Scotland’s labour market continues to tighten

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Demand for permanent and temporary staff in Scotland has increased in the past few months, according to a new jobs survey.

Statistics put together by Royal Bank of Scotland have indicated that IT and computing saw the highest level of permanent vacancies in January. However, while temporary positions have increased slightly overall, the largest number of unfilled part-time vacancies were in medical, nursing and care professions.

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Report on Jobs determined that the rate of deterioration in permanent staff supply was the strongest it has looked since 2014. The report consists of multiple responses to a survey sent to around 100 recruitment and employment consultancies.

Sebastian Burnside, chief economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said:

”Continued expansion in permanent job placements and temporary staff billings across Scotland was seen in January, indicating further signs of a tightening labour market.

”Overall, survey data portrayed a favourable labour market for workers in Scotland, with pay pressures rising as a result of strong imbalances in staff supply and demand.”


Record low unemployment in Scotland

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported a record low of people unemployed in Scotland in the final months of 2018. 

However, the fact that the job market is now very crowded could lead to issues for people wanting to find employment in the future.


UK Job centre. Credit J Ellison.

In the last ten years, the Scottish economy has been re-energised by the spirit of entrepreneurship. People across the country are contributing massively to the Scottish job market by creating businesses and brands that excite and capture the imagination of the public. This, in turn, creates a demand for people who have a wide range of skills that appeal to potential employers.

Findings by the ONS reported that employment among people aged 16-24 was around 60% with more than 300,000 young people in either full or part-time work. It also revealed that the youth unemployment rate was down by 1.2% reaching 8.4%. Overall, Scotland had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.6% compared to 4.1% in England and 3.9% in Wales.

Scotland has kept costs for homegrown students to a minimum which means more young people and even older people are pursuing further education.

A college student studying construction shred his thought on how these figures are negative for him:

The ONS reported that between September and November last year, the unemployment figures dropped to below 100,000. This means that over 75% of the working population in Scotland is in employment. This comes as good news as Brexit grows ever closer.

Scottish Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Despite the huge and continued challenges of Brexit, the Scottish economy remains resilient and our jobs market is strengthening.”

It was recently revealed Sir James Dyson was moving his headquarters from the UK to Singapore amid Brexit chaos. This may, however, turn out to be a good move for the UK. Dyson is trying to tap into the massive Asian consumer market. If business profits increase then the company will have to pay more in UK taxes.

Scotland has seen a sharp rise in the number of permanent and temporary staff over the later months of 2018. This growth in the job market outperformed the UK as a whole. Both staff groups also found that they were receiving on average, higher wages. This may be due to the drop in workers’ availability where employers have to employ more people to cover workers who possess the skills required but have other commitments.

Even though the low unemployment figures are a good sign that people are in work and are able to contribute to the economy it does pose problems for people who are coming straight into a heavily saturated job market where there are fewer opportunities than there was before. The hope is that continued investment by people with an idea or a business can generate more wealth for the whole of Scotland.

University sued for ‘Mickey Mouse’ degree as students are encouraged to bring ‘other life skills’ by employers

A former student is taking legal action against her university claiming she was left with little more than a “Mickey Mouse” degree.

Pok Wong is suing Anglia Ruskin University for £60,000 claiming the degree has not furthered her career despite graduating with a first in 2013.

Similar court cases have always ruled in favour of the University in the past but with expensive tuition fees it’s no surprise that student’s may expect their degree to gain them entry to their chosen field.

Anglia Ruskin University Image Credit: Mohammed Tawsif Salam


There are clear advantages for most who take part in further education. A 2016 Government report showed that graduates had a higher employment rate of 88% compared to the 70.4% of non-graduates. University leavers also see higher income, earning on average £9,500 more annually than those without a degree.

Gerry Mcphail, 29  is studying an MsC in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot Watt University and will be graduating in the summer.

He said, “I’ve not got a job yet but I don’t think it’ll be too hard getting one, the course has a pretty good employment rate.

“It might be trickier for me, due to my partners job I’m pretty much stuck in Glasgow or Edinburgh whereas others on the course are applying all over the world. It’s a pretty well recognised course internationally so that’s the route a lot of students go.

“I should be fine though, this is my second degree so I’d  hope I can get a job with two masters degrees.”

Lewis Mcdonald, 22, is at Glasgow Caledonian studying a BA (Hons) in Media and communication and will also be finishing his studies in the coming months.He said;

“I don’t have a job lined up, but mostly because I haven’t looked. With my dissertation and work outside of Uni i haven’t spent much time focusing on getting a job with my degree.

“I do think the degree was worth it  but more so for just having a degree than it being this specific degree. I suppose i’ll be able to answer that better in a few years.”

With the amount of graduates entering the workplace year on year, most companies look for more than just a qualification when interviewing.

JP Morgan Office, Dublin, Image Credit: Eric Jones


Adele Gibson is a Senior Associate at JP Morgan who works in graduate recruitment.

She said, “We always look at applicant’s extra-curricular activities while at university alongside their academic qualifications.

“While we do obviously look for people with good degrees from top universities, we have found that candidates with other life skills can often outperform someone who perhaps has a first but no real life experience.

“We also aim for diversity in our recruitment process, having people from lots of different walks of life helps us look at projects from many different perspectives.” 

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Expanding retailer at Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport retailer created 44 new jobs. Image courtesy of flikr/Matte Doni

Edinburgh Airport retailer created 44 new jobs. Image courtesy of Matte Doni/ Flickr

Edinburgh Airport is seeing an increase in job opportunities as World Duty Free doubles the size of its store  in the capital’s airport.

The travel retailer has expanded, creating dozens of new jobs. The store has hired 44 more staff  as it moves to a larger premises in the airport.

With outlets across the UK, World Duty Free is one of the most popular stores among travellers. They have sites in Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

The branch has a wide range of products on offer, including cosmetics, perfume, fashion accessories, spirits and souvenirs.

Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar stated in a press release:

“This fantastic World Duty Free store doubling in size is a great example of how we have listened to our passengers and have delivered greater choice to improve the constantly evolving Edinburgh Airport experience.”


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