People build your business. Skilled, qualified employees to help create and deliver your vision now and in the future.

  • Scotland has the most highly-qualified workforce in the UK
  • There are 835,200  potential employees living in North Ayrshire and our travel-to-work area
  • This accounts for almost a quarter – 24% – of Scotland’s total working age population
  • Our travel-to-work area has a stable working age population

A highly-skilled talent pool

With easy access to four universities, between them educating over 90,000 students, North Ayrshire residents are improving their qualifications every year.

We have seen a 33% increase in the proportion of residents with degree level qualifications in the last seven years. Modern Apprenticeship take-up rates are 29% higher than the national average.

And, there is a rich source of managerial talent on the doorstep. 14,000 people travel out of North Ayrshire daily to work in managerial and professional roles.

A happy and healthy workforce

Quality of Life is a key priority for North Ayrshire, meaning we focus on facilitating and enabling happiness, health, comfort, and community in all who live here.

Having ample natural landscapes, leisure pursuits, arts and cultural events, homes fit for the future all located within 30 minutes from some of the country’s best Universities and Scotland’s largest city, is a key part in creating a local talent pool. As a result, this talent pool is full of individuals who are happy, healthy, and engaged in their local area – available to be tapped into by businesses based here in North Ayrshire.

Expertise in advanced manufacturing and engineering

Scotland’s universities are world renowned.

The four universities closest to North Ayrshire have nearly 6,000 engineering and technology students and a further 1,000 students complete engineering qualifications every year at Ayrshire College. Manufacturing productivity is 42% higher than the national average.

Industry collaboration

Collaboration helps to create business opportunity.

Team North Ayrshire partners work together with industry to help you flourish and deliver the skills you need. Higher Education and training partners co-create bespoke business and industry courses which deliver a workforce whose skills are tailored to your business needs.

Developing skills for the future

It’s important to have the right skills base now, but just as important is to anticipate skill requirements for the future.

We’re developing our workforce for new and growing industry sectors including:

  • digital automation
  • life sciences
  • engineering
  • energy

Case Study: UPM Caledonian – Fostering a Loyal Workforce

UPM Caledonian, a major employer in North Ayrshire, is a paper mill established in 1989. 75% of their 290 employees have been with the company for more than 20 years, and staff turnover is less than 1.5%, compared with a UK average of 14% (Robert Hall UK Recruitment Survey 2018).

For UPM Caledonian, being able to develop the skills of their workforce to match business needs was key to creating staff loyalty. It has helped the organisation to flourish despite 31.5% of all European paper mills closing since 2000 (CEPI key statistics 2017).

North Ayrshire is an excellent place to do business and all government and investment agencies in the area have been incredibly supportive to our organisation over many years.

Gordon McLean, Technical Director, UPM Caledonian

We have local access to world leading clinical research sectors. The government supports Life Sciences as a key sector, and Scotland’s renowned universities provide a well-qualified workforce for the sector.

David Richmond, RUA Medical