Growth is here but skills shortages could block continued recovery
Scottish Chambers of Commerce’s Quarterly Business Survey engages with 6 of Scotland’s key sectors: Construction, Financial & Business Services, Manufacturing, Retail, Tourism, and Wholesale.
These findings, released in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute show the position of businesses for Quarter 2 of 2014.
Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:
“These results show that business is focused on what we do best; doing business and achieving results. Majority of sectors are experiencing continued growth with key indicators maintained from the last quarter, showing that business is on the right track.
“Construction and manufacturing reported better than expected results, exceeding the expectations from last quarter. Confidence in manufacturing and construction is near record high, signalling a move towards solid growth prospects, indicated by increased orders. The construction industry hired more people, enabled by better than forecast orders which are expected to continue into the next quarter. The manufacturing industry reported an increase in export orders and investment with investment at its highest level since 2007.
“Employment is a key measurement of business mood and our findings show that with increased growth and confidence, businesses are now moving away from employing temporary staff towards new permanent full time positions. This is good news for everyone providing employees and business with a level of stability.
“Skills shortages existent in the workforce are making it difficult for business to source and employ the skilled staff required to maintain this growth. Our continued failure to address these issues will block the ability of business to continue on this path. The positive results from business should act as motivation for swift action. Colleges, universities, Government, with business at the core and in the driving seat, need to develop and implement a realistic plan to plug these gaps urgently.”