Key Messages

  • 70% of participants believe there is a disconnect between current university focus and industry requirements
  • 64% of participants believe there is a current skills gap within their business
  • 61% of participants have experienced at least 1 skills shortage vacancy in the last 12 months which has remained open for over 3 months

However

  • 70% of participants believe there is a disconnect between current university focus and industry requirements
  • 64% of participants believe there is a current skills gap within their business
  • 61% of participants have experienced at least 1 skills shortage vacancy in the last 12 months which has remained open for over 3 months

Technology Scotland’s recent Skills & Recruitment Survey found that Scotland’s Emerging and Enabling (E&E) Tech Sector is optimistic about its future, with almost 90% of businesses surveyed stating that Scotland remains an attractive place for technology companies to work.

With the E&E sector currently supplying 10% of Scottish exports and with 400 enterprises employing over 15,000 high skill R&D role professionals at salaries 67% above the national average, its sustained growth is vital to the Country’s desirability as a business location and to the wider economy. It’s clear that Scotland’s E&E sector offers appealing benefits to employees, and with proper nurturing, could be a leading talent incubator for the industry – with 86% of employers citing Scotland as their primary source of employee hire.

That said, Technology Scotland CEO, Stephen Taylor, states that: “in spite of the rapid growth of Scotland’s E&E Sector, it is widely acknowledged that attracting and retaining talent within the STEM industries can be challenging”. Certainly, with 61% of businesses experiencing at least one skills shortage vacancy over the last 12 months and 64% of businesses believing that there is a current skills gap within their organisation, a lack of suitable candidates remains a major concern for tech firms in Scotland.

A priority in this respect is the need to address the 70% reported disconnect between industry requirements and university focus – with a further 56% stating that graduates do not have the necessary skills to add value to businesses once they join the workforce and 60% of businesses having no internal graduate training programme in place.

Nevertheless, whilst skills shortages remain an issue, the report suggests that businesses are eager to explore a range of methods of retaining, training and employing staff. 77% stated that they have funded or facilitated training on-the-job, with 34% reporting that they have taken on a modern apprentice.

Unsurprisingly, the vacancies commanding the greatest demand are technical roles, where participants stated they have a high requirement for a full range of expertise, from modern apprentices to CEO/Director level.

Taylor added: “Our survey shows that companies are retaining staff well in spite of current political uncertainties, however when it comes to filling current vacancies and sourcing graduates from Scottish universities, more work is needed to address challenges and avoid further disconnect.”

Categories: Encourage

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