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A new regional business forum comprised of senior figures from some of the top recruitment companies in Scotland and facilitated by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), has reacted to the Scottish Government’s new economic plan by suggesting three key strategies to boost employment growth.

Invest in education

Recruitment leaders agree that heavy investment into education, and specifically STEM subjects, is necessary to both improve academic standards and address specialist skills shortages- shortages which are impacting not only the Scottish, but also the European employment markets. The Government’s education department needs to collaborate further with businesses to develop workforce training programmes to address these shortages and leave Scotland with a competitive advantage. There was also consensus that the education system is failing students by giving them no preparation for “real world” commercial and life situations, and that exposure to these should become part of the core curriculum.

Keep graduates in Scotland

More must be done to deter Scottish students from moving to London in order to secure good jobs. As many large companies move their headquarters to Scotland, more opportunities are becoming available to Scottish graduates who might have traditionally moved south of the border. By highlighting these attractive alternatives, Scotland will ensure that it does not lose out in the war for talent.

Improve transport – lower cost and reduce time

The increased costs of flights between Scotland and the South prevent many SMEs from operating south of the border. Only one airline conducts flights between Glasgow, Edinburgh and London, so there is no competition and high prices go unchallenged. In order to boost Scotland’s employment market, quicker and cheaper access to its main cities must be facilitated.

Lisa Moore, APSCO’s Membership Relations Manager for Scotland, comments:

“The regional business forum was a great success, with many ideas on boosting Scotland’s employment market discussed. Perhaps the most popular initiative was to focus on education as a means of not only narrowing the specialist skills gap, but also of preparing graduates for business, thus giving Scotland a competitive edge in the war for talent.

ENDS

APSCo is the membership body that is dedicated to representing professional recruitment in the UK. It was formed to give all firms involved in the recruitment of professional talent who have a commitment to excellence, the specialist support and distinctive voice they need to be successful. It gives candidates and employers a trusted badge of quality whilst providing member firms with an innovative range of services designed for them by recruitment experts. These services, combined with its growing international profile, commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and opportunities for professional networking give APSCo members a unique opportunity to develop their businesses and gain competitive advantage (http://www.apsco.org).

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