Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Strategic, Accessible Labour Market Intelligence

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is at the forefront of the production of robust labour market intelligence (LMI) to support stakeholders in Scotland on skills investment planning. This LMI draws on a range of sources including:

  • Published datasets - whilst recognising that there is often a time lag in this data;
  • Forecast data through our current partnership with Oxford Economics;
  • Real time data e.g. vacancy data through our current partnership with Burning Glass; and
  • Qualitative insight through our relationship management internally in SDS and with external partners.

In addition, more recently SDS have published insights on the economic and labour impact of COVID-19 in the form of a monthly infographic report and dashboard.

The overall aim of the research was to build an evidence base in which to inform the development of the Scottish LMI system and to provide recommendations to enhance Skills Development Scotland's labour market tools and products. This was to support the development of an LMI system that is timely, robust and accessible. The research:

  1. Identify additional indicators and evidence that would enhance current data on skills demand, supply and mismatches;
  2. Advise on the potential evolution and/or consolidation of current SDS products and tools;
  3. Develop a model that would help SDS to measure the health of Scotland’s labour markets including their productivity, inclusiveness and sustainability; and
  4. Develop a draft digital platform that would enable users to access evidence on the above.

As part of this research, stakeholders from across the Scottish LMI system engaged to gather feedback and ideas for future developments. Evidence will feed into the development of the SDS products and tools, as well as recommendations for the enhancement of the SDS LMI system. The research aims to support the evolution of the Scottish LMIS, to ensure that it is useful meetings the needs of users and to provide an up-to-date understanding of labour market shifts, skills and demand. This is particularly important at the current time.


Barnes, S-A., Hogarth, T., Cárdenas-Rubio, J., Wright, S., Hawthorne, M., Bosworth, D., & Bosworth, L. (2021). Strategic, Accessible Labour Market Intelligence: Labour market demand and supply of skills (Report 1). IER University of Warwick/Skills Development Scotland.

Bosworth, D. with Hogarth, T., Cárdenas-Rubio, J., Barnes, S-A., Wright, S., & Bosworth, L. (2021). Strategic, Accessible Labour Market Intelligence: Performance of the labour market (Report 2). IER University of Warwick/Skills Development Scotland.

Barnes, S-A., Bosworth, L., Wright, S., Hawthorne, M., Hogarth, T., Cárdenas-Rubio, J. & Bosworth, D. (2021). Strategic, Accessible Labour Market Intelligence: Digital platform (Report 3). IER University of Warwick/Skills Development Scotland.


Project Team:

Sally-Anne Barnes (Principal Investigator)

Terence Hogarth

Jeisson Cardenas-Rubio

Sally Wright

Derek Bosworth

Luke Bosworth

Margaret Hawthorne

Project Duration:

January - March 2021

Project Funder: