Resources: People & Skills

  • Over 53,000 people are employed across all the financial services, insurance, IT and business services sectors, making it one of city’s most important growth sectors. This accounts for 25% of people employed in this sector in Scotland (Scottish Government Growth Statistics 2016).
  • The three main Glasgow universities teach nearly 12,400 students in business and administration and computer science. Over 6,000 graduates each year (HESA).
  • More than 4,000 further education students study in business and financial services (SFC).
  • Labour costs in Glasgow can be up to 12% lower than Edinburgh and 33% lower than London (FDI Benchmark and based on costs for running a BPO centre).
  • Languages spoken at a fluent level in Glasgow and the surrounding area are numerous, which are key skills for the BPO and financial services sector – French is spoken by 13,000 people, German by 12,000, Italian by 5,000 and Spanish by 4,000. At a competent level, the figures rise and include Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Greek and Portuguese (Oxford Intelligence, 2008), contributing heavily to Glasgow’s suitability as one of the major BPO locations in Europe.
  • A number of global employers in Glasgow expressly seek bilingual and multilingual staff, such as Shell Shared Service Centre and Eaton.
  • The financial sector employs 1 in 13 of Glasgow’s total workforce (IFSD Glasgow).
  • Workforce retention in Glasgow is strong, according to employer responses to an independent survey (73% of those surveyed stated that staff turnover is low, which helps to keep costs down).
  • Glasgow salaries are highly competitive, while overheads are approximately 32% lower than in London.
  • There is an established contact centre community supported by the Customer Contact Association.
  • Skill languages cover are Customer Service, Translation & Proof Reading, Accountancy & Finance, Secretarial, Market Research & Marketing, IT Helpdesk & Technical, Hospitality, Logistics, Export and Sales.

Within the financial sector, there is a high number of IT professionals employed, which is one reason JP Morgan set up its European Technology Centre in the IFSD for complex financial software development.

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