Industries like life sciences, renewables and the space sector are to be the focus of a new programme aiming to attract a more skilled workforce to Scotland.
As part of a priority action from the Scottish Government to meet skills gaps, the Industry Advisory Group for rUK Talent Attraction will help to inform the programme to recruit and retain workers from the rest of the UK.
The move also supports a commitment from the Programme for Government to develop a talent attraction and migration service, which will seek to bring in skilled workers and assist them in making Scotland their home.
Business minister Ivan McKee, who chaired the group’s first meeting, said the country needs to attract more people of a working age in order to meet the needs of key sectors, raise competitiveness and ensure Scotland’s workforce is a positive factor when it comes to inward investment.
Mr McKee added: “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.”
Gordon McGuinness, director of industry and enterprise at Skills Development Scotland (SDS), 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.”
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