Skills and Employment

Skills and Employment

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Our Labour Market

Our people are our biggest asset. Investing in people through skills and employment improves lives and life prospects, helping to secure a strong, inclusive and sustainable economy.

One third (855,000) of Scotland’s total jobs are located within Glasgow City Region. And 42.3% of our residents are educated to degree level, the second highest amongst the UK’s Core City Regions. We also have the largest percentage of individuals, 67.3%, in quality jobs amongst comparable UK city regions. We know where our strengths lie but we are also aware of our challenges.

With a working age employment rate of 72.7%, we are below the Scottish and UK averages. At the start of 2020, 35,800 working age individuals were unemployed which is the second lowest amongst the UK’s Core City Regions. However, with 24.7% of our working age population economically inactive, this is the second highest rate amongst the UKs Core city regions. In terms of skills, despite making real improvements in the last decade, GCR continues to be above the national average with higher levels of residents with no qualifications.

Addressing poverty and inequality is one of the grand challenges that we face. The 2020 Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation data shows well over half of the most deprived data zones in Scotland are located within GCR – communities where 450,000 people live, a quarter of the Region’s total population.

One of the key challenges to levelling up in Glasgow City Region is Skills and Employment.

Investing in people through skills and employment

Policy Landscape

The policy landscape for Skills and Employment has changed significantly over recent years and continues to evolve. Responsibility for Skills is wholly devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Over recent years we have seen major investment and structural change through the creation of a national skills agency, Skills Development Scotland, and in the Further Education sector with consolidation of the number of Regional colleges. Glasgow City Region is home to six of the nation’s 18 Universities and 6 Further Education Colleges, the highest concentration outside of London.

Further devolution over recent years has seen significant responsibility for elements of employability and some social welfare benefits fall within scope of the Scottish Parliament.

Our Skills and Employment systems need to adapt with a greater emphasis on upskilling and reskilling, digital and meta skills and higher value jobs. Furthermore, they will require to be more agile and more aligned with future demand in the labour market.

The Skills and Employment Portfolio Group leads in this area.