A quarterly review carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) involving more than 2,000 UK employers and covered all sectors, found that more than two-thirds (67%) of Scottish employers plan to recruit in the three months leading to September. This is an increase from 45% six months ago and 41% this time last year.
More than two fifths of UK employers (44%) said they would up-skill existing staff, a just over a quarter (26%) said they would hire more apprentices. A further 23% said they would raise wages.
77% of Scottish employers are planning a pay review in the 12 months to June 2022.
Ms Lee Ann Panglea, Head of CIPD Scotland and Northern Ireland, commented:
“We are seeing a significant improvement in Scottish employer confidence, especially compared with the figures we recorded this time last year - employers are very optimistic, indicating strong recruitment intentions and redundancy expectations appear much lower than originally predicted during the pandemic.
“As the furlough scheme winds down, employers will no longer be able to flex their workforce to meet demand by rapidly expanding and contracting staffing levels at minimal cost, so recruitment and retention will have to pick up the slack as employers look to plug any gaps in their workforce.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP welcomed the news:
“Many businesses – and we as consumers – are now picking the fruits of the financial support schemes that were put in place to help them survive the pandemic; as well as other measures including the ongoing 100% Non-domestic Rates relief the SNP Government extended until the end of this financial year 2021/22.
“It is heartening that, as we emerge out of lockdown, employers are returning to a position where it is not only financially possible again to expand their workforce; their confidence to actually recruit is a good indicator that they anticipate stability and – hopefully – improvement and expansion.”