Scottish Employer Skills Survey 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the aims of the project?
The project gathers information on the skills that employers need, the skills they are short of and the training they offer. The survey aims to help Government and other organisations to help employers, by better understanding their skills, training and employment needs.

Why do you need to talk to me?
Your establishment has been chosen at random to make sure we get a truly representative picture of all businesses (large and small) in Scotland. Your co-operation will ensure that views expressed are representative of all employers in your industry.

How was I selected?
Your organisation has been selected at random from a combination of Market Location's Business Database.

What does participation involve?
Participation will involve a telephone interview with an interviewer from IFF Research. On average interviews last around 25 minutes. However, the interview length may vary depending on the answers that you give. The interview will take place at a time that is convenient for you.

Why can't you talk to my head office?
The survey asks about site-specific topics to understand how approaches vary geographically. If we were to speak to your head office we wouldn't get a complete picture of issues at a local level.

What are you collecting information on?
We collect information on areas including vacancies, vacancies that are hard to fill, the skills of the existing workforce and what training employers offer. The survey also collects information about the ways employers have responded to Covid-19 and the impact that Covid-19 has had on working practices and training.

How does this benefit my organisation?
The survey provides you with the opportunity to input into research, which will help planners develop policies to address employer skill needs. .

Will my responses be confidential?
Yes, your replies will be treated in the strictest confidence under the Code of Conduct of the Market Research Society and in accordance with the Data Protection Act (2018) and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). You can view Scottish Government’s personal information charter here. The data provided to Scottish Government will be completely anonymous, and the report will not mention the names of any of the employers that participated.

How do I know the research agency contacting me is legitimate?
IFF Research is a large, long-established market research agency - more information about IFF can be found at If you would like to check the credentials of the research agency calling you, you can call the Market Research Society for free on 0800 975 9596. You can also confirm the validity of the research by visiting:

Will I be able to access the results of the survey?
Yes. The results of the survey will be made publicly available on the Scottish Government website in 2021.

Where can I view results of the previous study?
Results of the previous UK-wide study in 2017 can be found on the website: