. That is, job openings which will occur because of the need to replace workers who either permanently or semi-permanently leave the labour market. Some of these workers will re-enter the labour market during the next ten years.
3.      Employment is Scotland has steadily grown from 2.3 million in 1982 to 2.6 million in 2007. This trend is expected to continue in the future with total employment in Scotland expected to increase by 84,000 by 2017. This is a three per cent increase in the number of jobs between now and 2017.

Media contacts

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the Futureskills Scotland website at www.futureskillsscotland.org.uk  or by contacting:  

Helen Murray  Tel: 0141 228 2564, 07789 272304  

Email: Helen.murray@scotent.co.uk                                        

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