Our role is to ensure the full involvement of Scottish employers in the sector and encourage employer demand for skills.

Scotland flag

Across Scotland, we provide a focus for active leisure, learning and well-being employers who wish to:

  • Increase the capability of their existing and future workforce
  • Inspire talented people to join their industries
  • Assist our industries to be efficient and effective

Ultimately, we want to ensure we achieve our goal of seeing more people, better skilled and better qualified in Scotland.

We represent the sector’s Scottish interests to the Scottish Government and key agencies like Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, the Scottish Funding Council and others.

The Skills for Scotland Strategy is very explicit about the role it wants sector skills councils to play and this provides the focus for our work in Scotland.

It states that sector skills councils need to:

  • Develop proper engagement with employers in their sector in order that they can speak with legitimacy on their behalf.
  • Deliver sectoral labour market information that is trusted, well used and fits with the robust national information supplied by Futureskills Scotland.
  • Ensure that employers have a say in the design and development of learning at all levels and in all settings, not just vocational qualifications; and
  • Develop strong partnerships with other key players in their sector as well as with Government, providers and intermediary bodies

In Scotland we have an established the following committees to help us achieve these aims:

  • employers' executive committee
  • sport, recreation, health and fitness employers' committee
  • outdoor employers' committee
  • playwork education and training council Scotland

Extracts from the SkillsActive Sector Skills Assessment Scotland

  • The sector in Scotland had a gross value added output equalling £0.8 billion in 2004 and accounted for 1% of the whole Scottish economy output
  • A total of 58,200 were employed in 4,200 workplaces in Scotland in 2008
  • The largest sector is sport and recreation employing 36,800 – 63% of the total
  • In 2008 the sector had 44% full time and 45% part time employees, with 11% self employed.
  • Volunteers make a valuable addition to the sector’s workforce with 146,000 volunteers in the sports workforce alone.
  • Our sector relies also on seasonal staff
  • 51% of the employees in the sector are women
  • 74% of the workplaces have between 1 – 10 employees
  • The sector has a younger age profile to that of the Scottish economy with a higher proportion of 16 – 24 year olds (25% compared to a national average of 14%)
  • sportscoachUK estimate there are 64,000 sports coaches in Scotland, suggesting there are relatively fewer coaches in Scotland than the rest of the nations but only half hold an up to date qualification
  • The Scottish Employers Skills Survey 2008 reported 18% of employers in the sector experiencing skills gaps in their workforce which is higher than the 13% reported in 2006
  • Skills gaps most commonly cited are customer care skills (65%), oral communication (54%), problem solving (54%), team working (52%) and planning and organising (52%)
  • In terms of employment, the sector in Scotland grew at an annual average growth rate of 3.3% over the 5 years up to 2004
  • While the average annual rate of growth in total employment is forecast to slow over the next 10 years to 1.2% between 2009 and 2014, employment growth in our sector is expected to continue to out-perform the whole Scotland economy. 

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