Scotland’s labour market continues to paint a varied picture. While employment is high and unemployment is low, staff shortages, recruitment challenges and labour market supply continue to present stubborn barriers for businesses.
The latest quarterly economic indicator business survey by Scottish Chambers of Commerce signals that at least half of Scottish firms are finding it hard to fill their available jobs.
This is reflected in the fact that vacancy rates are at record levels with more vacancies in the market than people available to fill them.
A wide range of sectors including hospitality and tourism, airports, transport logistics, care sector, and engineering are navigating the challenges of a tight labour market, which is holding back growth for companies across the country.
As these challenges look set to continue, businesses are clear that we must address the immediate short-term challenges of sourcing talent by, for example, introducing sector-specific visa routes. Longer term, we need to continue aligning our domestic skills policies and skills services with the needs of the economy.
As an organisation, we were actively involved in the recent review of career services in Scotland. We agree with the final report’s acknowledgement that Scottish career services are already a world-class standard.
However, as economies constantly deal with new challenges and opportunities, we also agree with the recommendation that the services must continue to evolve alongside changes in the world of work.
It has never been more important to work together to support people of all ages to develop their knowledge and experience of this changing world of work.
This gives employers an exciting opportunity to put a spotlight on their industry and attract fresh skills and talent to shape their own future workforce.
Scottish Careers Week, which returns next week, comes at an important time to galvanise the business community around engaging local talent and showcasing sector opportunities.
Following on from the success of last year’s first campaign, Scottish Careers Week will take place from November 7 to 11.
The week, led by Skills Development Scotland, will inform people about their career and education choices, highlight available opportunities, and offer businesses the chance to reach and engage local talent.
Under the theme ‘Shape the Future’, a wide range of events and activities will help people of all ages explore and manage their career choices while offering employers the opportunity to showcase pathways into their sectors.
Scottish Chambers of Commerce are proud to return as a key partner and supporter of the week and encourage all employers in Scotland to get involved.
Scottish Careers Week presents the ideal opportunity to highlight your industry and take advantage of the untapped talent among young people and the wider labour market.
Inspired by the success of our first Careers Week employer event in 2021, we have teamed up with Skills Development Scotland, Career Ready and the Career Transition Partnership to offer another business-led virtual event taking place on November 9.
All Scottish employers are invited to hear about our partners’ services and learn how to reach local talent, from school pupils to adult career changers.
Employers must continue to adapt to a changing labour market and the services provided by Skills Development Scotland can help them do just that.
As workforce challenges are predicted to continue well into 2023, this type of collaborative approach will be critical to ensure that Scottish businesses can access the talent they need.