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How can you find out more about the labour market in Scotland?
It depends how deeply you want to go into this subject. To help with career choices based on sectors which are strong in Scotland’s economy and to aid effective job search, the following sources are good places to enquire:
The Scottish Government's vision is that “economic development should raise the quality of life of Scottish people through increasing economic opportunities for all, on a socially and environmentally sustainable basis.” Government experts therefore keep a close eye on the labour market, especially in what they have identified as key sectors for growth:
Vacancies in some of these sectors are shown on the Talent Scotland website.
As in any country, local economies affect the kinds of job opportunities open in different places. For example, you won’t find fish farming in a city or up-market retailers in the heart of the countryside. On the other hand, there are some types of work which are found everywhere – largely the kinds of jobs which all citizens require, such as education, health and social services.
Two main economic development agencies cover the whole of Scotland:
These economic development agencies’ services are mainly targeted at businesses, and this is reflected in the information and services that they provide. The information on these websites reflects two main factors:
- the differing economic structures of the respective areas, and
- the fact that HIE’s remit includes both an economic and a social dimension.
From these websites you will see how the key sectors differ in the two regions, with financial services being more dominant in the more urban areas and agriculture employing a larger proportion of the population in the rural areas.
For a more detailed understanding of which jobs are likely to be found in particular locations, look at the Local Authority Labour Market Profiles on the Skills Development Scotland website. In the Employee Jobs section you can see how many people work in each sector in that geographic area.
University careers services advertise vacancies for graduates throughout the UK and overseas. The Scottish universities advertise a higher proportion of graduate jobs in Scotland than you will find on other websites aimed at graduates. They also advertise more jobs suitable for recent graduates than you will find on other websites aimed at Scottish job-seekers in the general population.
Because the higher education careers services share their vacancies, their websites are undoubtedly the best single source of vacancies suitable for graduate job seekers in Scotland. Make a point of checking your university careers service’s vacancy pages regularly as some vacancies will be advertised only there.
If you want to know more about trends on the labour market in Scotland, there are various reports which appear annually, quarterly and on an occasional basis. For most people, it is enough to read the summaries at the beginning of these reports to gain an overview of what is happening. Sometimes newspapers report the experts’ views, but it is a good idea to dip into the original reports to get the facts.
A “beginner’s guide” to many of these sources can be found on the AGCAS Scotland website.
Anyone who wants to delve deeper can look at Skills Development Scotland’s Research Online resource.