Projecting the demand for qualifications: a review

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



Research and Information Services Bulletin: Scottish Qualifications Authority


Publication date

October 1, 2007


SQA needs to understand the skills that are required now and in the future if it is to maintain and develop qualifications that meet the needs of employers and employees so that:
resources can be focused on the development of qualifications that aim to serve the high-demanding sectors and occupations
general maintenance and development of SQA qualifications allows for general observable trends in the Scottish labour market (ie the ageing workforce, worsening employment prospects for the unqualified, and the changing gender balance in the labour market)
In 2003, 2005 and 2007 SQA commissioned research to improve the intelligence available to it and inform decisions taken in respect of its portfolio of qualifications. The research applied established data analysis techniques using British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and Labour Force Survey (LFS) data for Scotland to estimate:
changes in employment in the Scottish economy as a whole
changes in the turnover and relative shares of different occupations within
each industry
the associated demand for qualifications in the Scottish economy over the medium term — four years ahead
The existence of three successive sets of projections (2003, 2005, and 2007) means that it is now possible to start to compare these and tease out any distinctive trends in the demand for SQA qualifications.






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