Narrowing the region’s skills gap

Michael Moore MP
Michael Moore MP

Scottish businesses are facing the largest skill gap in the UK, with 19% of employers reporting that vacancies are proving hard to fill.

Borders MP Michael Moore expressed ‘deep concern’ about the findings by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), adding: “It is deeply concerning to see that Scottish businesses face the largest skills gap in the UK and staff proficiency problems are up from 2011.

“Businesses here in the Borders are crying out for skilled workers and I welcome the work they are doing through apprenticeships and work-based training to reduce the skills gap.

“Clearly more needs to be done to improve workplace training and this is why the Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling on the Scottish Government to take action.

“It is vital for businesses across the Borders and Scotland that they have the skilled workforce they need to grow and thrive and I will continue to work with companies across the region to ensure we are doing all we can to achieve this.”

A quarter of all vacancies in Scotland are proving hard to fill because of a shortage in available skills but the Scottish Government is making £1 million available to Scottish businesses to invest in young people.

The funding will be used to develop and promote opportunities for young people to gain the skills required by businesses and it is hoped that around 800 employers in Scotland will sign up in the next three years.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary Angela Constance, said of the plans to improve the skill levels of young people: “Tapping into the talents of a young workforce is not just the right thing to do but makes economic sense for employers and for Scotland.”