EMPLOYERS in Scotland are less likely to take on additional staff in the months ahead than those in other parts of the UK, according to a survey published today.
Despite the employment outlook improving slightly from the last quarter, the Manpower UK survey found that Scotland remains one of the worst-performing regions for jobs.
Although the balance of firms looking to take on staff, compared with those planning to cut their workforce, edged up one point to move out of negative territory, the reading of 0 per cent lagged the overall UK average of 4 per cent.
Amanda White, operations manager at Manpower UK, said the fall in oil prices was one of the factors for the underperformance north of the Border.
She said: “Scotland continues to underperform the UK’s average rate of hiring intentions. This is the third quarter in a row that Scotland’s outlook has not made it into positive territory, which corresponds with the depressed oil price over the last few months.”
White also said that the survey highlighted that there are more engineering candidates than available jobs in Scotland.
“There is a risk that unless demand for these skilled job seekers picks up again, they may relocate, taking their talent to other regions where engineering talent shortages remain. This could lead to longer term problems for the Scottish manufacturing and engineering sectors.”
However, White said there were also some positives for Scotland, including growth in the outsourcing industry.
“Scotland, and in particular the big cities, is increasingly becoming known for their friendly and experienced call centre staff. This is driving an outsourcing industry that is starting to thrive, as firms sell their call centre capabilities to other businesses, with many running campaigns for financial services companies or retail companies.
“As a result, there is strong demand for candidates with customer service or outbound sales skills and experience.”
Overall, the survey found the UK jobs market stands at its least optimistic level for three years.