Scotland lures skilled workers from rest of UK

Edinburgh's Princes Street

The Scottish Government is developing an aggressive plan to recruit and retain skilled workers from the rest of the UK.

As part of a “priority action” in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation to meet skills gaps, Business Minister Ivan McKee has chaired the first meeting of the Industry Advisory Group for rUK Talent Attraction.

“The group will help inform a programme to recruit and retain workers from the rest of the UK,” said the Scottish Government.

“This also supports a Programme for Government commitment to develop a Talent Attraction and Migration Service to bring in skilled workers and help them to make Scotland their home.”

Industries such as life sciences, renewables and the space sector will be included in the focus for the new programme.

McKee 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.”

Head of Global Networks at Scottish Enterprise Julie Morrison said: “As global competition for talent continues to intensify, it is more important than ever that Scotland continues to attract and retain a highly skilled talent pool that augments our country’s existing world-class workforce and ensures our ambitious businesses continue to innovate and grow.

“Building on our TalentScotland platform, Scottish Enterprise will mobilise our international networks to encourage more talent to become part of Scotland’s thriving entrepreneurial community.”