Talent search

Holyrood aims to poach workers from rest of UK

Ivan McKee
Ivan McKee: expanding the talent pool (pic: Terry Murden)

Scotland’s skills gap will be tackled by a new government-led programme to attract workers into key Industries from other parts of the UK.

Staff working in life sciences, renewables, and the space sector will be targeted under the Talent Attraction and Migration Service to boost the skills pool and help them to make Scotland their home.

Business Minister Ivan McKee has chaired the first meeting of the Industry Group for rUK Talent Attraction.

He said: “Scotland needs to attract more working age people to meet the needs of key sectors, to raise competitiveness and to ensure the workforce continues to be a positive factor in inward investment.

“This Industry Advisory Group will explore how best to shape a talent attraction programme which can expand Scotland’s talent pool at all levels, to give employers the skills pipeline needed to take advantage of opportunities, and ultimately benefit our economy.

“To become a competitive career destination, Scotland must match the efforts of other countries with similar challenges and ensure that we offer a high quality service of co-ordinated support to attract and retain workers and their families.”

Director of Industry and Enterprise at Skills Development Scotland Gordon McGuinness said: “An inclusive, resilient and skilled talent pool is central to Scotland meeting its economic ambitions, and SDS is committed to working with businesses so they can develop the workforce required to drive innovation, entrepreneurial thinking and productivity.


“The needs of business must lie at the heart of this approach. This new group will make an important contribution to enhancing partnership working and creating a talent attraction programme that strengthens and complements the existing skills support available through SDS and its partners.”

The Industry Advisory Group will initially focus on ‘high value’ sectors, and occupations within those sectors, as a sub-set of the wider Population Strategy, to increase inward investment, stimulating economic growth and making Scotland a more attractive proposition for anyone to move to Scotland.

Priority growth sectors which will create jobs and bring overall benefits to Scotland’s regions and wider economy include life sciences, technology/fintech, advanced manufacturing – mechanical and electronics, financial services, space, and renewables.

Other sectors of the economy which are proactively seeking to attract talent are already supported by a range of activity across Scottish Government and the wider public sector, including actions within the Population Strategy and the NHS talent attraction campaign.

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