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First release of Scottish Government workforce statistics

Published: 16 Mar 2016 09:30

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The Scottish Government Workforce Information statistics have been published for the first time today by Scotland's Chief Statistician. This new publication contains information on the numbers of workers, staff sickness rates, and the diversity of staff over the past four years.

The Scottish Government 2015 Workforce Information statistics show that:

  • At the end of December 2015, the Scottish Government had 5,120 full-time equivalent (FTE) directly employed staff. This is a decrease of 68 FTE staff since December 2014. Numbers at the end of 2015 were slightly higher than prior to 2014

  • The number of Modern Apprentices has been increasing year-on-year since the scheme was introduced in the Scottish Government in January 2011. At the end of December 2015, 81 FTE Modern Apprentices were still completing their apprenticeships

  • At the end of December 2015 there were 1,042 contingent (non-directly employed) workers engaged in work for the Scottish Government. This is a net decrease of 312 contingent workers, from 1,354 at the end of December 2014

  • Forty five per cent of contingent workers at the end of December 2015 were contractors. A significant increase in the numbers of contractors in 2014 was followed by a subsequent decrease during 2015, from 659 at the end of December 2014, to 466 at the end of December 2015

  • Staff sickness has seen a small increase over the four years to a current level of 7.4 average working days lost (AWDL) per staff year in the year period ending December 2015 (equivalent to 3.3 per cent of working days). This is an increase of 1.1 days from 6.3 in the period ending March 2012

  • At the end of 2015, the percentage of female directly employed staff (50.6 per cent), was slightly higher than the percentage of male staff (49.4 per cent)

  • There is some suggestion of an aging profile of the workforce over the past four years, with a fall of 2.4 percentage points in those aged 40-49, and a rise of 1.8 percentage points in those aged 50-59. However, mostly due to the recruitment of Modern Apprentices, numbers of staff in the 16-19 age group have also increased significantly in the past four years, from 13 at the end of March 2012, to 68 by the end of December 2015

Notes to editors

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

The full statistical publication is available at:

This publication contains quarterly data from 2012 to 2015. The publication presents: full time equivalent numbers and headcounts in each directly employed staff category; headcounts of contingent workers (non-directly employed workers) engaged in work for the Scottish Government; sickness absence levels of directly employed staff; and headcounts of directly employed staff by: age, disability status, ethnicity, gender, marital/civil partnership status, religion or belief, and sexual orientation.

The Scottish Government uses the data internally for monitoring the performance of its workforce. Other expected users of the data in this publication are likely to include the general public and media for information about the Scottish Government, and other government departments for comparative purposes.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff. More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: