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Evaluation of TalentScotland: report for Scottish Enterprise


TalentScotland was created as a pilot project in 2001 to address skills gap issues critical to the growth of design electronics activity in Scotland. Life science, Financial Services and the Energy Sector were later added in 2003, 2005 and 2007 respectively. The evaluation aims to: quantify the benefits on companies that have been involved; demonstrate that progress has been made in improving the perception of Scotland as a career destination; review and update the monitoring and evaluation framework so that all economic benefits that are attributable to the project are captured; and assess progress made on objectives.


The methodology included: a review of background and policy; collaboration with TalentScotland; consultation with users and non-users; and assessment of progress and impact and comparison with previous reviews.


TalentScotland has performed extremely well, exceeding many of their targets despite the lack of marketing activities during the first three quarters of 2007. Those exceeding targets included: visitor numbers, jobs posted on the website, the proportion of jobs at senior level and number of jobs applications made. It has allowed registered organisations to tap into a wider recruitment pool, including a high proportion of overseas applicants, and an excellent source of people who want to come to Scotland to live and work; although the majority of organisations (over 95%) were not using TalentScotland exclusively. There is evidence of a very strong working relationship between the Scottish Government – specifically the Fresh Talent Initiative (FT) and TalentScotland. However, the sector where TalentScotland is not working is in financial services. Moreover, Scotland continues to under-perform in terms of attracting and retaining internationally mobile talent with the appropriate skills and experience required by businesses in the key sectors covered by the TalentScotland initiative so the high growth potential of these companies is limited.


Recommendations include: greater visibility in terms of promotional meetings/presentations/articles tailored to specific sectors; clear working relationships at the outset; support for the financial service sector should be reviewed; the capacity of TalentScotland should be recognised; the possible issue of duplication between TalentScotland and FT should be addressed; the evaluation and monitoring framework should be reviewed and updated; and TalentScotland should continue.

Author Frontline Consultants
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies, Energy, Financial and business services, Life Sciences
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development