We have a new website go to gov.scot

Employment Opportunities

We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people

Employment OpportunitiesWhy is this National Outcome important?

If everyone has the opportunity to work, improve their skills and make a positive contribution to the nation's increasing prosperity, we will create a wealthier, fairer and smarter Scotland. We want to see more of Scotland's people in higher-skilled and better-paid jobs.

Historically, a perceived lack of high quality employment opportunities in Scotland has been linked with a drift into inactivity, particularly among older workers, and an exodus of the nation's young and skilled talent.

What will influence this National Outcome?

Realising the full potential of Scotland's people will require the wider attainment of higher skills, the removal of barriers to work, including support for carers, parents, disabled people, and minority and ethnic communities, and a continuing commitment to innovation and the application of knowledge in our economy.

Scotland's highly educated and skilled workforce is one of our greatest assets. If we are to derive full benefit from the nation's human capital, we need to build on and broaden areas of comparative advantage in the global economy. This means, for example, expanding established areas of success (including financial services and energy) and facilitating and accelerating emerging areas (including creative industries and life sciences).

What is the Government's role?

Our role is to promote the conditions for sustainable economic success and better employment opportunities. This requires a joined-up approach to support business growth and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to work, improve their skills and make a positive contribution to the nation's increasing prosperity.

Our approach includes laying the foundations for the future wellbeing and achievement of our children and young people, increasing skill levels across the population and supporting the flow of knowledge from our universities and colleges into sustainable wealth creation. The benefits of this will be realised in a society where the opportunity to succeed is within everyone's reach and where full use is made of people's skills to boost productivity and economic growth.

In terms of labour market participation, we aim to bring more people into the workforce, address persistent pockets of unemployment and help to tackle inequality and social exclusion. This includes investment in adult literacy and numeracy skills and working with partners to ensure the provision of childcare, public transport and other services to enable people to access labour market and training opportunities.

Related Strategic Objectives

Wealthier and Fairer


Employment Opportunities

Related National Indicators


Increase the business start-up rate


Grow exports at a faster average rate than GDP


Reduce number of working age people with severe literacy and numeracy problems



Performance Improving


Performance Maintaining


Performance Worsening

no info

Performance data currently being collected